Peak(s):  Challenger Point  -  14,081 feet
Date Posted:  06/26/2007
Date Climbed:   06/21/2007
Author:  Judge K

 Willow creek trail  

Flew in from Missouri on Wednesday and drove down to the town of Crestone for the night. We hit the trail at 2:30 Thursday morning. The weather was quite cooperative.
The trail still had numerous trees down along the way, and the water was much higher than the same time last year. Still we were above the lake by 6 a.m. The route finding became a bit more challenging at that point, giving credence to the peak‘s name. Quite a bit of post-holing, mostly ankle or thigh deep. Slow going.
Reached the summit a little after 9:00. We were the second group to summit this year. Ate a bit, and then looked over at Kit Carson Avenue to consider our options.
Ultimately we went down to the notch, strapped on our crampons, pulled out the ice axes, and made our way along the first stretch. The ice was solid and the trek exhilirating. As we turned the corner, however, we were met by deep slush. Crampons and ice axes were useless. We therefore made the gut-wrenching decision to turn around. By the time we had re-summitted Challenger and made it back to the jeep, it had been 13.5 hours. Damn, I‘m getting old.


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