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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-10-08||Route: South Face
Info: Got too late of a start to summit Crestone Peak, but update on the trail I was on: the trail to Broken Hand pass is starting to collect snow. I was glad that I wore microspikes and had my axe just in case. I am a novice snow climber and was easily able to pick my way up and down the pass. Other than that, the Red Gully had a few ice patches up to about 13,500' (about as high as I went). Generally, the southern facing aspects are still dry and clear, but the northern facing aspects are collecting snow.
|2016-10-08||Route: Crestones Traverse
Info: Snow started on BHP - anywhere from 1-4 inches in places. Did not use any sort of traction or flotation, you can walk up BHP without any real issues. A bit of snow/ice in the red gully, but very easily avoidable. We did the traverse, and there was a little bit of snow here and there, but again, very easy to avoid. A little snow on the wall up to Crestone Needle made me slightly nervous but we were able to work our way around it. By the time the sun is hitting the peaks most everything is melting. Go get the peaks before it snows!
|2016-09-30||Route: Crestones Traverse
Info: A little Snow in the upper portions of Broken Hand Pass, micro spikes are helpful. Would guess that snow will not be melting out any time soon. Crestone Peak, no snow on the route. A little water in the Red Gully, but avoidable. Traverse was dry, no snow. Crestone Needle, came down East Gully, mostly dry, no snow. Any water was avoidable. WATCH OUT FOR FROST: saw lots of frost on rocks, especially the last pitch up to the Needle, Topped out on the Needle about 10am, so the wall was still in shade. But the closer you moved "north" or towards the basin, the more sun and less frost.
|2016-09-25||Route: South Face
Info: Can anyone give snow conditions on Crestone Peak (Red Gulley) after the recent weather that rolled through? Please include beta on Broken Hand Pass if you have it. thanks!
|2016-09-18||Route: Crestones Traverse
Info: Despite seeing a little snow on most north aspects in the area, the route is dry except for a few patches of snow/hail in shaded areas of Broken Hand Pass and Black Gendarme, all of which are avoidable. Routefinding was easy with pictures printed out from the website and lots of well-placed cairns. The descent off the Needle was a little tricky and I can see how accidents happen. We studied it thoroughly beforehand and used the phone app and printed pictures from the website. Don't descend the large obvious gully right next to the summit (shouldn't be any signs of a trail here anyways) and instead hike south on the ridge for ~150 feet until you see a well traveled trail that heads towards the descent gullies. You'll head down this trail for a few minutes, seeing a huge gully down to the left which is not what you'll hike into. Instead stay on the trail until you see the view in Photo #3 where you'll stay right into the smaller gully. We almost crossed over from the west gully to the east gully ~300 feet too high since we were paranoid of going too low like some people do. There is a rock you'll see (Photo 4) which has a few horizontal and vertical cracks forming a grid. When you see that rock, cross left to the east gully ~50 feet above it. Climbing down from the west gully to the bottom of the dihedral in the east gully seemed like class 4, but maybe just because we were down climbing it at the end of a long day.
|2016-09-05||Route: Crestones Traverse
Info: Excellent conditions on the Peak, Traverse and Needle! A little ice in the center of the Red Gully which we easily avoided. On the traverse, the only place we had snow was a small patch at the 5.2 Bulge. Went to the Far Left on the Class 4 Wall which was the least sketchy looking...
|2016-08-28||Route: South Face
Info: On South Face std route, summer conditions. A little snow between Crestone Peak and East Crestone, however it is not a big deterrent. There is quite a bit of snow below the saddle, if you try to get from the saddle to Northeast Crestone.. A more difficult task. We only did Crestone Peak today, because we were on a time crunch to get the traverse.
|2016-08-19||Route: South Face
Info: Conditions on 8/19/16 remain very similar to Nelson's update from 8/18/16, perhaps a little less grapple pooling. The Red Gully had a lot of running water and plenty of patches of snow/grapple. I have not done this route before, but a climber we meet as we began descending the Red Gully commented to us that he has done this route before and he has never seen it with so much moisture in the gully this time of year, which he felt made it harder. I personally thought the gully was pretty difficult with so much running water and think there is truth to his statement. I don't think we would have continued up the Red Gully had we not gotten there as early as we did (7am-ish). The route description suggests following the best rock by occaionally switching from one side of the gully to the other. Our experience was that the left side of the gully (ascender's left) held the best rock/least mositure. This may be due to the ample runoff that flowed from the top of the gully all the way to the bottom. Both summits remained hidden in white, wispy clouds for the majority of the day. We notice a thunder head developing while we were on the summit but never heard any thunder nor did we experience any precipitation. However the skies above the Crestones looked very dark as we left the area around 4pm. I imagine that area is getting slammed with heavy precipitation this evening, so beware of an even further drenched gully this weekend.
