|Peak:||Crestone Peak (14er)|
|Range:||Sangre de Cristo|
|Date of Information:||09/16/2012|
Approaching from S Colony Lakes, the climb up BHP had a few inches of snow starting at around 12500'. Getting up to the pass is very doable, but microspikes are recommended.
As of Sunday, the standard routes up both the Peak and the Needle, as well as "E Crestone", were virtually completely free of snow from BHP. No special gear needed. Watch for patches of slick ice on either route in the morning.
"NE Crestone" was more difficult to approach, as the north side of the Crestones holds several inches of snow--enough to be treacherous, but not enough where ice axe and crampons would be useful. We had to approach above the couloir on low 5th class rock, though once the saddle between "E Crestone" and "NE Crestone" was attained, the climb was straightforward and snow-free.
The traverse was almost entirely snow-free, though there were a few inches of snow on the part of the traverse in the gully to the R of the Black Gendarme, as well as the first set of ledges after the short knife edge.
This information is current as of Sunday; a bit of precipitation is supposed to fall today, but with good weather the rest of the week, these conditions are likely to hold through next weekend. A TR is forthcoming...