Peak(s):  Crestone Needle  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  07/25/2006
Date Climbed:   07/16/2006
Author:  chrisjferraro
 Needle South Couloirs  

On Sunday morning we left camp at 5:30 am and headed for the Needle. The trip up broken hand pass was once again not too bad (see Crestone peak trip repor) and from the pass we followed Bill's route. There is a good trail, and the entrance to the east couloir is easy to find. The climb up to couloir wasn't too difficult, there were some cairns here and there but we just pretty much climbed up. After about 300' you want to switch couloirs, as described in the route. You want to climb the rib just before the left part of the gully (where the water is) cuts down into a sharp triangle (dihedral). There is some green webbing tied around a chunk of rock sticking up at the top of the rib (repel anchor). I had heard of this webbing, but didn't realize it was way up on top of the rib. We actually located it by climbing a little too far up the couloir. I turned and looked down the couloir at my partner, and immediately saw the webbing on top of the rib. From here descended back down the couloir and ascended the rib. The rib was the most difficult climbing (I thought) but it sill wasn't bad. We went across the rib and into the west couloir. A hundred or so feet up the west couloir it splits, we went left up to the ridge. We found this climbing to be relatively easy on a series of small, very solid ledges. From the top of the couloir we followed the ridge up to the summit. We hung out for about a hour at the summit taking in the awesome views and snapping some pictures. The summit was incredible! We descended the same route and made it back to camp no sweat.

This was a really fun, solid climb that I found to be very reasonable difficulty wise and very fun. A great trip in the Crestones, I will definitely be back (traverse next time).

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