Peak:  Crestone Peak (14er)
 Route:  Crestones Traverse
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  e_ad_
 Date of Info:  08/08/2021
 Date Posted:  08/09/2021

Summer conditions. Arrival (F150 - big truck required) to the TH parking lot at Saturday - 1 spare spot, but on arrival to Lower S Colony Lk, a number of camping spots available. Early AM wayfinding can get tough up Broken Hand Pass - huge cairns to try not to miss, but we somehow missed them and went low-then-high, still ended up OK. Does get a bit soupy by Cottonwood Lake but no spare socks needed. Some water on the Red Gully up to Peak, but avoidable for the long slog. Traverse is easily navigable using guidance. Put on the climbing shoes from the 5.2 move under Black Gendarme, and from there, for me, feeling confident meant focusing on the rock in front of me, testing every hold, three points down, and focusing on improving my feet. Some light breeze and no sun on the route meant cold rock. I didn't have good gloves to climb in so had to keep warming hands - FYI. Personally, my friend and I both thought that the exposure on the headwall was NOT overstated and in fact he froze up midway up the headwall and I (surprisingly, as I was more concerned going in) jumped in to lead the final pitch. The exposure + no pro can get to even an experienced climber (he's more experienced than me and had even climbed the needle arete) so don't underestimate the headwall, even if the climbing itself is straightforward 4+ any fall after ~ the 5.2 move would be dangerous or deadly and the air under your feet can absolutely get to your head. Staying left is definitely easier climbing -- there's a pretty clear route about 3 feet right of fully left, but you're also the most exposed over there, and you still want to stay left of the crux move which is a little crack overhang about 40 feet up, and that's REALLY exposed. stay focused on each move and you'll be fine, if you can keep calm! PS don't sleep on the downclimbing from the Needle which in our estimation did reach some light class 4 and is tricky.

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