Peak(s):  Crestone Needle  -  14,197 feet
Broken Hand Pk  -  13,573 feet
Date Posted:  08/20/2010
Date Climbed:   08/14/2010
Author:  JasonF
 Threading the Needle with a Broken Hand for Good Measure  

Party: Adam (avs88fan) & Jason

Time Info - Friday August 13
Leave TH (new 4WD parking lot): 5:15 PM
Arrive at campsite (0.25 mile below lakes): 7:30 PM

Time Info - Saturday August 14
Start for Needle: 5:00 AM
Reach Broken Hand Pass (BHP): 6:00 AM
Summit Crestone Needle: 8:00 AM
Leave summit: 8:15 AM
Return to BHP: 10:30 AM
Summit Broken Hand Peak/return back to BHP: approx 1.5 hours
Back to camp: 1:00 PM
Back to car: 3:45 PM

The awe-inspiring wonder illustrated by the venerable Gerry Roach in his trusty guidebook now requires an extra three miles of 4WD road hiking - a small price to pay for a "summit of distinguished beauty". Adam and I made an unsuccessful attempt on the Needle last year . It has been a long year waiting for the return to the Crestone conglomerate. The Needle did not disappoint us. In fact, we both felt like (on this particular day) the hardest part of the hike surrounded the east side of Broken Hand Pass (of course the 4.5 mile mini death march back to the car was not extremely enjoyable either). The weather was ideal for my closer of the 14ers in the Sange de Cristo range. During my time in the Sangres I have found a deeper understanding that mountains have the tendency to humble us. What started out as a rather aggressive goal to complete all ten of 14ers in the Sangre range in summer of 2008 now comes to fruition after three (3) hiking seasons. I have no complaints - my quest for these peaks has brought two great hiking partners into my path, along with countless memories which will forever be etched into the old noggin.

In true Gerry Roach style I'm keeping the details on this trip short - in fact it appears that I'm already out of thread. I'll let a few pics do the talking but just know that this peak (and all the surrounding terrain) is far more heart warming than what can be conveyed on the front cover of a certain guidebook or on this website. Go out and experience it for yourself - just be safe!!


View of The Needle on the approach hike into South Colony Lakes

Getting closer

Closer still

Keep going

If he could talk right now he'd be saying "Hey buddy - welcome to Broken Hand Pass; you're almost there - sort of !"

Um - watch your step.

Looking down on whence I just was - are we having fun yet??

Somewhere near the top, looking south with a view of the Blanca 14er Group and the Great Sand Dunes National Park

Now where's my free sandwich !!

Obligatory hero shot of Adam and I with Crestone Peak behind us; Kit Carson in the background to the right

Yo - where's the escalator?

View south of Broken Hand Peak which we summited a little later in the day

Mom - please sit down before you look at this one

Won't these gullies ever end?

Cool shot of Humboldt Peak which I summitted last year. RIP David & Long Live the Talus Monkey!!

Shot of the Needle on our way to Broken Hand Peak - the red line sort of shows the route but don't hold me to it - it's more for the flatlanders to see the big picture!!

And if battling the peak wasn't hard enough you have to mix it up with the local climbers to get your tent packed up!!

Y'all come back now!!

Taking time to admire my favorite flower and give it a little shade so it will last a little longer

No idea what this is - where's that greenhouse guy when you need him ?

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

 Comments or Questions

08/20/2010 19:00
for sharing that first picture of me. I look kind of fat!!! Great report


Nice Goats
08/20/2010 19:25
That must have been cool to come back to camp to that. I hope you didn't leave any food in your tent, or pee anywhere near it.


08/21/2010 13:06
That is one scraggly looking goat!


thanks for the comments
08/22/2010 21:45
adam - don't worry, the camera always adds 20 pounds
chris - it was actually somebody else's tent site; there were actually 8-10 goats in the tent site when I took the pics
del_sur - side trip to BH peak was fun; best part was a little class 4 move over the rib right near the trail to save the downclimb


08/22/2010 22:37
The last photo is larkspur.

Nice climb! I love the goats!


Solid TR
01/19/2011 03:38
Thanks for a TR that puts the mountains in the spotlight for a change and recognizes the wisdom in "a picture's worth a thousand words."
Sometimes, less is more.
How was the side trip to Broken Hand Peak?
Congrats on a successful day.

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