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Crestone Peak  
Report
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-07-19  South Face / Red Gully  No more snow up to Broken Hand Pass. There are about three patches of snow remaining in the upper parts of the Red Gully. Our group of 7 made it up; none of us had any snow gear. All of the snow patches are avoidable with some scrambling on the edges of the gully, though if I had had my ice axe with me I would have probably preferred to go straight up the snow. I‘d say the tallest patch left is maybe 50-75 feet tall only. bbass11   2014-07-20  0  1    Edit Delete 
2014-07-10  South Face / Red Gully  Broken Hand Pass is clear enough of snow for it to be only a minor issue. I crossed about 20‘ of snow that was very soft with deep steps kicked in and never felt the need to use my crampons. Everyone else seemed to feel the same way. There is a snow field high up the red gully that is avoidable to a good climber but since I‘m not, I used crampons for about 75‘. I did take advantage of all the snow I could on the descent to save time (no glissading, just plunge stepping with crampons). Since it doesn‘t seem to be freezing at night the snow is very soft. RobertKay   2014-07-12 2  1  Edit Delete 
2014-07-06    Crestone Needle and the traverse from Crestone Peak are completely snow free. The Red Gully is still holding a lot of snow up high toward the saddle between East Crestone and Crestone, which a few guys in my group put micros on for and climbed 100-200‘ of. You reach a rib in the center without snow from that point and can reach the saddle without any significant climbing or maneuvering around snow. I stayed left in this area and avoided the snow entirely but had a bit of climbing and some added difficulty to do so, then crossed in a very narrow section of snow to hit the same rib without having to actually touch the snow (it was solid ice up higher). Broken Hand Pass is still holding snow at the top, as well as 2 other snow fields you must cross, none of which are difficult except for the 100‘ pitch leading to the saddle as it becomes fairly steep. Again I made everything more difficult but avoided snow by making some tough maneuvers along the rock above the snow field on the way down, but there are some pretty good steps kicked in and the way up was extremely easy in the morning. A few members of my group used micros and their axes, I got away without using any snow gear at all. If you‘re more comfortable on snow and plan on not trying to avoid it you may still want the spikes and axe because it is solid in places where you cannot kick steps in. There were a ridiculous amount of flies on top of Crestone Needle. marcstrawser   2014-07-07 3  1  Edit Delete 
2014-06-29    Still holding lots of snow for the bottom half, but lots of rock for the last third. I put the axes and crampons away for the last bit, although there are still ice ribbons and a couple small snow fields even near the top. LeftyGriffin   2014-06-29  0  2    Edit Delete 
2014-06-28  South Face / Red Gully  Tried to snap some beta pics from Humbolt West Ridge route. Hope they help! jwgrosser   2014-06-30 2     Edit Delete 
2014-06-20  South Face / Red Gully  The Red Gully is mostly a snow climb currently. Lots of ice scattered around as well to contend with. I also accidentally partially punched through the snow into a snow tunnel 4-5 feet under the center of the gully that was full of rushing water. If you decide to climb...consider it a steep couloir climb and bring ice axe/crampons. Also worth noting we had a someone in the group have a failed self arrest due to the poor snow conditions that resulted in injury. We were fortunate it wasn‘t far more serious. RyGuy   2014-06-22 3  1 1  Edit Delete 
2014-05-14  S. Couloir  Crestones are fat. Decent contrived, but absolutely smooth from 20 ft below the summit. freeinthehills   2014-05-17  0       
2014-04-14  (any)  Significant snowfall Sunday night. jdorje   2014-04-14  0  1    
2014-02-17  South Face / Red Gully  Attempted Crestone Peak, from Cottonwood Creek, on Presidents Day... The trench from the late January climbs is in excellent shape. We added our own foot prints and ski tracks on top of them. Anyone going up should have a excellent path all the way to the boulder field. We never took our skis off to skin, there wasn‘t a need. One word of advice: Stay left when you get to the boulder field its a lot easier to climb up on that side. We only made it up to 11,750 before heading back home: family obligations of one of the party. Its drying out fast up there... FYI: The skiing sucked. jmanner   2014-02-18  0  3    Edit Delete 
2014-01-26  South Face / Red Gully  stable snow in gully. some icy spots. lots of hard pack where we couldn‘t even kick in steps with crampons. ice axe and crampons definitely required. Yikes   2014-01-27  0  1 1  Edit Delete 
2013-09-05  South Face / Red Gully  We encountered residual hail deposits from the previous day (Wednesday) on the traverse from Peak to Needle, most of which is avoidable. Overall conditions were good and not icy, as hoped. The avenue of Kit Carson - viewed from the summit - is filled with snow. EmmaM   2013-09-07  0     Edit Delete 
2013-07-12  South Face / Red Gully  No snow gear needed. There is one small snow field on the way up to Broken Hand Pass, which is avoidable on the left side. Bringing snow equipment would be unecessary weight. djrunner   2013-07-14 2     Edit Delete 
2013-06-29  South Face / Red Gully  Not much snow going up to BHP - one short steep section (photo 1) with lots of steps and then it is dry. We had crampons but others used microspikes. The Red Gully is largely melted out and the route tends to weave left and right to avoid the snow - only a couple snow crossings were mandatory - no traction used or needed. Thunderstorms started at noon and went until 5 pm or so. Jim jimmtman   2013-06-30 2  3    Edit Delete 
2013-06-20  South Face / Red Gully  Ice ax still definitely required. The snow is melting a lot, but there is still a big snow field in the upper portion of Red Gully and contains some highly questionable snow, especially as the day warms up. Oh yeah, and the marmots seem to be all over the place and made nice snacks out of my trekking pole grips, bike handgrips, and bike seat. SherpaSara   2013-06-21 1     Edit Delete 
