Climbers: strudolyubov, r_kalas
Route: Ellingwood Arete (Ledges Start) with approach from Upper South Colony TH
Date: Aug. 17, 2013
Trip Length: 10.5 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 4,450 ft.
Roped Pitches: 2
Gear: 60m 9.6mm rope, 1 set of BD stoppers, 1 set of BD cams to 2" plus a set of OP LinkCams, several shoulder-length and a few double-length slings.
Fixed Gear: There were 4 fixed pitons on the 5.6 variation of pitch 1 and one fixed piton above the crux on pitch 2.
The outline of the route. Blue line - scrambling/hiking. Red line - roped climbing on the upper headwall.
South Colony Lakes Approach
Broken Hand Peak (left), Broken Hand Pass (center) and Crestone Needle as seen on the approach
Morning light on Crestone Needle
A more detailed view of the Ledges Start.
A wide crack in the lower headwall used to gain the ledges (Class 4).
Ryan climbing the crack.
Scrambling on the lower ledges.
More ledges scrambling.
Approaching the Red Knob.
Ryan climbing above the Red Knob
Fun scrambling on knobby rock with lots of ledges
Approaching the upper headwall
The Headwall Climb
Looking up the first headwall pitch. Dashed red lines show the standard 5.6 and 5.9 variations.
Looking down at South Colony Lakes from the base of the first roped pitch.
The other party is starting the 5.9 variation. The 5.6 line we took is seen on the right.
A small roof in the middle of the first pitch. There are at least 4 fixed pitons on that pitch.
Looking down from ~35 meters up the first pitch
Looking up the last section of the first pitch. We ended up simulclimbing to a small ledge 30 feet above the standard belay ledge. Photo: Ryan
Looking up the 5.7 crux section on the second pitch
Looking down from above the crux on the second pitch.
Finishing the second pitch. Photo: Ryan
Looking down from the top of the second pitch.
Looking up the Class 3 gully leading to the summit ridge.
Crestone Needle summit and South Face route descent
Crestone Peak and traverse seen from Crestone Needle summit
The South Face descent gully entrance
Descending the west gully. Photo: Ryan
Looking back at the South Face of Crestone Needle
Descending from Broken Hand Pass
Looking back at Crestone Needle from Lower South Colony Lake