Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

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glodder
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by glodder » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:46 am

Agree with doggler and Kiefer, loose rock and watch out closely for your exit point. I climbed and descended that couloir in early August 2004, and there was a snow slope crossing that was unavoidable. I would plan on bringing equipment anticipating a traverse across a steep snow slope about 150 feet wide. We crossed that slope using just footprints with no spikes or ice axe, and I thought it was nerve-racking and dangerous. One slip and you're going down that slope all the way to the bottom, probably with a bunch of rock collisions on your way.
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by pctjeff23 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:28 am

Car camping is indeed allowed at the road pullouts going toward the Willow Creek Trailhead? Seems like starting at Willow Creek might be a better option, since it does not appear that car camping is possible at Cottonwood Creek Trailhead, according to the Trailhead Info page.
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by jdorje » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:00 am

There's no room at the cottonwood trailhead, which is on private property. The willow trailhead has a few spots.

http://osm.org/go/TzSilx1vV-" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by semitrueskerm » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:14 am

Anyone who ascends or descends the NW Couloir without snow has my total respect (well, with snow too). Good luck and be safe. That thing scared the heck out of me looking down it from the saddle when I did the Red Gully route.
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by pctjeff23 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:24 am

Thanks for all the responses. I'm leaning toward ascending Northwest Couloir and descending the South Face, based on people's responses on this thread.
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by bking14ers » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:40 pm

semitrueskerm wrote:Anyone who ascends or descends the NW Couloir without snow has my total respect (well, with snow too). Good luck and be safe. That thing scared the heck out of me looking down it from the saddle when I did the Red Gully route.
I agree. We also went up the South Face and at the top of it, you look sraight down the NW Coulier. It looked super narrow, steep and loose. Good luck. At one time I've read it used to be the standard route up.
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by Presto » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:57 pm

by bking14ers » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:40 pm
At one time I've read it used to be the standard route up.
It was (up and down). In the late 1980's we did the traverse from Needle to Peak (in the fog) and descended that route. Very steep and loose. To say that I could feel the wind flying up my ... well, you know what I mean ... is an understatement.
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by SchralpTheGnar » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:59 pm

what about backpack to south colony lakes, camp, climb crestone needle -> traverse to Peak -> descend NW couloir, then east ridge to summit of KC, then reverse to bears playground back to south colony lakes.
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by pctjeff23 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:26 pm

That would be a direct route, but the traverse from Needle to Peak is a class 4, which I have never done. I wanted to keep it to class 3 climbing, since I do not have any technical experience with ropes.
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by screeman57 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:45 pm

pctjeff23 wrote:Car camping is indeed allowed at the road pullouts going toward the Willow Creek Trailhead? Seems like starting at Willow Creek might be a better option, since it does not appear that car camping is possible at Cottonwood Creek Trailhead, according to the Trailhead Info page.
True, but there is excellent camping a few miles in.
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by Brian C » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:45 pm

I did the NW Couloir for my first route on the Peak as well when it was in dry conditions. Sounded like a great idea until we were in it. The middle was wet/icy so we were forced onto harder terrain on the right side. It was scary and made worse by copious amounts of rock fall coming down from a herd of sheep above us. I went back and did the North Buttress and felt that although it was technically harder, it was an overall safer route (no rockfall). Here are two photos from when we did it...

Image

Image
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Re: Crestone Peak - Northwest Couloir

Post by Presto » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:45 am

This view (from this website) is pretty much spot on. You go directly down (about 2/3 of the way) the cut/gully and then branch off to viewer's left angling down to the bear's playground.

http://www.14ers.com/photos/peakphoto.p ... 2&start=88" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM
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