Peak(s):  Crestone Peak  -  14,294 feet
Crestone Needle  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  08/06/2012
Modified:  08/07/2012
Date Climbed:   08/04/2012
Author:  djkest
Additional Members:   Jerousek, Chaos Penumbra
 The Crestone Experience (Peak to Needle)  

When first I set eyes upon the majesty of Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle (July 2011), I was filled with emotion. Feelings of fear, feelings of awe, feelings of inadequacy. Wondering how such a thing could be safely climbed, and knowing that the path I was on would intersect with these very peaks in the future. These monoliths stand proud in the Sangre De Cristo mountains, causing thousands to dream, to wonder, to explore, to climb. Climbing these mountains has been done so many times and for so long- it's not a complete mystery. The route has been documented, examined, explained, and photographed. And yet, none of these things can totally prepare you for the journey to the summit- your own experience is still required.

And here I was, a year later, about to make a serious attempt on these same peaks after gaining some experience.

The Crestones as seen from Humboldt Peak; July 2011

skip the shennanigans and check out the blog with these links

Part I, the approach and Crestone Peak

Part II, the traverse and Needle descent

Three climbers with three cameras. Over 300 pictures taken, over 70 published on the blog. Hopefully my gully panorama will finally answer the question- where do I cross over?


MORE WILDLIFE!!!! (hopefully the bow hunter didn't kill her)

FLOWERS! (over 13,500' on Crestone needle)

Crestone Peak from East Crestone

East to South Panorama from Crestone Peak

Spider Matt

Spider Scott??

Spider Dan????

Chillin' Photo 1:

Chillin' Photo 2: (East Crestone is a cool place to hang out)

Chillin' with a boulder:

Summit Photo on Crestone Needle

**Oops, looks like my links were broken. I fixed them.

Part I, the approach and Crestone Peak

Part II, the traverse and Needle descent

Thanks to my great partners for the support and enthusiam, and to God for the fantastic weather and safe passage! This really is a Classic traverse in Colorado.

 Comments or Questions

Thanks for the beta
08/06/2012 22:45
Going to be headed down there in a few weeks to wrap up the great traverses, thanks for sharing your shots. And kudos for doing the whole thing in boots! Thinking I'll be grabbing the approach shoes for this one.

Any other insight on the final pitch up? That too has occupied my dreams for the past while...


Insight on the final wall
08/07/2012 23:13
I don't know what to say other than what I put in my blog. I think it was different than I was expecting. It's not that long, don't overthink it, and find secure, stable positions to work from and you'll be fine. If you feel like you can't go up, you might work to the left or right a little. It seemed like it was over very quickly for me. I'd say the climbing to get to this point helps prepare you as well. Oh, and don't look down to your left while you are climbing.


Awesome report!
08/17/2012 21:24
As always great report, so detailed with great photos. We are headed to do Crestone Pk and Humbolt this next weekend. I think I'll pass on the traverse though. It looks so intense. Congrats on conquering the needle via the traverse. Thats amazing!

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