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!
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.