Great climb. Quick from South Colony lake. Not as bad as it looks.
A fun climb, took about 3 hours to get from camp to the summit. Conditions were perfect and the couloir was in good shape. The trip would have been better it if weren't for the horrible approach. The 6 miles to camp sucked ass and it was even worse the next day after climbing. A 4x4 is HIGHLY suggested so you don't have to kill yourself on the approach.
totally clear day. What a road to get back to the trailhead though. By far the toughest 4x4 road I've been on in the state.
Not only did I reach the summit but I slept on top of it. We got very lost on the descent. It was getting dark and we found ourselves downclimbing 5.2. Our only choice was to go back up and wait for daylight. Coldest night of my life. It was worth it for such a beuatiful Peak. Looking to to the Peak to Needle traverse next time. Any takers?
Check out the full Trip Report.
After our success on Longs the year before, us Kansas boys were ready for another adventure. We backpacked up the entire road, then climbed Humboldt the next day, and then the Needle the following day. In those years the snowpack was much greater than it has been lately; we had a snowbank over the creek below our campsite, and there was only one other climbing party in the valley (those were the days). Unfortunately, we should have had ice axes (which we didn't) to reach the Broken Hand Pass, so we improvised with pointed rocks!!! On the summit the other party arrived twenty minutes after us and started smoking pot! We made it down to the pass before the daily hailstorm and rain broke loose, and while we were donning our raingear, the dopers came down with their plastic ponchos flapping in the rain and wind, and proceded to glissade the steep snow below the pass (no axes either). One slipped, and I thought we were going to watch him crash into the boulders at the bottom, but he was able to right himself. Whew.
Like climbing a ladder. Love that conglomerate!
Awesome climb! It was almost like a pilgrimage for me climbing the mountain that Albert Ellingwood made so much Colorado mountaineering history on. I arrived at the trailhead late in the afternoon and was lucky to get a ride most of the way up in the back of a truck-fun ride! The 4WD roads that I have driven in the San Juans weren’t anything compared to this one! I made it to the lakes just as night was falling. The climb was great. There was some ice in the Couloir, but could be avoided. The class 3 and 4 climbing on the knobby rock was a real treat. Once at the summit, I climbed down to the traverse rappel anchor just for a little more fun. It must have been quite exposed as no one else would climb all the way down to it. On the way down, I took the time to climb down to the top edge of the Ellingwood Arête and look down. This day I climbed / hiked all the way from the Needle to the plains, neat experience.
Hiked up to Cottonwood lakes, a much prettier (though a bit tougher) approach than the South Colony lakes approach. It was my girlfriend's first 14er, and she had no trouble with the class 3 stuff.
A very fun climb, with beautiful views, I highly recommend it.
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.
Solo free climbed the arete. It is a great climb with spectacular views.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
A good route on an exciting mountain. Climbed Crestone Peak first, Needle second, then reviewed these summits from the vantage point of Humboldt Peak.
Long 3rd class section but very little exposure. Fun scrambling.
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.