First 14ner when I was just a lad of 15. This is the one that bit me, and I've had the bug ever since. Climbed it with COBS.
Wanted to do the traverse to the Needle but had to bail because of bad weather.
Went over Broken Hand Pass intent on doing the traverse to the Needle, but we pooped out.
Climbed both summits because in those days we didn't know which was the highest.
Climbed right after climbing the Needle, so we were pretty tired. A fair amount of snow, so we had to go off route a bit, but a fun, easy climb.
A hot day to start. flies and mosquitos were very bad.
ascented via the Red Couloir which was actually quite nice. Solid rock. Spent about 15 minutes at the top and descended via the NW couloir. I would reccommend going up via this route and down the Red. The rock is much looser. There was still snow and water running down the center. The ledges going around were tricky to navigate. Nothing bad but pay attention. Got back to the truck and collapsed. About a 12 hour day.
Took half the time we thought it would. Be very careful of rock fall. A couple of big ones went past me on the descent.
Fun stuff, climbing in a whiteout all morn, bailed on the traverse, return pver Broken hand pass... with Andrew
This was an awesome climb coming from the Cottonwood Creek trailhead. We got a little lost where the two creeks split, but thanks to good topo reading we dropped into Cottonwood Lake from the saddle next to Broken Hand Pass adding quite a few miles to the approach.
Two weeks before I got turned around on a solo of the North West Couloir (this route should be done as a steep snow climb in late Spring). If anyone ventures into the NW Couloir as a late summer route... bring a helmet, short rope, crampons, self-belay equip./belayer and a hammer/ax as it had hard ice even on Sept. 7th. I had golf ball sized rocks fly by consistently- every 5 or 10 minutes. On the 18th, I summitted via the beautifully dry, relatively solid Red Couloir. See my photo of the nearly invisible cutoff from the main valley to the Cottonwood Creek fork- this is truly the crux of the entire southern route. This very important saddle is just north of the top of the boiler plates. Awesome solid scrambling up the Red Couloir!!!
This Peak is much easier than it's made out to be!!! The Red Coulier offers some FUN class 3 climbing:-) I'd compare it to the Homestretch on Long's Peak.... only MUCH longer. We had a blast!
Awesome Summit! The approach trail from the Cottonwood Trailhead can be quite tricky at 11:00 P.M.. Also, I was bit by a marmot near Cottonwood Lake (totally unprovoked)!
Great climb with 14er partner Alan (Alana). Original plan was to do traverse to Needle, but clouds and tired quads thought otherwise. Went back over Broken Hand Pass and back to South Colony Lakes for a long, but incredible, day.
fun ascent, and the summit was breathtaking. slipped on some black ice coming down, slid 100 feet down a ice patch before crashing into some rocks. what a scary moment, be careful up there! it was an epic journey......and i'd do it again.
Cottonwood Creek approach is amazing. Awsome, relaxing day. 48th 14er!
Climbed the North Couloir from Colony Lakes 4x4 TH with Brad Snider. I didn't expect to have to scramble so much on the walk from Humboldt to Bears Playground. The couloir was almost completely devoid of snow, but had quite a lot of water running down it. We continued on and traversed to the Needle afterwards.
Standard route from our overnight camp at South Colony Lakes. Over Broken Hand Pass and past Cottonwood Lake. Climbed the east summit first (14,260') which is the high point of Custer County. Icy conditions on last 200' before the sun struck the rocks made the east summit a little treacherous. Then climbed the main summit with Gurbinder.
Had a heart-pounding experience in the wet, red couloir that morning. A 200 pound boulder pulled loose and dropped right beside my climbing buddy who was standing on a shelf just 15 feet below. You can never be too careful.
I backpacked over Broken Hand Pass into a solitary camp at Cottonwood Lake, and then climbed to both Crestone Peak summits (east & west) the following morning, descended the route, broke camp and returned to the TH that day.
This is a great late spring snow climb. What fun! We tried the traverse to the Needle but chose to retreat to the S couloir as the weather wasn't cooperating. Can't wait to get the needle one day! Pretty good fishing in the S. Cololny Lakes as well - surprising!
Erin and I led a friend up Crestone's South Face route from a camp in Cottonwood Creek, tagging the summit of East Crestone along the way. After lunch at Cottonwood Lake, she and I climbed Broken Hand Peak. A trip report is available here.