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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-07-11||Route: South Face
Info: Red Gully conditions are snow, running water, wet rock, loose rock and ice. Broken Hand Pass is still a steep snow climb. This photo is from 7/11. CCSAR has responded to calls on both the 11th and the 12th for injuries sustained in falls in the Red Couloir. Working with Saguache County, Western State, HAATs and EagleMed, we were able to evac Saturday‘s patient to an area hospital. Fortunately weather conditions were favorable, or this response could have had a different outcome, as her injuries were serious. Carefully consider your abilities and the abilities of your climbing partners before attempting Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle, until they are snow free. Be prepared for the unexpected, including a potential night on the mountain awaiting rescue.
|Custer County SAR||2015-07-13||1||1||1|
|2015-07-03||Route: Crestones Traverse
Info: I just solo‘d it this Friday. Didn‘t see anyone else on it other than two guys that climbed the ellingwood arete and were coming off the top of the needle just before i summited, and didn‘t see any tracks other than what Andrew Hamilton left the day before. Going up broken hand pass, there is a steeper snowfield. I broke out my micro spikes for it. I brought my axe too, which i found useful as well. From the top of the pass to the needle, there is no need to walk on any snow, as any remnants were able to be bypassed. From the needle to where the traverse joins the main route up the south side of the peak, there were a few short snow crossings, some of which had bypasses. I didn‘t feel like the snow really made it much harder except a few times i post-holed. I don‘t think i used the spikes or the axe along the traverse. Once you hit the red gulley going up to the top of crestone peak, then the snow gets nasty. Maybe it had just warmed up too much, but i found almost all of the snow was a wet sloppy mess on top of solid ice or an air cavity, so i stuck to the right side of the gully as much as possible until i was at ~13900‘, where i crossed over to the left side, and followed dry rock to the top. Definitely used my spikes and my axe here. I decided to make a loop of the trip and descend the NW gully. This snow was at least in descent shape, and i exited the NW gully right where it looked like a few wet slides had pilled up at the bottom. The NW gully might still be climbable up it if you got up there early enough in the morning when the snow was hard. Axe was used as a self-belay, and had to catch one short slide with it since the snow seemed too wet and slushy and steep for a glissade. After getting out of the NW gully, I traversed over through the bears playground and descended the Humbolt saddle. Almost no snow on that leg.
|2015-06-26||Route: South Face
Info: My plan was to camp near Lower South Colony Lake, and on Friday climb Cestone. Hiking in I didn‘t find a place to camp near the lake, and the Mosquitos were hellacious, so I decide to head over Broken Hand Pass, and camp near Willow Lake. The path to Broken Hand still has 6-7 snow fields to cross, and Broken Hand is still snow packed, except for the final 50 meters before the top. Gators, crampons, and an ice ax are mandatory. On Friday I didn‘t think I‘d attempt Crstone, since I was only two days at elevation, coming out from Minnesota, and battling a summer cold. My plan was to hike over and see what the Red Gully looked like, and head out since the return (for me the lower trail @ 8,800‘) was going to be a long day. At 6:30 am I hiked to the gully, and indeed it was snow packed to the top, my guess 1000‘. Given that it was a gorgeous sunny morning I decided to make an attempt, and reached the summit at about 10:30 am. Crestone Peak is a long hike, 20 miles RT from the lower parking lot, and the added the snow will slow you down considerably; I didn‘t reach the parking area until 7:00 pm, which was 12.5 hour day. My guess is that Broken hand and the Red Gully, will have some amount of snow, for another 10-14 days, maybe longer. This is a challenging climb under the best of conditions, with the snow be prepared for two long days.
|2015-05-30||Route: South Face
Info: S face of Crestone Peak looking good.
|2015-04-11||Route: Northwest Couloir
Info: Ascended south face after "skiing" the needle. Coverage on south face is mostly still good for skiing, except for on short ice step that can be scrambled around. Surface conditions are not as bad as needle, but still far from smooth. With another storm, it‘d be a good time. NW couloir looked fun and boney from the top. We downclimbed into it, skied whenever possible on nice cold, firm snow, down climbed the thin parts in between. The transitions were physically demanding, but a really enjoyable descent nonetheless. Skied down to the waterfall at the bottom, the booted back up a bit to descend around cliff. Dont blow the last turns... Headed out spanish creek. Could ski a decent ways on n. facing side of valley, but eventually had to admit defeat and start walking over all the deadfall. At least the trail is well marked if not well maintained. Stream crossings are all good.
|2014-09-14||Route: South Face
Info: Great conditions in Red Gully. Small stream of water running down but easy to avoid.
|2014-09-08||Route: South Face
Info: Route was in good shape all the way to the summit from South Colony. No concerns whatsoever.
|2014-09-06||Route: South Face
Info: Perfect conditions. Minimal water in gully. Warm temps today.
|2014-08-30||Route: Crestones Traverse
Info: The red gully has a stream running down on the right side, can be easily avoided. The entrance to traverse is well marked with carin. Most of the traverse is dry except little snow in the steep gully after the class 5 move and knife edge. Coming down needle south face is mostly dry. Enjoy this awesome traverse!
