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Challenger Point Climber's Log

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belexesWillow Lake  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 24, 2010


Meetup.com trip. We backpacked in from below Willow Creek Trailhead and camped at Willow Lake on Jul 23. The mosquitoes were voracious. We left camp the next morning a little after 5AM, climbed up the talus slope to Challenger Point, arrived there around 8AM. Our leader did not want to bring his dogs up Kit Carson, so he headed down to camp. We continued on to the saddle, then followed Kit Carson Avenue to the gully that took us to the top. We hung out for a little while (it was windy, and there was a lot cloud cover, so there wasn't much to see) then returned to camp the way we came. One of the hikers had trouble with leg cramps, so it took him a lot longer to get back to camp. We spent one more night at Willow Lake, then hiked back down and returned to Denver on July 25. This was my first time in the Sangres.
Posted Jul 25, 2010 5:59 pm

Alex WoodTwofer  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 8, 2010

Alex Wood

Had planned on hiking up to Willow Lake the night before, but we ran out of time. We had read a trip report on 14'ers saying that there was lots of mosquitos, and they were definitely right. Right out of the car at the trailhead, we got attacked by HUNDREDS! We slept at the trailhead and started at 4:45am the next morning. We made it up to Willow Lake by 7:20am with no mosquitos! Got up to Challenger Pt at 11:00am. Got to Kit Carson at 12:15pm. Got back down to Willow Lake around 2:45pm and then got back to the cars at 5pm. Long day, but the views were out of this world. Willow Lake is amazing! Love the area, but the mosquitos sucked on the way back. 14'er number 16 and 17
Posted Jul 9, 2010 9:35 pm

theREALCarpeDMS Colony Lakes approach  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 11, 2009


Missed out on Challenger Pt on this day since I had given blood a couple of days prior.
Posted Apr 8, 2010 6:17 pm

shknbkeSouth face winter ascent  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jan 17, 2010


Climbed the south face in winter from our camp at treeline in the Spanish Creek drainage. We tried to traverse across the avenue to Challenger, but it would have taken too long to belay everyone across safely with the amount of time we had left. Amazing scenery in Spanish Creek, but the deadfall is annoying!
Posted Jan 20, 2010 4:25 pm

bryangastFoggy day  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 1, 2000


Fog on the summit. Did challenger point as well but it's not really a peak.
Posted Jan 7, 2010 10:27 pm

seanoNorth ridge from Crestone  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 5, 2009


Long approach, but nice route! Great views of the Crestones with a fresh dusting of snow.
Posted Sep 7, 2009 9:32 am

pyergernorth ridge  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 23, 2009


awesome climb! one of the best in colorado
Posted Aug 25, 2009 1:29 pm

strudolyubovKit Carson/Challenger combo via Willow Creek  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 8, 2009


Climbed Challenger point (second summit since 2002) together with Kit Carson starting from Willow Creek TH at 4:30am. After climbing Kit Carson, returned over Challenger and was back at the car at 2:45pm. A great day in Sangres!

08/12/2011: Climbed Kit Carson Peak via North Ridge route. Traversed to Columbia Point and returned over Challenger summit. 11 hours car-to-car. Fun scrambling, nice weather, great views!
Posted Aug 8, 2009 11:14 pm

myroneKit Carson via Upper S. Colony Lakes TH  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 25, 2009


4th attempt at this peak...started up at 4:50AM and reached summit at 10:52AM via Columbia Pk.("Kat Carson") Then back over Columbia on return route...made for a long day but met some good people and the weather was OK until the rain & hail the last mile back to TH. Finally succeeded;my 44th 14'er.........sweet!!
Posted Jul 30, 2009 11:56 am

mattpayne11Standard Route  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 25, 2009


Backpacked to Willow Lake and climbied via Challenger Point.
Posted Jul 28, 2009 1:21 am

TahawusKit Carson Peak - Challenger Point  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 15, 2009


