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 Peak(s):  Crestone Peak  -  14,294 feet
Crestone Needle  -  14,197 feet
 Post Date:  08/05/2008
 Date Climbed:   08/02/2008
 Posted By:  piper14er

 Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle - Standard Routes   

Crestone Peak - Saturday 08-02-08
Crestone Needle - Sunday 08-03-08


Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle a step up.

After Wetterhorn this spring with Scott and a solo on Kit Carson a few weeks back I was ready for a more adventurous climb with more difficult climbing. Scott and I were not disappointed. He is interested in the higher class climbs which works out well as I am trying for some of the more difficult peaks.

Scott and I left our houses at 3:00 a.m. Saturday, met up in the Springs at 4:00 a.m. and headed down to the South Colony Lakes Road and trailhead. After a stop in Westcliffe for Scott to purchase some trail food (quickie marts do not open until 6:30 a.m. in Westcliffe) we contiunued on up to the upper trailhead.

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Yes we made it to the end of the road with a 2WD F150 manual transmission.

We left the trailhead at 8:00 a.m. and headed for Broken Hand Pass. We decided that with the early morning start (as in not enough sleep) that we would pack tents. etc. over Broken Hand, climb Crestone Peak and camp at Cottonwood Lake that night. This would lessen the climb on Sunday morning for the Needle. Although at moments going up Broken Hand I was wondering whether the extra weight versus vertical was not a tradeoff. We also had to pack back up to the Pass from Cottonwood Lake.

Broken Hand Pass
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Cottonwood Lake from the west end.
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We proceeded past the lake to the South Face and located the Red Gully.
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Topped out at about noon. Scott on top of Crestone Peak with Challenger and Kit Carson in background right.
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Headed back down to the lake and set up camp.
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We had some unsettled weather Saturday evening with a couple hours of rain, hail, thunder and lightning. Got up Sunday morning, packed up and headed back up towards Broken Hand Pass at about 8:00 a.m. With the early wake up call, driving and climbing Saturday it took a while to get moving. We hiked up to Broken Hand and ditched the tent, sleepings bags, etc., then on to the Needle.

1st bit of scrambling over and down to the east gully.
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East gully.
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The crux of the route across the rib from the east to west gully. This took a couple of manuvers with the second manuver having a pretty good drop off below. One of several spots on the trail where if you lost your grip or footing it would not be good.
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Other climbers at the top of the rib. There is a bit of a manuver to get down into the west gully after this.
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Me on last part of ridge before the top and then on top.
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Topped off at a little after 10:00 a.m. Scott on the Needle with the Peak, Challenger, Kit Carson in background.
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On the way back down from the Needle at the top of the west gully.
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Three and a half hours from the top of the Needle back to the truck.

Crestone Needle. Picture perfect.
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A good couple of days and looking forward with optimism to some more great climbs.



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