A challenging winter ascent of one of Colorado's most interesting 14ers
Early morning light on Crestone Needle from Cottonwood Creek.
The South Couloir, aka the Red Gully, is the standard route on Crestone Peak. When filled with snow its a moderate snow climb and when dry its a 3rd class scramble.
Crossing frozen Cottonwood Lake early in the morning. Broken Hand Peak dominates the scene.
The intricate south face of Crestone Needle as seen on the climb to Broken Hand Pass.
Ken at Broken Hand Pass.
Traversing moderate snow slopes toward Crestone Needle's south face.
"Crestolita", a beautiful 13er to the south. The couloir up the center is attractive, but there is evidence of a large slide near the top.
Colony Baldy (left) and Humboldt Peak (right) rising above South Colony Lakes.
Ken soaks in the amazing view from Crestone Needle's southeast ridge, something not seen by many in winter.
Dominic scrambling on the southeast ridge shortly before the couloir entrance point.
Ken and Dwight climbing up moderate snow in the first couloir..
View down the first couloir from near the crossover point. We are simulclimbing, placing protection occasionally in the walls of the couloir.
Dominic at the crossover point, the point at which the route traverses out of the first couloir and into the second. The climb out of the first couloir to this point was the crux and harder than I expected. A little snow and ice complicates it significantly.
Ken triumphant at the top of the crossover crux.
Dwight & Ken strolling to the summit.
Crestone Peak from the summit of Crestone Needle..
Dwight & Ken beginning the grueling descent. Its way later than any of us care to think about.