Climbed via the Willow Lake Approach from Crestone. A wonderful introduction to both the Sangre de Cristos and the Rocky Mountains. The long, steep scramble up Challenger Point's North slopes was exhausting but the view was well worth it. The traverse over to Kit Carson was equally exciting and the solitude quite unexpected.
Posted Jul 24, 2009 6:38 pm

Bkoziol3Challenger Point  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 11, 2009


First 14er and first glissade coming down standard route of Challenger Point. Started out from Willow Lake at 4:30AM on a picture perfect day. Not too much snow left on the Avenue to KC according to my friends who went over while I relaxed on Challenger. The view of the Valley really makes you feel up there. Cannot wait to get back to Colorado to do my next 14er!
Posted Jul 14, 2009 8:37 pm

Liba Kopeckovafrom Willow lake  Sucess!

Liba Kopeckova

Got in hail/rain/snow, but still had a great time. Willow lake is a beautiful place, great for backpacking.
Posted Jul 10, 2009 8:52 am

KieferVia OB Couloir  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Apr 26, 2009


Poor snow in the morning but got better as the day progressed.
Was with 5 others in my group and ran into Tim Mahon and Christy on the climb! A sweet day!
Posted Apr 27, 2009 1:24 am

ClearSkiesAheadLoooong Day  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 9, 2008


Started from the car at about 3:30am and did the whole trip in a single day. I would say one of the longest I have ever done. I almost wish I had planned to camp at the lake after I saw that waterfall. Absolutely amazing! I also think I may have exited the avenue a little early on Kit Carson, but it worked out. I made it back to the trailhead around 5:00pm.
Posted Jan 23, 2009 5:40 pm

SarahThompsonSummer/ Fall / Winter x2  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 29, 2004


8/29/04 - Climbed Kit Carson Mountain and Challenger Point in a day via the standard route from Willow Lake. Epic 19 hours with a sloooow partner.

1/17/10 - Winter climb of Kit Carson Mountain. Spanish Creek approach, climb of south face. Beautiful area!!!

1/8/11 - Winter ascent of Challenger Point. Backpacked to Willow Lake and climbed north face. Standard route was buried under steep, avy prone snow slopes so we climbed a more difficult but much safer line up a rib further east. Descended the northwest ridge (which we had largely explored the previous day after packing in). Challenger is quite the challenge in winter, seemed tougher than Kit Carson.

12/8/12 - Up Challenger's SW Ridge, traverse to Kit Carson, down Kit Carson's South Couloir. Awesome loop!!!

2/2/13 - Up Kit Carson's South Couloir and South Face to top of Kit Carson, traverse Kit Carson Avenue to Challenger, traverse back across Avenue and descend Kit Carson's South Couloir. Peaks were caked in amazing hoar frost. Incredible day in the hills.
Posted Jan 7, 2009 11:00 am

srclimb1Challenger Peak  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 7, 2008


1st 14er back in CO 5 days from New Orleans,#16.Beautiful approach...Loved the meadow. Willow Lake is worth the hike in. I actually camped at the lake. Morning of summit was cloudy and very misty. At the notch on the ridge the wind was blowing about 70mph. It was basically pouring rain on the ridge. Great hike up steep scree and soaking wet & cold, but wouldnt have been anywhere else!
Posted Oct 14, 2008 11:27 am

RMdaytripsgrlWillow Lake TH  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 18, 2008


2nd attempt, good weather this day. A beautiful area. Animals everywhere. Std route. Couloirs are all ice...no glissades here! Might have to go back and try the N ridge someday.
Posted Sep 19, 2008 3:13 pm

Mots010via Challenger  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 24, 2008


Couldnt find a partner for north ridge, so settled for standard route. Love Willow Lake.
Posted Aug 31, 2008 8:49 pm

GeorgeJamesNorth Ridge  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 24, 2008


All accounts of this route were proven true, it's amazing. I must admit that the high exposure (plus some rockfall early on) made me a little anxious, but the ridge is pretty darn solid, and all in all it was really fun. Traversed across the "avenue" and descended via the Northwest Ridge/Northwest Slopes of Challenger Point. What a great area!
Posted Aug 25, 2008 3:12 pm

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