Took it fairly easy running most of the way up, got up in almost exactly 2 and a half hours from South Colony Lakes Trailhead. The drive was rough but fine in my Outback. Fun scramble, went up on the right (4th class) and down on the 3rd class (left if you're climbing up). Went on to Crestone Peak and then returned back to the trailhead. 7 hours roundtrip including all the talking and summit sitting time.
Broken Hand pass required micro spikes and an ice axe on this one. The rest was dry as a bone. Stayed in the Class 4 gully both up and down. Fun, solid conglomerate rock. A chipmunk at South Colony Lake ate through our tent and feasted on all our nuts!
#1 09-30-20 My partner, Yadahzoemtn (Lana), and I completed a 6-year journey by reaching this summit, summit #58 of the Colorado 14ers. Our weather was as nice as one could wish for. Lingering snow from a storm two weeks prior made using micro spikes and ice axes necessary for the final 200 vertical feet climbing to Broken Hand Pass. We decided to climb the 4th Class east gully rather than worry about the hairy crossover to the west gully. The east gully was straightforward and just fine, the solid conglomerate rock providing plenty of secure hand holds and foot holds. We came down the east gully and found many cairns, most of which we hadn't seen on the ascent. If conditions are dry and one is comfortable with 4th Class climbing one can use the east gully without reservation.
Went solo starting climb from South Colony Lake campsite at 5:30 am reaching the summit by 8:30 am. Clear skies, only minor wind, and just a little cool on top. Made it safely back to camp by 11:30 am. Definitely keep track of entry and exit points of gullies (unfortunately multiple cairns mark wrong spots). In my return, I made a slight error by exiting the west gully a little early and ended up going down a short class 4 section. But overall no real issues.
Traverse from crestone peak to the summit then we accidentally went down the class 4 gully. Beautiful summit views.
Reached summit in mid-afternoon with cloudless skies after doing Peak, Northeast Crestone, East Crestone all from 2wd trailhead
Ellingwood ledges, third class to the start of technical pitches
Due to snow level wish I had an ice axe to reach the saddle above South Colony lakes.
Climbed solo, day trip starting at upper 4wd TH at 5AM, completed at 2PM. Solid rock for the most part!
Left camp at the lake by 6am. Summited Crestone Peak around noon. Summited Needle via Traverse around 2:30. Took just under 2 hours for both of us. Back to camp around 6:15. Trailhead around 9:15. Long day, but two summits and a fun traverse are worth it.
Started around 6AM. LOTS of campers. The bugs weren't too bad. Saw lots of wildlife including a brown bear near the trail head (grizzly maybe?). There are some snowfields on the way up to Broken Hand Pass. I would say ice axes are advisable, but not required. Route is almost completely dry to summit beyond the pass where any snow can easily be avoided. Only two other people on the route today. Very little wind and lots of sun. Probably my new favorite 14er. Back at car around 1PM.
ellingwood arête, fifth time up the needle! incredible climb to my favorite summit in colorado. why can't all mountains be this fantastic? love the crestones!
Climbed Crestone Needle in 3 hours from South Colony Lakes. This was my favorite 14er so far. Amazing rock and amazing route!
Nice morning cruise up Ellingwood. Not too many people around on the upper mtn, but busy down in the valley below.
This was my 39th Colorado 14er, a similar memory to Kit Carson's final pitch ...what a treat! Summited Crestone Peak earlier in the day and never had to implement my planned contingencies of bad wx popping up or being way too anemic, so I simply solo'ed this big boy class 3 and a half! A steep exposed challenge but minimized with these small little lunch shelves every so often along the way. Good solid state rock unlike the crumbly Elk range rocks. Careful picking and remembering your rock couriers/gullies; they're not all created equal, hehe! I had to up climb to get out of a cliffy one on the descent. Exhausting day but awesome area!
The traverse was sensational as billed. The most painful part was the descent to South Colony Lake via Broken Hand Pass. Solo to the summit. 1:35 from the start of the traverse
Attempted the traverse but my partner was too slow. Bailed at the low point of the traverse.
Standard route. Fun. Was almost entirely alone until just before the traverse, when I passed two guys. Besides them, and an old climber that looked like Gandalf, I saw no one else. Totally clear day until noon, then only scattered cumulus clouds with no T-storms.