Analemma, the NE Ridge on "Crestolita", is a an enjoyable 1,000' 4th class scramble on the super fun conglomerate rock the Crestone group is known for. The beauty of this line is that it takes one directly to the summit offering great scrambling on solid rock and fantastic and unique views of its neighbors, Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak.
We climbed this route in June 2006 with no prior knowledge of the route. It turned out to be an awesome adventure scramble and a route well worth repeating.
The first objective for climbing this route is getting to Cottonwood Lake. Please refer to the trailhead and approach pages for Cottonwood Lake.
Once you have arrived at Cottonwood Lake around 12,250', hike to the lake's east end. Continue towards Broken Hand Pass for about
50 yards, stop and look up at Crestolita's NE face. The amazing conglomerate rock looms above you. Look for a large roof at the
base of the obivious NE Ridge. This is the start of the route, Analemma.
Start the route by hiking up the grassy slope just left of the large roof and continue onto the relatively smooth slabs above the
large roof. From now on, you'll be enjoying fun scrambling on great rock for 1,000' directly to the summit. Mulitiple options
for scrambling are possible so pick you favorite line along the ridge as you proceed upwards. After a couple hundred feet of
scrambling you'll find yourself at the base of a steep, triangular face. This face is the route's steepest section and is the crux
of the ridge.
Depending on your comfort level, pick a line on this steep-but-featured face and enjoy it! When we climbed this route in June
2006, we sought out the steepest, most "climbing-like" lines and probably pulled a low-fifth-class move or two on this face. It
appeared that one could get into the gully to the right of this face to avoid this steep section but we didn't explore that
As you reach the top of this steep face, the face tapers into a narrow ridge and the views begin to open up as you get higher.
Scramble along the ridge until it peters out at a small notch about 300 feet below the summit. In the notch, move right to gain
the final summit ridge. On the final section to the summit, either stay left for easier scrambling or stay directly on the ridge
for a more airy, but comfortable scramble to the summit.
When you reach the 13,270' summit, turn around and take in the view of the mighty Crestone Needle and Peak. Sign the informal
"peanut butter jar regsiter" and head east to the 3rd class North Couloir route for your descent back down to Cottonwood
Lake and then home.
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"Call on God, but row away from the rocks."