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 Peak(s):  Crestone Needle  -  14,197 feet
Kit Carson Peak  -  14,165 feet
Challenger Point  -  14,081 feet
Humboldt Peak  -  14,064 feet
 Post Date:  09/11/2011
 Date Climbed:   09/09/2011
 Posted By:  Headwall5
 Additional Members:   Mike Abernathy

 Weekend at the Crestone Group   

On Friday we began backpacking to Lower South Colony Lake.

Image
Mike before the trip.


On Saturday morning we began heading towards Upper South Colony Lake to do the Northwest Coluoir on Crestone Peak, granting a classic view of The Needle.

Image
Looking up the Arete at sunrise.


We scrambled up a gully to the Crestone-Humboldt saddle.

Image
Scree/talus gully we scrambled up.


The top of the gully granted a great view of the Crestone's.

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Looking over at The Peak and Needle.


The Coluoir on The Peak looked too icy to climb, so we decided to climb Kit Carson and Challenger instead. We started by doing a thirteener named Obstruction Peak.

Image
Looking back at Obstruction Peak.


We then headed over to Columbia Point (another thirteener).

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Looking up the gully to Columbia Point.


After summiting Columbia it was time for Kit Carson.

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Looking over to Kit Carson.


The downclimbing on Columbia to Kit Carson was fun.

Image
Obstacle's going down Columbia Point


It had some solid 3 to 3+ downclimbing.

Image
Downclimbing towards Kit Carson.


This downclimbing was very fun.

Image
Gully down Columbia Point to Kit Carson.


A quick gully scramble got me and Mike on Kit Carson's summit.

Image
Me and Mike on the summit of Kit Carson.


We descended back down Kit Carson's gully and followed a ledge over to Challenger.

Image
Me and Mike on summit of Challenger.


After summmiting Challenger, we headed back around Kit Carson, over Columbia again and around Obstruction Peak to the Humboldt-Crestone saddle.

Image
Looking back at the ledge over to Kit Carson from Challenger.


We decided since the whether was being cooperative to go for Humboldt as well.

Image
Traverse to Humboldt.


The traverse never got harder than class 2+

Image
Looking at Humboldt's traverse from Broken Hand Pass.


It was probably a bad idea to do Humboldt considering that we were very tired by this point.

Image
Almost across the traverse.


We started heading up Humboldt and soon encountered some very aggressive Big Horn Sheep.

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Goats on Humboldt.


Mike had already done Humboldt before and decided to wait while I summited. Three fourteeners and two thirteeners made this into a 14 hour day of hiking. We went back to camp exhausted to say the least.

Image
Me on Humboldt's summit.


We woke up on Sunday morning to climb the Needle. We started going towards Broken Hand Pass.

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Looking at Broken Hand Pass.


We started climbing into the clouds, granting us very limited vision.

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It was a strange whether day to put it plainly.


The numerous gendarmes on the Needle were awesome.

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Mike checking out the the whether.


Image
The whether gave the Needle a crazy feeling.


The famous conglomerate rock on the Needle is exactly as good as it's said to be.

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The gully climbing on the Conglomerate rock was fun.


We would have climbed the east gully if we had more visibility. But with the whether how it was we figured it best to cross over to the west gully.

Image
Ridge from East to West gully.


The ridge to cross from east to west was steeper than the rest of the gully, but was very manageable.

Image
Mike climbing the ridge.


After climbing in the west ridge for a bit, we found ourselves in an open area just below the summit.

Image
The final area towards the summit.


As we worked our way towards the summit it seemed like winter was approaching.

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"Snow Crystals" at the top.


Sadly with the cloud's surrounding us there was no visibility from the summit. It was fun so I'd love to climb it again, and hopefully get a view next time.

Image
Not the best summit shot ever. Me and Mike on the Needle's summit.


Great weekend! I can't say enough good things about the Crestone group.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
sevenvii


Nice Report     2011-09-12 07:40:12
I was with the other group on the Needle that day. Just curious, were the surveyor flags there when you guys descended? We didnt place them there, but found it odd that they had disappeared in the 2 hours since we went to the top.

Way to go, you guys had one hell of a Saturday


JA_son27


Do Work.     2011-09-13 12:48:25
You guys put in some work up there, nice. Nice TR as well


Mully


that is a big day...     2011-09-13 23:22:11
thanks for the report... did the sheep actually just stand their ground? or did they come at you? I know they can be very protective of their young



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