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Crestone Needle  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-09-23  South Face  Route was clean of snow despite heavy rain the day prior. Dry. Probably won‘t last. Conditions were foggy and windy, making for a pretty surreal experience. True trip report to follow as time allows. mattpayne11   2014-09-25 1     Edit Delete 
2014-09-20  South Face  Great conditions. Didn‘t see any snow anywhere. Also, met a number of climbers who did the Arete and the traverse and said conditions were perfect. However, I‘m not sure if the latest storm on 9/21 dropped any snow. sheller   2014-09-22  0  1    Edit Delete 
2014-09-14  South Face  Still completely dry all the way to the top. Summer conditions holding, at least for a little while. meg383   2014-09-15  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-10  South Face  Area got a lot of rain on Tuesday 9/9, but route all the way to the summit is still in good shape. Was 36 degrees on the summit at noon on 9/10, so ice concerns aren‘t too far away. Roald   2014-09-11  0  2    Edit Delete 
2014-09-03  South Face  Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak were dry and the conditions were perfect for climbing. The drive up to the South Colony Trail Head was also dry. Coyote_Run   2014-09-04 1     Edit Delete 
2014-08-10  Ellingwood Arete (Ellingwood Ledges)  Ellingwood ledges still dry as of this afternoon. Bring your hexes. Trickle of negligible water running down the 4th class direct gully on the Needle and dry in the standard gully. Some water across the approach trails. Monster5   2014-08-10  0     Edit Delete 
2014-08-02  South Face  Wet conditions! The entire South Colony Lakes has so much water right now. The trail has a lot of water in it on the approach, and many campsites are marshy, but not all. The East Gully is flowing quite a bit. It didn‘t impede our climb, but your feet will get wet. ezabielski   2014-08-05  0     Edit Delete 
2014-08-02  South Face  If you take the "short cut" from the 4wd parking lot (going right, toward Humboldt, instead of continuing along the 4wd road), lots of the trail is basically a stream. Sometimes you can get off the trail and bypass it, other times you can try to step on rocks in the trail, other times you just have to kinda straddle the trail. Very annoying. Going up Broken Hand Pass, and up the Needle, there is no snow on the route. bdloftin77   2014-08-03  0     Edit Delete 
2014-07-19  South Face  Crazy weather...sun, rain, hail, and snow flurries (up high). Lots of water running down both gullies, but the rock was not slick. We left a little later than normal to let the sun dry things out, which helped. desertdog   2014-07-20  0     Edit Delete 
2014-07-18  South Face  No snow whatsoever in the gullies of Crestone Needle or anywhere on the ascent. Almost no snow on the Broken Hand Pass ascent: only a few little bits where the snow overlaps the trail and you need to take maybe three steps in the snow to reach the trail on the other side. No need for any snow equipment of any kind. I only climbed Crestone Needle, so I can‘t comment on the gullies leading to Crestone Peak. I did find trekking poles to be very helpful until the gullies, when I put my poles in my pack and used my hands to help climb the gullies. We followed the standard route directions to use the east gully, cross the rib, and then make the final ascent up the west gully. On the descent, we inadvertently took the east gully for the entire descent. Frankly, I didn‘t find the east gully any more challenging than the west gully and made the descent without issue. The east gully is dotted with small silver foil stickers on rocks that indicate the route downward. I don‘t think you‘d notice these stickers on the ascent, as they‘re on rocks angled for a descending climber. I realize that some climbers may view these stickers as shiny trash on the mountain, but they helped me quite a lot and were very unobtrusive; I‘m grateful to whomever put them there. trinkner   2014-07-21  0  1  Edit Delete 
2014-07-12  South Face  Went up Crestone Needle on Saturday. Two small snowfields in the lower-middle sections of Broken Hand pass. The crux of the pass is still holding some snow. Although it made the crux moves a bit harder, no special gear was required at all. Above Broken Hand, the Needle had no snow anywhere. Both gulleys are running with a fair amount of water, making the climb more tricky than normal. Khieras   2014-07-13 4     Edit Delete 
2014-07-05  South Face  The only snow on the route is on the east side of Broken Hand Pass. There are two wider snow fields on the way up that are fairly easy to navigate without traction. However, there was still some snow in the rock band just below the east, upper slope of Broken Hand Pass. An ice ax is recommended in case things go wrong. With an ax, you can get by without crampons or spikes. Once you are on the ridge of BH Pass, the remaining standard route is completely dry and free of any snow or ice. zsmith   2014-07-07 2     Edit Delete 
