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Stepping up to the Crestones

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Re: Stepping up to the Crestones

Postby GeezerClimber » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:52 am

milan wrote:Wetterhorn is a good advice, the class 3 is short, solid, and the exposure is similar to Crestones. Also Eolus, Wilson Pk, Longs. Kit Carson from the Avenue will give you an idea about the conglomerate, also a good idea. The other class 3 are more loose - Sneffels, Lindsey, Maroon, Snowmass, the climbing is different, all of the gravel in the gulleys. I would say Crestones were much nicer. Rain may make Crestones slippery, be careful.


+1 on Wetterhorn. It is short, sweet and the last stretch is pretty similar climbing to the Crestones in terms of exposure, steepness and the rock is pretty solid. The Needle's rock is great. The red gully can be loose in places with rubble to watch out for. The Needle has tougher route finding. When climbing, look behind you a lot and make mental images. It looks very different descending. But the Needle is much shorter. We found the Peak required a lot more effort when we climbed it this year on July 4 though some of that was due to some remaining snow and a lot of poised rubble left by recent snowmelt. We were surprised to have the peak all to ourselves that day. That's one of the nice things about the tough ones. One last note: the area is marmot heaven. Don't leave anything they might gnaw laying around.

Dave

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Re: Stepping up to the Crestones

Postby SteveBonowski » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:40 pm

Nobody mentioned taking a helmet for both Peak & Needle, so I will. Last time I did the Needle, there was a fair amount of gravel in both south facing couloirs. While the reputation of both peaks is that they have solid conglomerate rock, a knob will occasionally pop loose when grabbed for use as a handhold. Plan to climb slowly and test everything.

Geezer mentioned "plan to look behind you." That is key, especially on the Needle when you do the move across the top of the first couloir to enter the second. Make sure to check the spot out once you're in the second couloir (you'll recognize when to make the shift as the first couloir narrows to less than a foot wide).

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Re: Stepping up to the Crestones

Postby doggler » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:03 pm

+1 on the suggestion to do the SW ridge of Sneffels. More scenic. More fun. Avoid lavender col. Great route!

Kelso ridge is also fantastic. Good suggestions in this thread.

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Re: Stepping up to the Crestones

Postby Navigaiter » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:05 pm

SteveBonowski wrote:Nobody mentioned taking a helmet for both Peak & Needle, so I will. Last time I did the Needle, there was a fair amount of gravel in both south facing couloirs. While the reputation of both peaks is that they have solid conglomerate rock, a knob will occasionally pop loose when grabbed for use as a handhold. Plan to climb slowly and test everything.

Geezer mentioned "plan to look behind you." That is key, especially on the Needle when you do the move across the top of the first couloir to enter the second. Make sure to check the spot out once you're in the second couloir (you'll recognize when to make the shift as the first couloir narrows to less than a foot wide).


Great advice all around. Last year when I did the Needle, we ran across a large group, including kids around 13, who didn't have helmets. None of them did. In the Needle's gullies, I found this to be somewhat insane. Wear a helmet. Same goes for the Peak. I did it years ago, but in any type of gully, a helmet is mandatory for me.

I agree also with paying close attention to the crossover move. Last summer at the end of July, it was well marked. Not only did we use the tape for reference, but we also used specific things right down to wildflowers, and crazy enough, there was a large Old Man of the Mountain marking the route.
Last edited by Navigaiter on Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stepping up to the Crestones

Postby Mountainspirit » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:14 am

Picked up my helmet yesterday - and thank you all for your amazing thoughts! I'll let you know how it went in September

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Re: Stepping up to the Crestones

Postby IanG » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:42 pm

As solid as the rock is in the gullies there is still loose nasty rock that can easily be kicked down so def wear a hemlet and be cognizant of people ahead of you and obviously try not to kick anything when going down. I think proficiency downclimbing with your face to the rock is important as well; there are several sections where it i think doing so and feeling comfortable is important. Last but not least don't get caught in the rain on it, id rather spend the night on top of the needle than downclimb that rock when wet. Other than that it's insanely fun; you'll love it!

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