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Crestone Peak Conditions?

Colorado 14er peak questions, condition requests and other info. 14er Trip Reports, Condition Reports
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Crestone Peak Conditions?

Postby SilverLynx » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:00 pm

Does anyone know the current conditions of Crestone Peak; more specifically Broken Hand Pass and the Red Gully? What is the snow like, how much is there, and does it make the route much more challenging? I'm very tentatively looking at trying it soon. Weighing my options. Not sure how I feel about it yet but any input would be helpful for me to make a decision...

Thank you!
"Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction - so easy to lapse into - that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us."
― Robert Macfarlane

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Re: Crestone Peak Conditions?

Postby cindyh » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:18 am

Broken Hand Pass is a snow climb, with ice in spots. An ice tool and points are a good idea. Not sure on current conditions on the Red Couloir, but it's been melting. Running water and verglas might be the bigger concern. It was still holding snow on the 29th, when several folks turned back due to falling rock and ice. If anyone has any recent update - I'd in interested to know as well.
CindyH

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Re: Crestone Peak Conditions?

Postby michaelgrundy » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:39 am

I am also interested in the current conditions. Unfortunately, the weather report for this week doesnt look very promising so that stinks...


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Re: Crestone Peak Conditions?

Postby jdorje » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:10 am

There's almost no snow up there, but what snow there is will be right on the route. I have no idea how much that will be. Yes it will make the route more challenging.
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Re: Crestone Peak Conditions?

Postby Kiefer » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:20 pm

Thanks for the updates! Might be heading up there tomorrow pending I get enough done around the property today.

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Re: Crestone Peak Conditions?

Postby michaelgrundy » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:41 pm

Thanks for the update... might have to scrap my plans for next weekend unless the weather forecast changes. (I wish I could go during the week but I am stuck). If the weather changes and Wed, Thurs, and Fri yield no snow... I will be doing this. Otherwise, on to Ellingwood and Blanca I go.

Kiefer - If you end up going tomorrow, would you mind sharing the conditions with the rest of us?!

Thanks!

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Re: Crestone Peak Conditions?

Postby atalarico » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:42 pm

I was up there last Wednesday and Thursday, and it definitely got more precip this past weekend. If you go, bring an axe and 'pons if you're going up Broken Hand Pass. It was hard snow with a ton of ice all the way up the pass. Red Gully was full of ice that melted while we were climbing, and the Needle had one beautiful looking ice flow coming down it's South East aspect. I'm not sure if it's on the standard route, but it's safe to assume there are other hidden gems on both the peak and the needle.

This is from Red Gully. It was doable to climb around the ice, but my thought is that if it ices up any more then it'll be pretty difficult to climb around without a rope and rack. Also, the ice presented it's own hazard as it heated up and fell down.
Image

I don't have much from BH Pass because we were trying not to fall. We had boots and axes, but left the 'pons. It was fine because we're both pretty experienced climbers overall, but it definitely wasn't for the faint of heart.

Have fun! It was one of the longest days I can recall in the mountains. We were pretty beat by the time we got back to the car.

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Re: Crestone Peak Conditions?

Postby SilverLynx » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:15 am

Been checking this thread a lot and thinking things through...

Given the distance involved, the current conditions, the coming snow this weekend and the fact that the nighttime temperatures are dropping a little low for my gear to handle, I think I will hold off on this peak until early next summer. Looking at June. It seems like CP this time of year might be a bit tough for me.

Thank you everyone who provided info/pics, and good luck to anyone who does attempt this peak soon. Looking forward to doing it myself one day...
"Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction - so easy to lapse into - that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us."
― Robert Macfarlane

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Re: Crestone Peak Conditions?

Postby falcon568 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:03 pm

Gah, so tempted to try for it this weekend, right on the fringe of ok conditions. Foiled on Crestones planning all of September, hard to let this one go until next season...
"Of course, inside each one of us is the ambition to reach the summit, to realize that you are stronger than obstacles, that it is within your power to do something uncommon and indeed impossible for most people. But one must be prepared to face those obstacles..."-Ed Viesturs

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Re: Crestone Peak Conditions?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:36 pm


Thanks for the great pics. The Ledges route actually looks pretty doable right now. I wonder how it holds into November... December? [-o<

falcon568 wrote:Gah, so tempted to try for it this weekend, right on the fringe of ok conditions. Foiled on Crestones planning all of September, hard to let this one go until next season...

Well, 80% snow forecast for Thursday, but "less than one inch accumulation." Doesn't sound like NOAA thinks there's a lot of available moisture in that region this week. You might do ok. Keep an eye on it. Good luck, be safe, have fun!

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Re: Crestone Peak Conditions?

Postby GeezerClimber » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:05 pm

We did it 7/4 and it was a much tougher day than anticipated. With days getting short, this is something to consider. There was some snow and ice on BHP and some snow in the red gully when we went which made it tougher but I think the ice now would be much trickier. If there is a little more snow this weekend, the ice will be worse yet in the gully.

Dave

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