2014-06-30  Ellingwood Direct  Snow on the technical route is a non-issue. There was one small patch higher up that is completely avoidable. There was still some snow along the beginning of Ellingwood Ledges. We didn‘t climb that way so I can‘t speak to the condition, but I have attached some photos for reference. The south gully is also free of snow. There was still some snow on broken hand pass, however it was soft and easy to kick steps. I did the descent in trail runners without any issues. No ice axe or crampons necessary, IMO. Also, I found the remnants of a silver camera, including the SD card, on the route. If it‘s yours send me a message and I‘d be happy to return it. Ironically, when I reached down to pick up the silver camera, I dropped mine. So if anyone happens to find a blue Fuji camera I would love to get the SD card back. Thanks. RyanM3502   2014-07-03 3       
2014-06-22  South Face  Mosquito season has started! We were attacked at the 4WD trailhead all the way up to treeline. The approach to Broken Hand Pass is still covered with a lot of snow. The last 200 yards is deep snow. Crampons would make it really easy to climb up, but you can dig steps with the toe of your boot. You must be prepared to self-arrest, as the slide down will be fast and may end in rocks. The trail above the pass is in good shape and the little bit of snow/ice and running water in the East Couloir is easy to avoid. On the way down, we found a series of reflective squares (2x2") that someone glued on the rocks to mark the route - they were great until just below the couloir where they took us too high on the ridge and into a snow field - we left them and went back to the main trail. Feel free to PM for more details. COEngineer   2014-06-23 1  3    Edit Delete 
2014-05-14  South Face  Didn‘t climb it but it‘s super fat. freeinthehills   2014-05-17  0  1    Edit Delete 
2014-02-17  South Face  I didn‘t climb it, but I got close enough of to see that Crestone Needle was getting a fair amount of west winds scouring it clean and rime ice build up in the morning. -When i figure out how to resize my photos Ill add one. jmanner   2014-02-18 1  1  Edit Delete 
2014-01-26  East Gully  Multiple icy spots in the East gully. Snow is supportive, almost spring-like quality. Ice ax/ice tool and crampons are recommended. Continued with traverse to Peak. Approached from Cottonwood creek TH with a good trail up to 10k. nkan02   2014-01-27 3  2 2    
2013-07-08  South Face  The Viper, The Mayhem, and I climbed the Crestones Monday. We did both in one day. We hiked down to Broken Hand pass, and then went over to the Peak. The Needle is in great shape, and there is still a large cairn in the switch section from the East to the West gully. Though, it was hard to know the correct place to go over. As for the Peak, there is still a few snow fields, but mostly avoided. On the way up, we went to the left of the snow field, but on the way down the left, which was the better side. There is a lot of water running down, but all of it can be avoided. Everything is in great shape. The Legend   2013-07-11  0     Edit Delete 
2013-06-30  South Face  Heading up Broken Hand Pass there are 2 snow fields. The first one is crossed while traveling across the slope and is about 100 feet wide. The foot holds were hard and well defined in the morning and we crossed without micro spikes or ice axe. Be careful though. If you slipped here in the morning, it‘d be hard to stop. The second snow field is crossed while traveling up the slope to BHP. Like the other snow field, a slip here could lead to injury, but we crossed it without incident, and it is possible to avoid this snow field by scrambling up the loose rock to the side. The rest of the mountain is clear aside from a 4 foot wide section in the east gully where you cross over into the west gully. We had to trust the snow as we crossed, but the footholds held both in the morning and on the descent (10:30am). Lindyhapa   2013-07-01  0  1    Edit Delete 
2013-06-15  South Face  A couple of minor snow fields to cross heading up to Broken Hand Pass. Must climb some snow heading up into the constriction on BHP; ice axe is helpful. The constriction is icy and the snow is hard in the morning before the sun hits it. There is no snow above the constriction. The rest of the snow is soft enough to kick steps into on the way up and plunge-step on the way down. The snow in the east and west gullies is pretty much completely avoidable save for a couple of spots. There was a short section in the east gully just below the dihedral where you begin to cross over to the west gully. In the west gully, the snow crossing as you‘re approaching the top is negligible and probably won‘t be there next weekend. Watch out for water making the rocks slick. tmathews   2013-06-16 4  3    Edit Delete 

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