Peak:  Crestone Needle (14er)
 Route:  South Face
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  moon stalker
 Date of Info:  01/10/2021
 Date Posted:  01/12/2021

From cottonwood TH the trail is well packed to about 3.5 to 4 miles up. Then when it hits the boulders Paul mentions, fewer people have gone that far. I lost the previous tracks around 11,000k. I went right, the previous tracks went straight up. Go straight up, if you start going down, just keep going up. I missed the previous tracks again at about 12,000. Above treeline the trench is harder to follow as it has been filled in various spots. Stay in the middle of the valley and don't climb too high above it.
Below BHP, there is a weird snow formation at the base that did not look appealing to get through. I gained the ridge one gully to the west of BHP. There were tracks there too. Once on the ridge, the cairns were easy enough to follow. The fresh snow on Saturday left about 2 inches on the ridge, nothing noticeable down below treeline. The snow was melting when the sun was out, Sunday was near bluebird. Quite a bit of the rock was wet from the melting snow that covered everything, which will turn to ice. I got away with microspikes, but I wouldn't be surprised if crampons will be required very soon. The crux was not dry, had a dust of snow on it.

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