Peak(s):  Crestone Needle  -  14,197 feet
Kit Carson Peak  -  14,165 feet
Challenger Point  -  14,081 feet
Humboldt Peak  -  14,064 feet
Date Posted:  09/11/2011
Date Climbed:   09/09/2011
Author:  Headwall5
Additional Members:   Mike Abernathy
 Weekend at the Crestone Group  

On Friday we began backpacking to Lower South Colony Lake.

Mike before the trip.

On Saturday morning we began heading towards Upper South Colony Lake to do the Northwest Coluoir on Crestone Peak, granting a classic view of The Needle.

Looking up the Arete at sunrise.

We scrambled up a gully to the Crestone-Humboldt saddle.

Scree/talus gully we scrambled up.

The top of the gully granted a great view of the Crestone's.

Looking over at The Peak and Needle.

The Coluoir on The Peak looked too icy to climb, so we decided to climb Kit Carson and Challenger instead. We started by doing a thirteener named Obstruction Peak.

Looking back at Obstruction Peak.

We then headed over to Columbia Point (another thirteener).

Looking up the gully to Columbia Point.

After summiting Columbia it was time for Kit Carson.

Looking over to Kit Carson.

The downclimbing on Columbia to Kit Carson was fun.

Obstacle's going down Columbia Point

It had some solid 3 to 3+ downclimbing.

Downclimbing towards Kit Carson.

This downclimbing was very fun.

Gully down Columbia Point to Kit Carson.

A quick gully scramble got me and Mike on Kit Carson's summit.

Me and Mike on the summit of Kit Carson.

We descended back down Kit Carson's gully and followed a ledge over to Challenger.

Me and Mike on summit of Challenger.

After summmiting Challenger, we headed back around Kit Carson, over Columbia again and around Obstruction Peak to the Humboldt-Crestone saddle.

Looking back at the ledge over to Kit Carson from Challenger.

We decided since the whether was being cooperative to go for Humboldt as well.

Traverse to Humboldt.

The traverse never got harder than class 2+

Looking at Humboldt's traverse from Broken Hand Pass.

It was probably a bad idea to do Humboldt considering that we were very tired by this point.

Almost across the traverse.

We started heading up Humboldt and soon encountered some very aggressive Big Horn Sheep.

Goats on Humboldt.

Mike had already done Humboldt before and decided to wait while I summited. Three fourteeners and two thirteeners made this into a 14 hour day of hiking. We went back to camp exhausted to say the least.

Me on Humboldt's summit.

We woke up on Sunday morning to climb the Needle. We started going towards Broken Hand Pass.

Looking at Broken Hand Pass.

We started climbing into the clouds, granting us very limited vision.

It was a strange whether day to put it plainly.

The numerous gendarmes on the Needle were awesome.

Mike checking out the the whether.

The whether gave the Needle a crazy feeling.

The famous conglomerate rock on the Needle is exactly as good as it's said to be.

The gully climbing on the Conglomerate rock was fun.

We would have climbed the east gully if we had more visibility. But with the whether how it was we figured it best to cross over to the west gully.

Ridge from East to West gully.

The ridge to cross from east to west was steeper than the rest of the gully, but was very manageable.

Mike climbing the ridge.

After climbing in the west ridge for a bit, we found ourselves in an open area just below the summit.

The final area towards the summit.

As we worked our way towards the summit it seemed like winter was approaching.

"Snow Crystals" at the top.

Sadly with the cloud's surrounding us there was no visibility from the summit. It was fun so I'd love to climb it again, and hopefully get a view next time.

Not the best summit shot ever. Me and Mike on the Needle's summit.

Great weekend! I can't say enough good things about the Crestone group.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice Report
09/12/2011 13:40
I was with the other group on the Needle that day. Just curious, were the surveyor flags there when you guys descended? We didnt place them there, but found it odd that they had disappeared in the 2 hours since we went to the top.

Way to go, you guys had one hell of a Saturday


Do Work.
09/13/2011 18:48
You guys put in some work up there, nice. Nice TR as well


that is a big day...
09/14/2011 05:22
thanks for the report... did the sheep actually just stand their ground? or did they come at you? I know they can be very protective of their young

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2017®, 14ers Inc.