|Peak:||Crestone Needle (14er)|
|Range:||Sangre de Cristo|
|Date of Info:||10/31/2020|
Summitted the needle today. Far more snow than I anticipated. 2 jeeps made it to the Rainbow trail parking area (talked to them, they were Custer County SAR, nice guys), and a 4 Runner was parked there when I passed by at the end of the day. There are ATV tracks from the Rainbow parking area to the 4WD TH, no traction needed to this point.
From the 4WD TH to just past treeline I was in snowshoes breaking trail. After treeline its wind scoured enough than I didn't use traction. Broken Hand Pass was the toughest part of the day, the snow is pretty variable. On the way up I stuck to the south side of BHP, staying in snow I could kick step. On the way down I went to the opposite side, the rocks were mostly dry, but steep, and hard to navigate down. If I were to do it again, I'd descend the south side with crampons (I had them with, but was looking at every possible option to avoid putting them on).
From BHP to the East Gully, just a little snow here and there. Same for the East Gully, I was mostly able to stay on dry rock all the way up. I didn't crossover to the West Gully.
Photos (click for slideshow):