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Crestone Needle Climber's Log

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ctruscotRoute Climbed: class 3 easiest route Date Climbed: July 8, 2003  Sucess!
Found a guide to take me up - what a true pleasure. Fun and exciting even though we took easiest route. This was a way to go if you are like me - i want to do summits but don't care to be a rock climber!
Posted Jul 14, 2003 7:34 pm

Alan EllisRoute Climbed: Ellingwood Ledges/Arete Date Climbed: 07-09-2001  Sucess!

Alan Ellis

It started to hail and rain as we summited. We didn't stay long at the top. It hailed for 15 min...then the hail melted and we descended down the gully through the cascading water. The climb is great....lots of nice holds....lots of exposure. We roped for three pitches...one below the red knob at the bottom and two at the headwall. It was our first tech 14er. The descent is harder than the climb, but it was all great fun!
Posted Jun 5, 2003 8:09 pm

charmsRoute Climbed: South Face Date Climbed: July 19, 2002  Sucess!

charms

I went up to South Colony Lake with a group of 10. We setup a base camp at the upper lake, and three of us immediately headed towards Broken Hand Pass to scope out Crestone Needle. After walking for about 45 minutes at a very quick pace, near the top of the Broken Hand saddle one of our party (we're all flatlanders from Texas) had to turn back because of the pace.



We reached the saddle and began contemplating a late afternoon attempt at the summit. My climbing partner for the afternoon was a meteorologist and after his positive interpretation of the weather, the two of us decided to go for it.



I followed Chris as he had more experience than I had. We somehow got off track too far to the east side of the mountain. We ended up climbing a difficult class 4, (according to my climbing partner) without climbing gear.



We reached the summit after what seemed forever. I'm slightly afraid of heights, so I immediately decided we should start down.



Looking back, it was the most awesome experience in the mountains that I've had.



I had mountain biked and snow skied a lot prior to this climb, but this was my first climb up a 14er. Had I known how vast the real estate was on top of the needle in comparison to the Crestone Peak, the heights really wouldn't have bothered me much.
Posted Jan 16, 2003 6:50 pm

GrantRoute Climbed: Standard Route Date Climbed: Sept. 1991  Sucess!

Grant

This was my first fourteener, and was a lot of fun. Back then I was able to get further up the road in a car than I could this last summer (2002).
Posted Jan 14, 2003 10:57 am

mtnhiker13Route Climbed: Standard Date Climbed: July 20, 2002  Sucess!

mtnhiker13

The conglomerate rock is a pleasure to climb, nary a loose rock. We took a different routes up and down which made the trip very interesting. There were some pretty tricky sections (which were also my favorites) and of course the view from the top was awesome.
Posted Dec 27, 2002 12:12 pm

Matt MahoneyRoute Climbed: Cottonwood - traverse from Peak Date Climbed: Aug. 7, 2002  Sucess!

Matt Mahoney

Climbed with Mike Bur. This was my second time on the summit, and the second time it started hailing right at that minute. We made a hasty descent down the south couloir and got off route on the awful trail back to Cottonwood just as we had done coming up. 14 hours car to car. The final class 4 pitch to the summit was the scariest thing I have ever climbed without a rope.
Posted Sep 13, 2002 5:41 pm

HendereRoute Climbed: South Face Date Climbed: September 9, 2002  Sucess!

Hendere

I camped out by the lakes, and it took me about 7-1/2 hours. The clouds were low, I felt bad, and I got off route quite a bit. The rock was not as solid as I would of liked, I would recommend a helment. The climbing was fun and at the summit, I was treated to a great view of clouds. I will someday return, do the climb in a better mood! Highly recommended climb!
Posted Sep 12, 2002 4:19 pm

Mick LeachRoute Climbed: Ellingwood Arete Date Climbed: 13 July 2002  Sucess!
Wish there was another choice for "Did you reach the summit?" --- Barely :).



Enjoyed a great 21-hour epic (tent to tent) up the Ellingwood Arete. Had the entire mountain to ourselves on a gorgeous Saturday that (fortunately) saw no typical afternoon thunderstorms. Descent is ambiguous at best and downright deceitful at worst. Lots of off-route and poor descent trail choices left us downclimbing and hiking the most treachorous of terrain back to camp in the dark - battered, bruised and dehydrated.



I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
Posted Jul 15, 2002 9:51 am

Matt MahoneyRoute Climbed: Cottonwood creek trail - south face Date Climbed: Aug. 13 2001  Sucess!

Matt Mahoney

Awesome climb. Trail is very rough, got off route and did a lot of steep bouldering even before treeline. At the summit I watched 2 guys come up the class 4 crux of the traverse and tried to downclimb it just to get a look. Right then it started hailing and there was St. Elmo's fire on the summit. I got off route in the descent (very bad) and ended up descending too soon down the middle of a steep, exposed waterfall mixed with ice and with lightning all around. The storm passed down by Cottonwood Lake but I was dead tired from climbing every day for 2 weeks and didn't even think about climbing the Peak. It was 10 hours car to car.
Posted May 17, 2002 10:58 am

jwclimbsRoute Climbed: Peak-to-Needle Traverse Date Climbed: 7.29.01  Sucess!

jwclimbs

As posted in my mountain log book, "Sweet-Ass-Sweet!"

8 hrs. from tent to tent. We camped along a gorgeous section of the South Colony Creek just below lower South Colony Lake. The weather could not have been nicer. My only regret was that I didn't tag Humbolt Pk. while I was there. That's alright though, I'll be back for Ellingwoods Arete anyhow.
Posted Feb 17, 2002 10:30 pm

miztflipRoute Climbed: South Face from South Colony Date Climbed: April ?, 1999  Sucess!

miztflip

This was my second ever alpine ice and snow climb. What a great climb. Crestone Peak and Needle are two of my favorite Colorado climbs.
Posted Aug 8, 2001 2:47 pm

climbcoloradoRoute Climbed: South Face  Sucess!

climbcolorado

This some of the best 3rd class climbing in the state of Colorado! I have climbed this route twice and have learned that good route finding makes it easy. Take your time and look for cairns!
Posted Jul 17, 2001 10:13 am

jratkRoute Climbed: Ellingwood Arete Date Climbed: July 9, 2001  Sucess!

jratk

Of all the 14ers I've climbed, this is definately my favorite. It was my 2nd time to the S. Colony Lakes and it was even more beautiful than I remember. I went with my buddy Sean and former high school teacher Mr. Spengler. We took Sean's K-5 Blazer (a beast of a vehicle) up the rough road (gets worse every time) and then hiked 2 miles to the upper lake. We bivyed and of course it rained. Got up at 3:30 and were climbing by 4. This was Sean and I's first time up but Mr. Spengler's 11th so route finding was very easy. I enjoyed the 3rd and 4th class scrambling up the ledges but the real joy were the last 3 roped pitches. Very solid rock and good protection. We summited the Needle in 6 hours but couldn't continue to the Peak because of weather so were forced to descend the standard route. 4 hours down. Excellent climb, recommended.
Posted Jul 17, 2001 12:01 am

thepluggerRoute Climbed: Classic South Face from Lower South Colony Lake Date Climbed: 08-01-92  Sucess!

theplugger

As mentioned in the overview, this was indeed one of the most fun and my most favorite fourteener! My husband, J, and I camped at Lower S Colony Lake and climbed it the next day. Steep, and enough exposure to be exciting, but great rock that is bombproof.
Posted Jul 16, 2001 6:11 pm

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