2013-06-12  South Face / Red Gully  Ice axe required. Snowshoes not needed. Crampons are overkill, microspikes help but to be honest I didn‘t use them on most of the ascent or descent. Some postholing up BHP but overall still faster than summer. Ice Axe required. The red gully has quite a bit of snow in it, but it‘s melting fast, be careful not to hike in snow where you hear water running. Also it‘s really hot so the snow isn‘t exactly the most stable or hard. Overall about the same as summer cond. as far as difficulty. If you like rock climbing you can climb on the class 4 stuff to the right and left of the snow fields (very solid rock here) but you will have to cross the snow in the gully at least twice. Above the gully no snow. Great views, amazing mountain. Lots of runoff. be careful on the snow. Trust nothing!! zephyr_pelicante   2013-06-13  0     Edit Delete 
2013-04-30  (any)  As of a few days ago, visible snow on the Crestone group from the west was at its highest point of the year. The last few days have been mostly sunny with very high temperatures (70s in the valley) and snow is visibly less with each day. There appears to still be full snow cover from about 11000‘ and up. Visually, the Crestone group appears to have significantly more snow than the Blanca group now. Kit Carson avenue is a mass of white, and no doubt all the gullies are pretty deep as well. More snow is forecast for tomorrow. The east side of the range is more north-facing and no doubt holds a lot more snow by this point. jdorje   2013-04-30  0       
2013-02-16  South Face / Red Gully  Solo mission for Crestone Peak via Cottonwood Creek was a success. A truly wonderful day. Otina/Kevin‘s group trail was still there for the first 2 miles (I thank you kindly for this) after that it was all me. Snow was pretty good in the Red Gully. Some spots in the middle of the couloir that I shyed away from. 1st Pic - Red Gulley 2nd - look up at the bottom (4th class rock bands were negotiated in the bottom of the couloir but after that it was snow sailing) 4th - Summit Ridge If anyone would like more info or pics I would be glad to provide them. Humboldt looked kinda dry as was the traverse to Needle. Kit Ave pretty loaded. FireOnTheMountain   2013-02-18 4  1 1  Edit Delete 
2013-02-02  South Face / Red Gully  This was without a doubt the most exhausting day I have ever had climbing 14ers in Colorado but also one of the most rewarding. Yesterday all 7 of us Kevin (Kevin Baker) Otina (bergsteign) Ryan (Dchild10) Prakash (maverickmanley), Heather, myself (another Ryan) and Sophie (my dog) successfully summited Crestone Peak after a brutal 18 hour day. 11.25 hours up and 6.45 hours down. The term of the day is "post hole." We started at 4am and the first 2 or 3 miles we wore microspikes which helped with traction. After that it became time to put the snowshoes on as the snow got deeper . . .and deeper . . . and deeper. The rest of the approach to the Crestone Peak was brutal as we worked our way through knee to thigh deep snow while wearing snowshoes. While the snow sucked the views were absolutely spectacular. We ditched the snowshoes just below the base of the peak as temps were warm enough . . .or at least I was working hard enough I could temporarily wear a tshirt. By the time we were at the base of the Red Gully we had already been on the trail 8 hours. We thought the snow would be more compact and be able to crampon up. The whole upper peak was covered in snow and frost which made us pause. We were confident enough that the snow in the gully wouldnt slide but decided to stay high left on whatever rocks we could find just in case. Stilll we post holed the whole way up in crampons. The snow up the Red Gully was as my good friend Jeff Golden (SurfNturf) would say "about as supportive as a strippers father." At the top of the gully we thought the worst conditions were over but we were wrong. Countless times during the day we though we would have to turn around but with a good team helping eachother out we succeeded. The final 65 feet gave us the most pause. However, we worked together helping each other find hand, feet, and ice axe holds taking an additional 30 minutes as we very carefully traversed and climbed over frost and sugary snow. We finally summited at 315pm and knew we had to turn around right away to get down the Red Gully before dark. We spent less than 5 minutes on the summit. Again we helped each other down the top section taking our time and then carefully made our way down the Red Gully. We were able to carefully plunge step our way down a majority of the Red Gully. We still had to be very careful though. We got back to our snowshoes at the base of the peak just as it was getting dark and began the long endless walk out. Kevin had done the traverse two weeks ago. I asked him how much more snow there was this time than last time and he said "oh about 2 more feet".Here is a sweet video from him for those of you who have facebook. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151473470986796¬if_t=video_tag kushrocks   2013-02-03 4  1 2  Edit Delete 
2012-10-24  any  After weeks without snow, there was significant snowfall on the 12th and 13th, on all of the Crestone group if not all of Colorado. Photo 1 is from evening on the 13th (yeah, it doesn‘t even show Crestone Peak...conditions report is under CP as it‘s the highest). As of the 25th there had been no further visible snow. Significant snow remains on north-facing slopes above ~12,000, while south-facing slopes were basically clear of it. On the morning of the 26th there was a bit of new snow. jdorje   2012-10-12 1  2    
2012-09-22  South Face / Red Gully  Climbed Crestone Peak from S. Colony Lakes. Snow is still on BHP, and packed down. So it‘s there for a while and probably for good. We brought spikes, wore them once. You can skirt around it. But if you want peace of mind - might as well bring them. Peak, Needle and the traverse were completely snow free. forbins_mtn   2012-09-23  0     Edit Delete 

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