| Crestone Peak almost summit - thwarted by fog
Check out my full report with full-sized photos on my new website
Hope I'm not posting this too late for anyone heading down there this weekend. Anyways, my friend Nick and I attempted Crestone Peak in a day last Saturday, before being turned back 500 feet short of the summit due to some nasty fog. We still had a great day, though, that was worthy of a TR. Full report with pictures can be found on my new website (listed above), but I at least wanted to give a preview and summary here.
There was still a little bit of snow on the way up to Broken Hand Pass. We had to cross about four snowfields, the first three of which were short and easy. The last snowfield before the pass involved some climbing, but did have good steps kicked in to it... still an ice ax would be a good idea. If I had to guess, most of the snow before the pass will be gone in the next couple of weeks.
The Red Gully (extended class 3 section up to Crestone Peak) still had a lot of snow melt runoff right down the middle, and an occasional snow patch to maneuver around, but all of it is avoidable. The climb up the gully itself was a lot of fun, on mostly solid rock... it is a longer class 3 stretch than most 14ers though, for anyone who's wondering. I've read that the class 3 scrambling on Crestone Peak is easier than the Needle, but I wouldn't necessarily agree after summiting the Needle last summer... although the nasty fog we encountered may have had something to do with this.
There was a long stretch of snow below the ridgeline near the top of the Red Gully, but visibility was so low we couldn't figure out a way around it, and couldn't see anything above it. We were afraid that if we continued we'd get disoriented and off route pretty quickly, so we decided to turn around. Bummer, but still had a great day and we're planning to head back at the end of the summer to give the Peak-Needle traverse a shot.
I threw a few photos below, but check out my website for a full report and lots of pictures.
Crestone Peak Trip Report
And of course, feel free to PM me for additional beta.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):