(2) As always, I did not get a lot of sleep on my first night of travel but at least it was a good night of rest, which was important even though noisy cars/hikers arrived throughout the wee hours. Ellingwood Arete, Crestone Needle, Colorado, Crestone Peak and Needle Traverse 8/14/10, Twin Peaks; Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Colorado. Here's a photo looking at the south face of "East Crestone" and the Crestone Needle from Cottonwood Lakes. In the end, we decided to stay true to Roach and your TR by dropping down and following the two cairns we saw from that point. Crestone Peak to Needle Traverse. Download Agreement, Release, and Acknowledgement of Risk: I've been wanting to go back to the Crestones and do them again by the Traverse route.. Descending the Needle. We woke and hit the trail at 2:30am with headlamps. Time: 9 Hours Crestone Needle - 14,197 feet Crestone Peak - 14,294 feet: Date Posted: 08/11/2018: Date Climbed: 08/10/2018: Author: bwleachuk: View With Large Photos; Print; Crestone Traverse ; For context, I am a reasonably strong hiker with limited climbing experience. Me almost to the fixed webbing atop the class 4 summit pitch on Crestone Needle. Your email address will not be published. Kristi taking in the views of Broken Hand Peak, Crestolita, jump a little higher The peak and needle are seperated by a straight line distance of about 1/2 mile, but the terrain is a convoluted mess to navigate. We had dinner in Westcliffe and car camped at the NEW upper "rough 2WD" trailhead. Wilson. The final class 4 summit pitch up Crestone Needle’s north ridge is what this traverse is all about. The Needle was first climbed by Albert Ellingwood and Eleanor Davis on July 24, 1916 via the Crestone Peak/Needle Traverse. It has been said the Crestone Traverse is one of Colorado's top 5 traverses. Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children. Parking at the upper trail head did fill up so cars were circling for other options. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. Turn right (south) and go another 5.5 miles until the road ends, then turn right (going west) on South Colony Road (Forest Service Road 120) for 1.5 miles where there is a fairly large parking lot on the right. Crestone Peak to Needle Traverse. However, I knew the route now much better and the climbing from here on out went like clockwork. We‘re definitely planning on taking this along during our upcoming classic P2N traverse attempt. I knew Reid may want a belay for this pitch as it is very exposed. Do not pass over Cottonwood Creek and only park in the meadow since all the land along the road is private property. I anchored myself into the webbing which was in place slung around a rock and belayed Reid up the pitch. The famous Crestone Traverse, one of Colorado’s 4 great fourteener traverses, is truly a celebrated classic scramble. The first half was mostly careful traversing, following the 14ers.com guidance. Yes, we made it in a Subaru Outback, but only because the weather was clear, the road was dry and the driver highly skilled. This pitch is so awesome. Climb a 5.2 bulge/ledge to the right of the gendarme, Alex climbing the bulge... this is where the fun starts :-), Alex and Kristi on some exposed scrambling, Alex on the stiff final climb to the Needle's summit, Alex on the final climb to the Needle's summit, Jordan on the final climb to the Needle's summit, Robby on the final climb to the Needle's summit, Mike on the final climb to the Needle's summit, Kristi bringing a rope up for Jim and Allison, Jim enjoying the final climb to the Needle's summit, Alex and Kristi just below the Needle's summit, Mountain Hunk showcases his 14er Finisher Humboldt, Alex and Kristi on the final scramble to the summit, Summit Celebration L2R: Jim, Allison, Mike, Alex, Robby, Jordan, Kristi. If you cross the Creek, you have passed the trailhead. http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8698. It's just a long way up (1,500-2,000 feet or so). The landowner allows PARKING IN THE MEADOW ONLY. Hi Jamie, so sorry for the delay in responding. I left my bag at 13,750, where the Traverse starts and came back down to it after summiting the Peak. The rock on Crestone Needle is knobby conglomerate rock. Grand, remarkable accomplishment, still making the big climbs I see and knocking off winter 14ers. Please note the left side bar which features all the mountains in the Sangre de Cristos, both in Colorado and New Mexico. There is NO CAMPING at the trailhead parking area. Mike & I drove down from Vail and met Reid & Derek at the new South Colony Trailhead around 10:45pm Friday night as they were coming from Denver. Descending the east gully of Crestone Needle on its south face, Mike & Reid almost back to Broken Hand Pass with Crestone Needle’s east gully behind. But if you take it easy, it's fine. Congrats on a great day. I wasn't sure if I could do it, but I'm so glad I gave it a shot! It's narrow and dangerous because you're in the strike zone for any down-falling rock above. This traverse links the two famous and more difficult 14ers, Crestone Needle & Crestone Peak, down in the Sangre de Cristo Range. I did the needle by itself a few years ago. Matt and I parked at the upper trailhead (9,900 ft) and camped there on Thursday night rather than packing our gear up to South Colony Lakes. In retrospect, I would have been fine doing this section without ropes, but I am a novice/intermediate rock climber, with a lot of indoor top rope experience and essentially no outdoor climbing experience). Busted!!! Prior to our start: We drove down from Denver late afternoon on Friday. Photo by Sisyphus, Colorado's Most Arduous Mountains, Routes and Rocks, Routes Crestone Peak to Needle Traverse. When the road ends at a “T” intersection, turn left, pass a large water tank (in 0.1 miles) on the right, before the road passes through an indistinct meadow (0.2 miles) with the unsigned trailhead on the left. We reached the top of Crestone Peak just after 7am, which I believe was the earliest in the day I have ever stood atop a 14er. Follow our directions for this advanced scramble that connects two prized fourteeners. We started hiking around 8am or so and returned to the car around 12:30pm for a wonderful half day hike with all the ladies – 2 humans and 4 dogs. It was exhilarating to get to the top! Your TR was very helpful and approaching the final crux and the confusing couloirs, I did zig and zag and sure enough ended up looking up at the final crux, which was ”airy” as advertised! Traverse Partners: Kristi Henes, Robby Grace, Jim Griffiths, Mike Poland, Allison Seymour, Jordan Harris Regardless of the route, this mountain demands respect. Located in the Rockies of southern Colorado, Crestone Needle is in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) range. Picture from East Crestone, Kristi on the Peak with Pico Asilado behind, The Crew L2R: Robby, Mike, Kristi, Alex, Allison, Jordan, Jim. GPX - South Colonoy Approach You should feel a lot of satisfaction for a great climb and a good deed in sharing your experience.