Peak(s):  Crestone Peak  -  14,299 feet
Humboldt Peak  -  14,068 feet
Date Posted:  06/02/2005
Modified:  04/04/2008
Date Climbed:   08/07/2004
Author:  glodder
 Crestone Pk - NW Couloir via S Colony Lakes - Aug. 7-8, 2004   

Two friends (Adam and Mark) and I left Denver at 4:00 am on a Saturday, headed for the South Colony Lakes trailhead to climb Crestone Peak, and after a high camp on Saturday night, climb Humboldt on Sunday then pack out. We parked at the 4WD trailhead and began hiking at 8:30 am. We passed the Lower South Colony Lake and then set up a tent at a good campsite at the Upper Lake. We then hiked to the Humboldt/Kit Carson saddle, climbed across the ridge to Bears Playground and then traversed over to the NW Couloir, also called the Red Couloir. Bill has a great picture of the NW Couloir on the Crestone Peak picture pages, probably taken from somewhere on Kit Carson or Challenger Point. In the picture, the couloir looks extremely steep and dangerous. Its not as bad as it looks, but if there is ice or snow in the couloir, I would have to agree the danger level is much higher in these conditions. When dry, its probably not that dangerous. However, even when dry, it is a steep scree and rubble climb which can yield rockfall, and it seems like theres always at least a little bit of snow in the NW couloir despite it being July or August. I think it is a good idea to wear a helmet in this couloir due to the rockfall, and probalby a good idea to carry an ice ax in case you have to cross a snow couloir, which we did have to do. We reached the top of the couloir and climbed the ridge to Crestones summit. We descended the same route. Id like to try the traverse over to the Needle someday.

We spent the night and then climbed Humboldt on Sunday morning and returned to the car. The descent went pretty quick.

By the way, the 4WD road is pretty rough. We had a Forerunner which handled it relatively well I think.

The Peak, Needle and Longs are my 3 most coveted summits so far and probably will remain high on the list as long as I climb. The Peak rivals Longs as my favorite mountain Ive ever had any experience with.


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