Peak(s):  Broken Hand Pk  -  13,573 feet
Date Posted:  07/01/2016
Date Climbed:   06/29/2016
Author:  Mtnman200
 Broken Hand Peak from South Colony Lakes  

My dad and I had Broken Hand Peak on our radar in 1998, at least in part because it has such a cool name, but we weren't able to work it into our climbing trip at the time. Eighteen years later, I decided it was time for an attempt on Broken Hand Peak.

Tuesday, June 28
To improve my odds of staying ahead of the afternoon rain, I backpacked to Lower South Colony Lake and chose a site about 15 feet from the start of the trail to Broken Hand Pass. There were six areas where the South Colony Lakes trail crossed short sections of snow ranging in length from a half dozen feet to 100 feet, so I knew to expect snow on the way to Broken Hand Pass tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 29
Lots of people were camped near me, so when I got up I expected to see bobbing headlamps on the way up the trail. Instead, nothing. Isn't anyone climbing Crestone Needle or Crestone Peak today??

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On the trail to Broken Hand Pass


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Looking down at Lower South Colony Lake (taken from the same location as the previous photo)


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Crestone Needle from about halfway to Broken Hand Pass


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On the trail about halfway to Broken Hand Pass


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There's still a lot of snow as you get closer to Broken Hand Pass


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Almost to Broken Hand Pass. It was helpful to have microspikes


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These difficulties on the ridge between Broken Hand Pass and Broken Hand Peak can be bypassed by dropping about 150' and traversing


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Once past the ridge difficulties, it's a straightforward climb back to the ridge


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I climbed back to the ridge a little too soon and ended up climbing over this point. I went around it on the way down


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Crestolita (Unnamed 13,270') looked fierce enough that I decided to leave it for another day


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The final approach to the summit of Broken Hand Peak is smooth sailing


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Crestone Needle from the summit of Broken Hand Peak


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Crestolita (Unnamed 13,270') from the summit of Broken Hand Peak


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On the descent, aim at Cottonwood Lake until you can traverse beneath the ridge difficulties back to the trail


As I descended from Broken Hand Pass, I ran into a couple of people who were on their way to Crestone Needle. Those were the only climbers I saw all day. Broken Hand Peak was a fun climb, and I wish I hadn't put it off for so long.



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