Peak(s):  Crestone Needle  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  10/28/2007
Date Climbed:   10/27/2007
Author:  Barrett Cooper
 Crestone Needle  

Wanted to give a quick report on our trip up Crestone Needle this weekend.
John and my day started early, leaving Colorado Springs at 4 we made it to the upper trailhead at 630am.

South Colony lake road was no problem for my Xterra. There were a couple icy spots and a bunch of mud, but nothing that made it bad to drive up. We had thought we would have problems but the road is actually not as bad as the last time I went up it 3 years ago. Looks like it was improved in the rough spots.

From the upper trailhead we got lucky and had a full moon positioned right over the Needle. Good for hiking and it was a very nice surprise in how it was positioned for pictures.

Up to the lakes was pretty clear of snow, but by the time we reached the lakes it was starting to be a lot more prevelent, and when we started up to broken hand pass the snow could not be avoided.

From the lake to the pass was actually the hardest part of the day. Lots of loose rocks hiding under the snow whcih wasn‘t deep enough to make snowshoes or crampons something we could use. In summary, lots of snow but not enough to cover the loose stuff.

From the pass to the east gully it was clear as it gets a lot of sunshine there. Going into the gullies we thought we were in trouble, but as it turned out we still had a lot of room on solid rock that we could use to circumvent any ice or snow that had accumulated.

The summit was clear and gave us stellar views of the Peak, Kit Carson and Humbolt
John on the summit ridge:

Crestone Peak

Kit Carson


Going down it was just as easy to avoid the snow and still remain in class 3 climbing. We however elected to strap on some crampons and descend straight down the snow as it was easier and more fun.

Trip summary:
The road and most of the route is still clear of any technical snow or ice.
7 miles from where we parked
8 hours round trip
2:30 for the drive to the upper trailhead from Colorado Springs

Overall a great day and we could not have asked for better weather. We felt lucky to snag this wonderful peak this late in the year and still have such nice conditions.

Have fun climbing

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

08/28/2008 00:37
Very nice pics with the moon in them! Especially the first one....worthy of putting on the wall


in vidid color
11/10/2007 19:22
I agree about those beautiful and vividly colorful pics! The Needle is still my favorite climb after 26 peaks. N. Maroon is a close second.


NICE PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
06/03/2009 21:12
I like the Pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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