Mountain Project Logo

Routes in The Crestones

'Bag O Stones' T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Crestone Peak / North Pillar T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Crestone Peak North Buttress T Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c PG13
Crestone Traverse T 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
Ellingwood Ledges T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
India T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Northwest Couloir T
Prow (Kit Carson), The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Septem Virtutum Anima Mea T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Trad, Alpine, 1100 ft, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 7,191 total, 51/month
Shared By: Kevin Currigan on May 27, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


16 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do

Your Star Rating:


     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:


-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
    -none-

Description

According to the guidebook I had, you simply hike to the base of the large buttress and start up going hand over hand following the easiest line. That describes it fairly well. However, it is very easy to get into more than 5 easy. I also found the rock to be good at times and really scary at others. When you get within 300' of the top you can continue to the top of the east pinnacle or traverse into the top of the NW couloir to get round to the southeast side of the peak for the finish.

Location

The first time I attempted this we followed the ridge from the Humbolt Saddle-bad idea. It undulates over steep ground with huge plates of loose rock. The second time I took the direct line out of the cirque right up to the buttress. The first part of the line seems to be easy to locate; right at the start of the 4th class. However, staying on 4th class rock proved difficult for me as I spent much of my time on exposed 5.6 type choss. Getting off via the standard south face route is best. Going down this thing looked really hairy. Of course, then you have to hike up 600' to Broken Hand Pass. You could also traverse over to Crestone Needle as was my plan. However, that fizzled when I realized that was going to be a bit too much of a day for me.

Protection

I would say a partner, a light rack, and a rope would be a good idea. Make sure the batteries in your head lamp are fresh. Study the route off of the peak, because this one really wanders.

Photos

Todd Ra
Golden
Todd Ra   Golden
Did this route a couple days ago and had a few things to add:
1) Doing the route from the Humboldt saddle is not necessarily a bad idea. The traverse from there is a fun class 3 scramble in and of itself.

2) The Buttress starts pretty much immediately after you get to the peak. We got a little lost trying to make it to further ridge lines thinking we were on the wrong one. Also, don't follow the cairns into the NW couloir!

3) Lastly, forget the rope and rack. The crux is downclimbing and traversing with very sparse pro, and it will drastically slow your progress. We did almost all of it in hiking boots no problem. Took out the rock shoes just for some peace of mind halfway through the crux :)

Super exposed, super awesome!

Definitely go for the traverse afterwards. It's a cakewalk after the Buttress and makes a great tour. Aug 8, 2014
Chris Wenker
Santa Fe
  Easy 5th
Chris Wenker   Santa Fe
  Easy 5th
Based on a USGS topo, this route probably starts at about 13,300, and tops out on East Crestone at about 14,240, so only about 900 vert feet total (maybe ~1100+ with the traverses). I solo'd it in ~1.5 hours, so not Grade IV. Aug 30, 2010
Daniel Trugman
La Jolla, CA
Daniel Trugman   La Jolla, CA
Your description sounds like it is for Crestone Peak's North Buttress, not a route on the Needle.... Aug 3, 2009
Kevin Currigan
Lakewood
 
Kevin Currigan   Lakewood
 
If you want to see a good photo of this mountain's north face, go to 14ers.com. Under Kit Carson, there is a 360 degree panorama. You can see the line perfectly looking SE. It's a great shot. May 18, 2008