Peak(s):  Crestone Peak  -  14,294 feet
Date Posted:  07/25/2006
Date Climbed:   07/15/2006
Author:  chrisjferraro

 Crestone Peak Red Couloir  

We easily drove a 01 Pathfinder to about 10,000 feet approximately 3 miles up South Colony Lakes road on Friday night. We backpacked from there to a nice little camping spot below lower South Colony Lake. The next morning we left camp by 5am and headed up Broken Hand Pass. The ascent of the pass wasn't too bad, with some loose rock starting ˝ way up and some mild climbing near the top. From the pass, we descended to Cottonwood Lake, around the base of the Needle, and followed Bill's route to the red couloir. Once in the couloir, the route is very straight forward. We just climbed up, the exact route didn't seem too important, just go where looks best. The couloir defiantly isn't loose, but I found it to contain some loose rock (more than the needle)… this wasn't very significant, I just wanted to make a note of it. We continued up the couloir, and from the top we traversed left to the summit of the peak. The weather looked pretty good, but we only hung out for a few minutes because we were planning to climb the needle from Broken Hand Pass on the way back and we hadn't made great time. We left the summit and headed back to Broken Hand Pass without anything notable happening. From the pass, the weather didn't look so great, and since I met a guy on Quandry who had a story about almost dying in a storm on the Needle, I decided not to risk it. We decided to do the Needle the next day and headed down. Something to note: Broken Hand pass seemed way crappier on the way down, not terrible but not fun either.

The weather ended up clearing up nicely, and later that evening I climbed Humbolt.

Times: 2:30 to camp
3:15 up
3:15 down


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