|2014-08-25||Route: South Face
Info: We climbed the Crestone Peak yesterday (Aug 25th). After climbing Pyramid and the Crestone Needle, I found the Red Gulley route to be very straight-forward. There are many options for going up the gulley - it was easy to avoid the water flowing down the center. Where it was wet it was not slippery. Compared to the route finding on Pyramid, this was much easier. I prefer the solid hand holds of the Needle, this is much more loose. By far it is the easiest of the climbs in terms of route-finding, but the scramble up the gulley is long and a lot of work. The summit view is worth it!
|2014-08-03||Route: South Face
Info: If you take the "short cut" from the 4wd parking lot (going right, toward Humboldt, instead of continuing along the 4wd road), lots of the trail is basically a stream. Sometimes you can get off the trail and bypass it, other times you can try to step on rocks in the trail, other times you just have to straddle the trail. Very annoying. Up and down Broken Hand Pass, there is no snow on the route. Near Willow Lake, there is again a lot of water on the trail on certain sections. In the Red Gully, there is a lot of water running down, but can easily be avoided by climbing to the left or right of it. There are still some snow patches, but these can be easily avoided and don‘t pose a problem.
|2014-07-19||Route: South Face
Info: No more snow up to Broken Hand Pass. There are about three patches of snow remaining in the upper parts of the Red Gully. Our group of 7 made it up; none of us had any snow gear. All of the snow patches are avoidable with some scrambling on the edges of the gully, though if I had had my ice axe with me I would have probably preferred to go straight up the snow. I‘d say the tallest patch left is maybe 50-75 feet tall only.
|2014-07-10||Route: South Face
Info: Broken Hand Pass is clear enough of snow for it to be only a minor issue. I crossed about 20‘ of snow that was very soft with deep steps kicked in and never felt the need to use my crampons. Everyone else seemed to feel the same way. There is a snow field high up the red gully that is avoidable to a good climber but since I‘m not, I used crampons for about 75‘. I did take advantage of all the snow I could on the descent to save time (no glissading, just plunge stepping with crampons). Since it doesn‘t seem to be freezing at night the snow is very soft.
Info: Crestone Needle and the traverse from Crestone Peak are completely snow free. The Red Gully is still holding a lot of snow up high toward the saddle between East Crestone and Crestone, which a few guys in my group put micros on for and climbed 100-200‘ of. You reach a rib in the center without snow from that point and can reach the saddle without any significant climbing or maneuvering around snow. I stayed left in this area and avoided the snow entirely but had a bit of climbing and some added difficulty to do so, then crossed in a very narrow section of snow to hit the same rib without having to actually touch the snow (it was solid ice up higher). Broken Hand Pass is still holding snow at the top, as well as 2 other snow fields you must cross, none of which are difficult except for the 100‘ pitch leading to the saddle as it becomes fairly steep. Again I made everything more difficult but avoided snow by making some tough maneuvers along the rock above the snow field on the way down, but there are some pretty good steps kicked in and the way up was extremely easy in the morning. A few members of my group used micros and their axes, I got away without using any snow gear at all. If you‘re more comfortable on snow and plan on not trying to avoid it you may still want the spikes and axe because it is solid in places where you cannot kick steps in. There were a ridiculous amount of flies on top of Crestone Needle.
Info: Still holding lots of snow for the bottom half, but lots of rock for the last third. I put the axes and crampons away for the last bit, although there are still ice ribbons and a couple small snow fields even near the top.
|2014-06-28||Route: South Face
Info: Tried to snap some beta pics from Humbolt West Ridge route. Hope they help!
|2014-06-20||Route: South Face
Info: The Red Gully is mostly a snow climb currently. Lots of ice scattered around as well to contend with. I also accidentally partially punched through the snow into a snow tunnel 4-5 feet under the center of the gully that was full of rushing water. If you decide to climb...consider it a steep couloir climb and bring ice axe/crampons. Also worth noting we had a someone in the group have a failed self arrest due to the poor snow conditions that resulted in injury. We were fortunate it wasn‘t far more serious.
|2014-05-14||Route: S. Couloir
Info: Crestones are fat. Decent contrived, but absolutely smooth from 20 ft below the summit.
|2014-02-17||Route: South Face
Info: Attempted Crestone Peak, from Cottonwood Creek, on Presidents Day... The trench from the late January climbs is in excellent shape. We added our own foot prints and ski tracks on top of them. Anyone going up should have a excellent path all the way to the boulder field. We never took our skis off to skin, there wasn‘t a need. One word of advice: Stay left when you get to the boulder field its a lot easier to climb up on that side. We only made it up to 11,750 before heading back home: family obligations of one of the party. Its drying out fast up there... FYI: The skiing sucked.
|2014-01-26||Route: South Face
Info: stable snow in gully. some icy spots. lots of hard pack where we couldn‘t even kick in steps with crampons. ice axe and crampons definitely required.