Peak(s):  Crestone Peak  -  14,294 feet
East Crestone Peak - 14,260 feet
Humboldt Peak  -  14,064 feet
Date Posted:  08/02/2009
Modified:  08/03/2009
Date Climbed:   08/01/2009
Author:  JasonF
 Long Day at South Colony Lakes  

Arrived at the lower 4WD parking area around 5PM on Friday July 31, courtesy of avs88fan (Adam B). The rain storm and clouds that we'd driven through 1/2 way up the road thankfully blew past so I went on ahead and climbed Humboldt while the rest of the crew (Mike, Dave Alex and Adam) set up camp. Thanks again to Dave who retrieved my large pack from the junction to the Needle. Took about 30 minutes to sort out my daypack/fill water bottles at the junction before continuing the ascent of humble Humboldt, summitting at 7:45. Only stayed 15 minutes as it was extremely windy (gusts up to approx 35 mi/hour) on the ridge. Got back to camp at 9:30, set up my tent, ate some food and was sort of asleep by 10:30.

Alarm went off at 3:30 Sat morning - burrr, cold!! Got up and shook out gear, filled water bottles and headed up to BH pass. Mike had rolled his ankle hiking up to camp and ended up having to bail on the hike. Not a bad deal as he was able to ice his ankle in the lake!!

REst of the trip went fairly smoothly for Adam and I although it was a long day. Due to the rain the previous day the rock in the red gulley was extremely wet and slippery, including verglas - not something I was extremely happy about seeing or climbing on. That and the almost river of running water from the 1/2 way point to the base of the gulley was somewhat disheartening. We had a fair amount of rockfall as well. It was to the point that I walked away from this peak feeling like I had a better experience on Little Bear three weeks ago.

All this made for a slow going journey although I did bag East Crestone Peak to pick up the Custer County highpoint.

The views were amazing. Given the arduous nature of the Peak we bailed out on our attempt on the Needle, having made it to just below the gulley switchover. It was the first time either of us had bailed out on a peak but it was the right decision. With Mike's bum ankle it was clear that we needed to head home rather than spend another night at altitude. Got back to the camp at 3:15 and were back to the car by 5PM, followed by a long drive home. Glad to sleep in my own bed last night!!

Peak & Needle from Humboldt

Sunrise over Wet Mtn valley from BH Pass

Kit Carson from Peak summit

East Crestone Peak from its taller brother

Crestone Peak from East Crestone Peak summit

Upper view of red gulley

Lower view of red gulley

Big horn sheep couple

Jason in front of red gulley

Cottonwood Lake from BH Pass

Broken Hand Pass east face

Crestone Needle east face - we'll be back!!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Jon Krecker

08/03/2009 23:42
Hi Jason F. Congratulations are the scaling the Crestones. I remember climbing Little Bear with you Chris & Darrin on July 13.
I am hoping to climb both the Crestones sometime this month.
Jon Krecker

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