This is a classic class 3 route with a wonderful summit. Thanks to Andy for joining me on this climb. It was a great day in the Sangres, and this is a peak which rates as one of my favorites. See photos of this trip on my website.
I had a great time climbing with Alan Ellis. We left camp at South Colony Lakes at 4:30 and were on the summit by 8:45. The weather was beautiful and the climb was a blast. We made it back to camp by 13:30. This was my first taste of the Sangre de Cristos. I'll be back!
After having reached the summit of my first 14er, the Crestone Needle, the day before, I was somewhat hesitant to climb Crestone Peak. I enjoyed the long hike from South Colony to the base of the Red Couloir, but once we got to the Couloir I began getting anxious to get this one behind me.
I admit now that the Needle totally psyched me out for the rest of the weekend, and all because my climbing partner lead me up a difficult class 4 climb with the perception of great exposure on the way up the needle.
I eventually settled into the Red Couloir and actually began enjoying the climb until we actually reached the summit. Then I began dreaming of the wide open spaces of Texas.
I was glad to get off the summit and back into the couloir of which I really enjoyed hiking back down.
A long day but worth the trip. The class 2-3 rock climbing was the most fun for me. The summit was great with wonderful views of the Sand Dunes, Kit Carson, Crestone Needle etc.
Approached to Bear's Playground and then traversed into the north chute. The snow was soft and ice axe used for safety. Only one on the Crestones today.
This was by far my most challenging 14er to date and was probably more challenging than it needed to be considering I forgot to bring a copy of the route description. I think we were close to the North Buttress route however several times it felt like the difficulty was pushing class five. Attempted to make the traverse to the needle and had to bail as the sun was setting. The trek back to South Colony lake was extremely difficult trudging through thigh deep snow at times and finally making it back to camp at 12:00am.
Climbed with Mike Bur. The trail up from Cottonwood is horrible, ended up bushwacking class 3 to treeline. The actual climb up the couloir was much easier. No snow. We met another climber who was climbing barefoot. It took us 5 hours from the Cottonwood trailhead to the summit, and 14 hours total including the traverse to the Needle and back down.
This coulior was my first real snow climb. very nice! the traverse was difficult, that last summit pitch to the needle was incredible, i would highly reccomend ths route!!!!!
Very nice route. I'd take the 4th class knobby adventure over the wet, loose scree of the Northwest Couloir any day.
This was my first alpine snow and ice climb. This still ranks as one of my all time favorite climbs. Lots of exposure but great snow.
I have climbed this route twice and know some tricks to make it safer and faster! You must climb to the trail used for the traverse of Crestone Needle to Crestone Peak which is to the right of the red couloir. Follow the trail left to the right side of the red couloir and climb up following faint climbers trail. This is solid 3rd class without the rock fall of the coulior about half way up you enter the red coulior to the summit.
Done as a backpack in to Cottonwood Lake, described by Gerry Roach as "arduous", thus totally redefining 'arduous' for my my husband, J and I!! By the time we got to our campsite at Cottonwood Lake, neither of us cared if we ever saw the top of that peak, only 1 mile/2000' away. Luckily, a good night's sleep was a great tonic, and we recovered enough to complete the climb in the morning and backpack out. Loose rocks falling, steep snowfield toward the top...I disliked this peak as strongly as I loved the Needle.