Peak(s):  Crestone Peak  -  14,294 feet
Date Posted:  07/09/2010
Date Climbed:   07/03/2010
Author:  clemsonmtneer
 Crestone Peak almost summit - thwarted by fog  

Check out my full report with full-sized photos on my new website

Hope I'm not posting this too late for anyone heading down there this weekend. Anyways, my friend Nick and I attempted Crestone Peak in a day last Saturday, before being turned back 500 feet short of the summit due to some nasty fog. We still had a great day, though, that was worthy of a TR. Full report with pictures can be found on my new website (listed above), but I at least wanted to give a preview and summary here.

There was still a little bit of snow on the way up to Broken Hand Pass. We had to cross about four snowfields, the first three of which were short and easy. The last snowfield before the pass involved some climbing, but did have good steps kicked in to it... still an ice ax would be a good idea. If I had to guess, most of the snow before the pass will be gone in the next couple of weeks.

The Red Gully (extended class 3 section up to Crestone Peak) still had a lot of snow melt runoff right down the middle, and an occasional snow patch to maneuver around, but all of it is avoidable. The climb up the gully itself was a lot of fun, on mostly solid rock... it is a longer class 3 stretch than most 14ers though, for anyone who's wondering. I've read that the class 3 scrambling on Crestone Peak is easier than the Needle, but I wouldn't necessarily agree after summiting the Needle last summer... although the nasty fog we encountered may have had something to do with this.

There was a long stretch of snow below the ridgeline near the top of the Red Gully, but visibility was so low we couldn't figure out a way around it, and couldn't see anything above it. We were afraid that if we continued we'd get disoriented and off route pretty quickly, so we decided to turn around. Bummer, but still had a great day and we're planning to head back at the end of the summer to give the Peak-Needle traverse a shot.

I threw a few photos below, but check out my website for a full report and lots of pictures.

Crestone Peak Trip Report

And of course, feel free to PM me for additional beta.






Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Thanks for the report!
07/10/2010 03:53
I posted a similar report last week:

We did not make it to the summit either, due to weather and difficult route finding. Sorry I just read Crestone Needle instead of Crestone Peak Anyway, these Crestones are tricky to get...


Nice report
07/14/2010 01:49
Thanks for the report! I‘m heading out there soon and have read several trail reports from s. colony lakes involving big horn sheep. Do you have any clue what you‘re ”suppose” to do if you run into an aggressive bighorn?


07/15/2010 20:57
UTmike, I wouldn‘t worry too much about the bighorns. I was definitely surprised to encounter an aggressive one, but just make sure you keep your distance, especially if a ram starts giving you angry looks (pretty much a warning for you to back off and give them their space). Otherwise, enjoy these awesome animals from a distance... no reason to be paranoid about them, just use common sense as you would with most wildlife.

Kitten, hope you‘re able to make it back up to the Needle. The Crestones are the type of mountains that are significantly more difficult to summit when the weather is not ideal. But on the bright side, the area is beautiful and the routes are fantastic, so having to return to the area is definitely not a bad thing!

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