Peak(s):  Crestone Needle  -  14,197 feet
Humboldt Peak  -  14,064 feet
Date Posted:  09/03/2007
Date Climbed:   09/01/2007
Author:  Steve Bonowski
 Needle & Humboldt--standard routes  

Was pleased to visit these beautiful peaks again this weekend with a CMC group. Weather was perfect for the Needle on Saturday and Humboldt yesterday. Start for the Needle was at 6:05 AM with an uneventful climb to Eye of the Needle Pass. The trail over to the base of the East Couloir is well marked, courtesy of the work done by the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, based in Colorado Springs.

The route up the couloir to the dihedral is class III climbing on sometimes loose rock. Although the col is steep, the level of difficulty sometimes drops to even Class I. The dihedral presents what I consider to be some exposed Class IV work. One drops down on the side, on some chancy holds, to the rock bridge, then more chancy holds getting up to a small platform. Continue up and then enter the West Couloir, which is easier. We were entertained on top by a flyby from 2 F-16s. At least one of the group got a good picture and may upload later. The descent went well, except for some spontaneous rockfall about half way between the pass and tree line. Fortunately, everyone dodged.

Yesterday‘s climb of Humboldt went equally well, under real good skies. The route is a little challenging at times, but never above Class II. Make sure to stay on the ridge, as some other posters recently noted. Humboldt, an easy walkup on its standard route, has a lot of Class III and even IV on its north face. (if this report is too dull, one or more of my group (Mattress Boy, Climber in Heat, Adventure Girl) may post something more entertaining). Steve

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