Peak(s):  Crestone Needle  -  14,197 feet
Broken Hand Pk  -  13,573 feet
Date Posted:  07/24/2014
Date Climbed:   07/20/2014
Author:  jbchalk
 The Ellingwood Arete  

I was fortunate enough to finally climb the classic Ellingwood Arete on the Needle - a route I had long wanted to do. It was a wonderful climb and one of the best routes I have done on a Colorado 14er. If you check it out, I hope you enjoy the text and pics.

The Ellingwood Arete

Thanks for reading,










Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

 Comments or Questions

07/24/2014 22:55
Wow, J. An amazing read and your pictures are just stunning. This one is on my list for the summer. For whatever reason, I didn't think the rock would be that juggy and knobby. Even despite the crux rating, it looks fairly bomb for holds.
I'm assuming you kept with smaller pieces (pro)?

And to polish off the day with BHP. You guys definitely know how to hit it good!


07/24/2014 23:01
...and timely for me. I had just finished fantasizing about the Arete in my much tamer Humboldt report. I think I'll swipe some of these pictures and say I climbed it! Great photos.


Nice one, Brandon!
07/25/2014 00:19
Great pix and awesome TR of a fabulous ascent.

My Dad and his buddy did the Ellingwood around 1970 and they still talk about it today. Gerlinde and I climbed that route a couple of years ago too - did you happen to see a marmot with one of her trail shoes in its mouth?


awesome, brandon!
07/25/2014 02:49
You're cruising through some fun routes this summer. I take it the tendons are all better? Great information - super helpful pics and thoughts. Congrats to K on the little climbing Chalk en route, by the way!


07/25/2014 03:56
Your photo titled ”Me belaying Steve up the final 5.7 pitch with a beautiful backdrop to the north.”

I spent the night on that ledge. My second 14er ever (Humboldt the day before was #1). Slow day, 3 people climbing... cold, but gorgeous. Would love to return and you TR was an awesome reminder of a mini epic for me.


Fantastic, Brandon!
07/25/2014 14:49
I think that says it all... (and your writing skills are improving - is Kristine giving you lessons? )


Your pictures are better than mine...
07/25/2014 16:50
The pictures you posted are very well done, I was in the group directly behind you guys and my shots did not come out nearly as good. I did manage to free that stopper if you would like it and the carabiner back I would be happy to mail them to you. Congratulation again!


Many thanks, everyone...
07/25/2014 17:08
Kiefer - thanks for the comment, man. It definitely should be on your summer hit list. In terms of the rock and holds, the rock is bomber. Its definitely some of the best scrambling and technical climbing I've done on a 14er and one thing you don't have to worry about is the rock crumbling beneath your holds, etc, like you would on say Lizard Head or other. The 1,500' of high quality scrambling and the upper two pitches make this route what it is for sure. As far as pro, a standard alpine rack up to a #3 or #4 (I had doubles in the #.5 to #2 range) and a set of nuts was more than sufficient. The 5.9 crack eats up gear and the #3 & #4 were helpful on the upper section of that pitch. You could probably slim the rack down if you did the 5.6 standard arcing crack.

Lville - That's a great view of the Stones from Humboldt, eh?

Natalie - Don't mean to make you jealous, but you need to go climb this.

Matt - Love the story about your pop. Congrats to you & Gerlinde on your climb of the Arete as well! I did see a marmot at the base of the 5.7 final pitch and he looked dark colored, old, and wise. No shoe, though

Ryan - Yes, bud, tendons are worlds better. Almost back to normal now. Climbing a lot again and it feels good. Hope to see you soon. Thanks for the congrats on little lady Chalk.

Theodore - That must have been some night up on that ledge. Your 2nd 14er? Wow. Well, I hate to say it, but its probably all downhill after that experience in terms of the rest of the 14ers.

Jay - Yes, a lesson a day keeps the numbers guy in me at bay. Hope you are well!

Ktrainor - Great to hear from you! Sorry we never exchanged names. Honestly, I would love that nut and biner if that's ok. I will pm you my mailing address. Congrats to you guys on your climb!


Brings me back
07/25/2014 19:31
Thanks for sharing the brings me back to why I love doing this route. Such a classic.

Natalie - I would gladly do this route with you!


Nice Work Bro!
07/27/2014 18:31
I'm a few days late to this one, but awesome work buddy. This line is so classic - I'm jealous to get on it soon. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks, fellas...
07/28/2014 15:35
Gruff - Indeed a classic. Loved you and Natalie's Blitzen blitzkrieg.

Zambo - Thanks, man. Hope you are great!


Awesome Report
07/29/2014 16:44
Definitely one of the best TR's I've read on the Arete. Like most people on here, this is on my Have to Do list. Thanks for the great report and keep up the great climbing!


Very Nice!!
07/30/2014 17:20
Thanks for posting. I want to do this!


08/03/2014 15:05
Forbins - Thanks for the comment. Bump this up on your Have To Do List no doubt.

Aardvark - Thanks. Like your avatar.


04/02/2015 19:45
Super jealous! This is so high on my list now! Nice weather day too


Great write–up!
09/14/2015 16:52
Gruff and I had an awesome day on Ellingwood Arete yesterday. It was Gruff’s 3rd time on the route, and my first, but 4th time on Needle. Our experience was pretty similar to yours, we were a bit surprised with the amount of choss on the 2nd pitch and were happy nobody was climbing below us. So happy to check out this classic finally. The upper 2 pitches are definitely the money and the scrambling leading to them was exhilarating.


Yes, Natalie!
09/14/2015 17:23
Well done. That’s awesome. A superb route for sure. I thought some of the upper scrambling was worth the route in itself. Glad you guys had a great day on it. Got back in the Gore on Saturday and had a nice time on Peak C’s NW ridge and C prime’s north ridge with my buddy J. Love this weather!

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