Type: Trad, Alpine, 11000 ft, 8 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Chad Cummings? Chuck Norris?
Page Views: 2,660 total · 77/month
Shared By: phil wortmann on Jul 15, 2016
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Link up of all 5 Crestone summits via the technical routes (Ellingwood Arete and Prow). I did this as a solo venture, which I think is the best way to get it done in a day. If rolling with a partner, I would suggest a very light rack - maybe set of C3's, 4 link cams, a couple tiblocs, and a thin 60m rope. The real crux of the linkup is the lack of runable terrain. Expect a lot of downclimbing, scrambling, scree sliding, and boulder hopping. I got pretty turned around on the traverse and probably wasted a half hour. I finished in 12h 2m TH to TH.

1. Crestone Needle. Climb Ellingwood Arete to the summit, then traverse north to Crestone Peak.

2. Crestone Peak. Summit West Peak, and descend North Couloir as far down as you can. Then traverse skier's right on 4th class terrain to a scree gully to the East. Then aim W/NW to the base of the Prow.

3.Kit Carson/Challenger. Climb the Prow, the technical climbing crux of the day, 5.8. Stash your pack/gear at the saddle between Challenger and KC, tag Challenger, then continue to KC summit. You can climb the West face above the saddle (unprotectable 5.6), or skirt around the south face until you find a lower angle to scramble to the summit.

4. Humboldt Peak. Summon all your reserves, and slog up the Bear's Playground to the Humboldt Trail to the summit, then roll hard back to the car!


Start and end at South Colony Trailhead.


Rock shoes, chalk bag....


Mike Soucy
Longmont, CO
Mike Soucy   Longmont, CO
Awesome, Phil! I've had my eye on doing this for a number of years but just haven't made it happen. Mostly I'm too scared to solo the Prow...I've always heard that the Brothers Briggs blitzed this bag first in like 8 hours from S Colony back in the day. You just got me psyched to do it again! Jun 14, 2017
phil wortmann
Colorado Springs, Co.
phil wortmann   Colorado Springs, Co.
Sounds about right, Mike, those dudes could freakin' roll. Soloing the Prow wasn't too bad, since the hardest pitch is the first. High winds made it exciting for sure. I think there are several fast guys in the state who could do it in 8h from the new lower trailhead. Jun 17, 2017