Peak(s):  Crestone Peak  -  14,294 feet
Date Posted:  08/23/2013
Date Climbed:   08/08/2013
Author:  cftbq
 Days 3 & 4: Crestone Traverse Aborted  

Crew: cftbq, broncotw, James Jennings

Day 3 (Wednesday): We took James' SUV to the new, "improved" South Colony Lakes TH, arriving some time in the morning. (Think I both checked my watch, and managed to remember it? Think again...) We headed up the road/trail with full gear, and the "afternoon" rain was already settling in.
Somewhere around 11 am, we arrived at the Broken Hand Pass turnoff.

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Oh, yes: All the date/time stamps on my photos are 12 hours too early. We set up camp a few dozen yards away,

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and prepared to wait out the rest of the day's rain. Rain it did. All idle thoughts which had been entertained on the way up of making a quick jaunt up Humboldt, or even Broken Hand Peak, were finally dashed. We dozed, filtered water, bemoaned our fate, made some dinner, and went to sleep really, really early.
Long before sunrise, we got up to admire the few stars visible through the already-abundant clouds,tossed down some quick breakfast (consisting, for me, mostly of coffee...), and headed up toward the pass. The sun rose before we got there.

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But we got there, still feeling energetic. We admired "Crestolita"

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and started down to the lake. Then it was up the Red Gully.

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We were in pea soup by the time we summitted.

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Obviously, the traverse was looking too dangerous to attempt. We consoled ourselves with a quick dash up East Crestone. Then it was back down the gully.

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A few peeks of sunshine teased us on the way down, and some goats made fun of our lack of rock negotiating skills.

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Shortly after we exited the gully, the rain began. It wasn't too bad at first, but it wasn't a passing shower. We were drenched long before we made it back over the pass. Needless to say, it was slow, uncomfortable going. And our reward at the end of it was a soggy camp which we had to pack up in the still-continuing rain. But pack it up we did, and slogged down the trail to the TH. Late in the afternoon, under continuing leaden skies (but with the rain, at least, finally ended), we were finally able to unload our backs and get off our feet for the short but rough drive to the lower TH.
It had been an interesting four days in the Sangres. We certainly didn't accomplish everything we had set out hoping to, but we had enjoyed some great hiking and climbing, and some great views. Mucho thanks to my two climbing partners for a great foray into Colorado's mountains.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
jam6880

still better than
08/24/2013 03:28
a week at work
a week in Texas
you know where I'm headed with this.


cftbq

much better
08/24/2013 13:28
jam6880: Yes; lots better. I didn't mean to sound too negative with all my moaning about the weather. I came back from this trip with so much more energy and enthusiasm for my more mundane tasks that I could hardly believe it myself.


broncotw

Thanks....
08/25/2013 03:17
Hey you forgot to mention the 45 minute hail storm and 1.5 hours of snow we encountered on the way down.... What a fun trip!!! Thanks for the TR and awesome photos....



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