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Crestone Needle Climber's Log

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jrfRoute Climbed: South Face Date Climbed: August 22, 2004  Sucess!


Wow. What an incredible mountain. Definitely the hardest thing I've done to date. From below the climb looks impossible.

We climbed down in the clouds and the whole experience was kind of spooky.

I'm still trying to believe I actually climbed this thing. At least I have the photo to prove it.
Posted Aug 23, 2004 2:27 pm

travisgoingsRoute Climbed: Ellingwood Arete Date Climbed: August 6, 2004  Sucess!
Solo free climbed the arete. It is a great climb with spectacular views.
Posted Aug 15, 2004 12:59 am

ccoashRoute Climbed: South Face Date Climbed: August 3, 2004  Sucess!


By far one of my most challenging experiences ever. I'd highly recommend finding a 4wd to get up the road to the trailhead....the hike is brutal! What a great mountain.

Posted Aug 10, 2004 1:03 pm

xskier77Route Climbed: South Face Date Climbed: June 26th, 2004  Sucess!


Camped at lower South Colony lake and we were on trail at 5:00am. This climb was quite a bit easier than I was expecting. The trail is very well marked and easy to follow. We reached the summit at 8:00am and it was completely clouded in. A very fun climb and I will have to do it again for a better view.
Posted Jun 27, 2004 2:58 pm

RatballsRoute Climbed: South Couloir from South Colony Lakes 4x4 trailhead. Date Climbed: October 19, 2002  Sucess!


I climbed this one a couple of years ago, up the standard route: South Couloir from South Colony Lakes. I had the South Colony Lakes all to myself: a gift from the mountain gods, if ever there were one. I have a (long-ass) trip-report here.

The Needle has to be one of my all-time favorite climbs: right up there with Holy Cross and Pyramid. I'll be coming back for years to come. Later this year, I'll try the traverse from the Peak; maybe the Ellingwood Arrete next year, after I've gained some more trad-leading experience.
Posted Jun 24, 2004 8:15 pm

sbkelleyRoute Climbed: South Face Date Climbed: August 2002  Sucess!


This has got to be one of the best Forteeners in the state. I've actually climbed it twice (Sept. of 2000 as well), and the scrambling can't be topped - what a cool mountain!
Posted May 12, 2004 2:48 pm

Ryan KowalskiRoute Climbed: Ellingwood Ledges (Arete) Date Climbed: September 5, 2002  Sucess!

Ryan Kowalski

This was my dream climb. 100's of feet of class 3/4/5 scrambling followed by incredible steep cracks that lead one up almost directly to the summit. This highly touted route is not overhyped at all. This is a technical alpine dream...wow I want to go back right now. It was nice for me to set a goal and meet it. Three years ago I had been a timid beginner scared even by steep talus slopes and fast forward to 2002 and I'm leadin up a steep tough pitch. RIP Mr. Ellingwood you brilliant man.
Posted Apr 19, 2004 4:21 pm

RyanSRoute Climbed: South Face Date Climbed: August 27, 2002  Sucess!


Crestone Needle and Humboldt in a day is a grunt! Especially when you start near the 2WD trailhead. Nevertheless, one of my favorite days spent in Colorado's mountains. A trip report is available here.
Posted Apr 12, 2004 12:15 pm

Larry VRoute Climbed: South Face from South Colony Date Climbed: August 1997  Sucess!

Larry V

A good route on an exciting mountain. Climbed Crestone Peak first, Needle second, then reviewed these summits from the vantage point of Humboldt Peak.
Posted Apr 10, 2004 10:05 am

hhsilleckRoute Climbed: South Face Date Climbed: July 2001  Sucess!


Long 3rd class section but very little exposure. Fun scrambling.
Posted Jan 10, 2004 6:59 pm

eckdoerryRoute Climbed: three 14ers Date Climbed: Augest 10, 2001  Sucess!


I climbed all three of the local 14ers this day in one long hard push. Real hardmen can add in Kit Carson too, but, ah well, maybe next time.

Did a wierd variation up a sketchy couloir on the SE face of the Needle, then traversed to Crestone Peak summit --- also sketchy in places; couldn't see the simple ridge route the guide described (need better guide!) -- and then slogged up Humboldt, which is the least interesting in terms of climbing, but a nice relaxing grind to end the day. Started at 530am, got down by 130 to avoid lingering monsoon weather.
Posted Nov 28, 2003 11:47 am

philwortmannRoute Climbed: Ellingwood Ledges(arete) Date Climbed: 2 Aug 03  Sucess!
Off by noon, great day
Posted Aug 30, 2003 10:21 pm

xyatiRoute Climbed: Ellingwood Arete Date Climbed: august 2, 2003  Sucess!


Started at North Colony Lake, pre-dawn start. We were off the summit before noon. Awesome day!
Posted Aug 28, 2003 1:10 pm

big_gRoute Climbed: South Ridge  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 4, 2003


Not enough time to try the traverse the day before but I was not disappointed with the route. It was lots of fun.
Posted Aug 8, 2003 1:37 am

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!


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!


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!


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

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