|2016-08-18||Route: South Face
Info: There has been heavy rain in this area for the last 2 days for about 3 hours a day. This has been accompanied by significant grapple/snow in some but not all areas. The south facing aspects of the Crestones and Broken Hand Pass had grapple pooling of 2-3 inches in places. This made for slippery conditions on rock and made for very wet conditions around Cottonwood lake. I turned around in the bottom of the Red Gully as it was much to slippery for my taste. I have a photo of the south side of Broken Hand Peak illustrating my point. I would have taken more but I was on a dead run to beat the weather at 10 am!
|2016-07-17||Route: South Face
Info: My group climbed the Needle, the Peak and Humboldt on Sunday and Monday. Humboldt and the Needle were basically totally snow free. There were a few small snow fields on Broken Hand Pass, but you could get away without any snow gear. We were happy to have ice axe and microspikes in the Red Gully for a larger snow field near the top. Biggest news for us was the mosquitoes. Camping was flat out miserable. We really enjoyed the peaks and bugs were mostly absent up high, but all of the camping areas, areas near the lakes and anyplace low at all was inundated with mosquitoes.
|2016-07-15||Route: Northwest Couloir
Info: No longer a "couloir". If you were hoping for a snow climb, you'll find only a couple of small snowfields with bullet-proof ice. The NW couloir route remains viable, but as a class 4-5 loose climb, not a snow ascent
|2016-07-15||Route: South Face
Info: Did the peak to needle traverse from S Colony on 7/15. All of the snow is avoidable except for a short section leading to BH pass. We didn't need anything beyond low top approach shoes an a ridiculous amount of DEET. The mosquitos are apocalyptic from the TH to treeline.
|2016-07-13||Route: South Face
Info: Looks like a good bit of snow still on the standard route. The mosquitoes on the west/cottonwood side were beyond bad. I live in Crestone and I expected them to be bad, but this was next level. Early morning might be better mosquito wise - it's like a whole new generation is born each afternoon and by the time you descend they've multiplied and gotten ravenous. Smoke is also a modest problem from Hayden Pass fire - the clouds to the right of the Needle in the picture are actually a column of smoke. The wet valley is full of it, and some is getting over into the San Luis Valley as well finally (some might be from a Grand Canyon-area fire too it seems). Painful on the throat and some impediment to making good time. Could get worse or better in short time of course. http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4849/ https://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/fire (smoke only shows during the day)
|2016-07-09||Route: Crestones Traverse
Info: Fun traverse. A lot of route finding on the traverse, be sure to follow the cairns. Got lost on Needle's south face. DONT go off into the obvious gully directly from summit. Every party that summited Needle got lost. Instead, veer left and follow the cairns just off the summit ridge. The traverse from West to East gullies is a bit confusing and a snow bridge complicate things. Ice axe and traction (crampons or micro) a must for a week. after that probably only need ice axe.
|2016-07-06||Route: South Face
Info: Broken hand pass still has snow and there is a lot or snow in the red gully. Some of the Red Gully snow is avoidable by climbing on the left side. Expect snow, waterfalls, mud and ice in the Red Gully. Also be aware that the melting has created hidden snow bridges under the snow fields. We opted for snow climbs when possible. The upper part has rock ridges separating narrow snow bans. So we had to climb those since the snow was to soft and thin. Went off route and climbed to the top of the red gully. Then followed the ridge line to the summit. It was dry. Coming down the ledges were dry. Down climbing the far left side choke point on BHP was difficult. It melted enough to create that place where there is almost not enough snow to set an axe anchor but still to much snow to just climb the rock. You may have to look around for a easier route. The Red Gully took alot of time for us. Started at 6am and finished at 8pm for South Colony lake.
|2016-07-03||Route: South Face
Info: Broken Hand Pass and the Red Gully still hold enough snow that an ice axe and crampons areally worth the weight. The lower part of the Gully is snow free but there is a lot of water flowing. The ledges above the Gully are dry. Others reported no snow on the traverse and the standard route for the Needle is snow free once past Broken Hand. The mosquitos are not too bad...
|2016-06-19||Route: South Face
Info: South Colony TH-4WD road totally dry and in great condition. Snow Drifts on trail just after metal gate- photo 1 below (around 11,000) but easy to walk over and follow footprints. Large Snow Drifts just before Broken Hand Pass, easy to walk on and follow large cairns-photo 2 below. Broken Hand Pass-photo 3 below-All snow...ice axe and microspikes needed! Crestone Gulley-photo 4 below-All snow...ice axe and microspikes needed! Photo 7-9 show the gulley. This is very deep. A few times a sunk in to my hip! Most of the time I was able to get good steps. Fun glisade down.
|2016-06-19||Route: South Face
Info: Here's a few pictures of conditions from a flight I took on Sunday. My wife was taking pictures of the routes -- hope it helps. Lighting wasn't great as it was mid morning and sun hadn't crossed the range.
|2016-05-14||Route: Northwest Couloir
Info: Conditions look good from afar.
|2016-03-19||Route: South Face
Info: With a lack of recent snowfall and warmer temperatures, the snow was bomber, even on the approach through cottonwood creek. The red gully was definitely more exciting in winter than in summer. There is a solid trench in place from cottonwood creek trailhead all the way to the top of this mountain.