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.
Started at South Colony Lakes and went over Broken Hand Pass. As we began to climb the south couloir clouds started moving in at around 9:00am. Stopped at 13,400 ft to wait out the weather and finally decided to go for. Reached the summit but it was too cloudy to see anything around. Quickly descended back to Cottonwood Lake and then over to South Colony.
missed the N couloir in 01, tried again from cottonwood lake and the S couloir in 02. Hard to get to, but a straightforward climb once in the right couloir. Someone had signed the log "I wouldn't say I've been missing it, Bob..."
Like it's smaller but pointier (is that a word?) neighbor, I've climbed this one twice and it was great both times. Backpacking up to Cottonwood Lake is a pretty tough hike, but well worth it. If you get the chance, climb the East Crestone Peak - it's a new perspective.
Encouraged by success on Kit Carson and Challenger the week before, Erin and I returned to the Sangres to try Crestone Peak. We used the Cottonwood Creek approach, and we had an interesting time negotiating that trail in the dark. We reached Cottonwood Lake at daybreak, but ominous clouds greeted us in the morning light. After waiting for a break in the clouds, we summitted Crestone Peak. We were so excited, we forgot about East Crestone.... guess we'll be coming back someday! A trip report is available here.
This is a good, manageable route on an exciting fourteener peak. Climbed the Peak first, then Crestone Needle and Humboldt. It makes for a long but memorable day! Highly recommeded.
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.
Day 2 of my Crestone hikathon. Beautiful peak but I was a little disappointed in the route. It seemed like I was not using my hands enough for it to be a class 3 route. Maybe I am that good?
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.