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Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Colorado 14er peak questions, condition requests and other info. 14er Trip Reports, Condition Reports
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Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby Michaeldadof4 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:20 am

Planning a July 2014 trip and thinking about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, and Crestone Needle. I want something that will provide the opportunity to hike in, camp for a week, and summit a few 14ers. Our group will consist of a rookie and three others with 14er experience. I did Kit Carson via Willow Creek approach a few years ago and the mosquitos almost killed us. It was a very unpleasant week to say the least. My question is this; are mosquitos always that bad in the Sangre de Cristo range of was my Kit Carson experience a freak occurrence? Been in the Sawatch and Front ranges many times and have never seen a mosquito. Just don't want a repeat of my Kit Carson trip.

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Re: Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby Skip Perkins » Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:07 am

Just anecdotal: At Willow Lake I was eaten alive by hordes of mosquitos and on the east side of the mountains there were very few. The east side is dryer thus less bugs.
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Re: Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby Jim Davies » Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:52 am

I've camped in South Colony Lakes many times, and don't recall any mosquitos. The worst mosquitos I've encountered on any 14er backpack were at Lake Como, though, so Skip might be on to something. :-k
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Re: Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby GeezerClimber » Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:01 am

Mosquitos are hit or miss in Colorado, mostly misses thankfully. But when conditions are right, you can be carried away.

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Re: Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby onebyone » Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:23 am

If it's breezy, no mosquitoes. If the air is still, then definitely mosquitoes. This is why when you go to a place one time, there seems to be no mosquitoes and another time, there is a ton. Upper South Colony lake camping has more open terrain than Willow lake, which means it's usually a little more breezy there. And if you're climbing 14ers, you'll be in higher and drier terrain for much of the day, so no mosquitoes. And if you bag a peak earlier enough, I would suggest simply taking your time returning to camp (which tends to have more mosquitoes) and just enjoy the amazing views. You really feel like a mountaineer in the south colony lake area in my opinion- amazing views, especially from Crestone Peak (better than he Needle I think).

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Re: Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby tlongpine » Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:50 am

Jim Davies wrote:I've camped in South Colony Lakes many times, and don't recall any mosquitos.


Same, in late June, and the air way dead still.
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Re: Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby jdorje » Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:28 pm

Mosquitos are bad for a 2-4 week period after the snows melt. It varies in severity from year to year, possibly based on how recently the lakes have been seeded with fish. By mid July they should be gone.

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Re: Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby Michaeldadof4 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:04 am

Thanks for the info. I think we will give it a shot. On to another question: what is your opinion on wearing a helmet on Crestone Needle and Peak? What about Kit Carson?

Re: Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby forbins_mtn » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:09 am

Class 3+ wear a helmet and solid shoes. The one time you stray from the rule you might pay the price. It took me a while to realize it's not about your comfort on rock but the fact that you never know who's above you on the route

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Re: Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby Michaeldadof4 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:11 am

forbins_mtn wrote:Class 3+ wear a helmet and solid shoes. The one time you stray from the rule you might pay the price. It took me a while to realize it's not about your comfort on rock but the fact that you never know who's above you on the route


By solid shoes do you mean approach shoes?

Re: Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby forbins_mtn » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:13 am

Something that offers ankle support and protection to the toe box.

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Re: Questions about Humbolt, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle

Postby onebyone » Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:54 pm

Funny because we had quite a few mosquitoes but that's how these forums work- everybody has a different experience. I just wanted to add that there also quite a few very large white mosquitoes about that can be quite pesky. These mosquitoes also seem to be resistant to breezy conditions too.

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