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Septem Virtutum Anima Mea 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 1500', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Elisha Gallegos and Daniel Schuerch, July 2017
New Route: Yes
Season: June to October
Page Views: 387
Submitted By: Daniel S on Jul 13, 2017

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BETA PHOTO: This picture shows the route on the return trail t...

Description 

This route climbs the prominent face north of the Willow Lake Campground. Climbing the Septem Virtutum Anima Mea (Seven Courageous Souls) allows for an alternative route to the summit of Challenger Peak with less rockfall than the current 2nd Class trail to its summit (Rocky Mountain Field Institute, RMFI is currently making a better trail to the summit of Challenger). The crux of the route is circumventing the roofs on the first pitch that earns the route's 5.8+ rating. Hand jams and laybacks are required. The rest of the route is mostly face climbing using flakes and crack systems for protection. This route, in my opinion, is better than Ellingwood Ledges and comparable to The Prow (The Prow has better exposure due to its ridge nature but is harder to protect).

Location 

Approach this route using the Willow Lake Trail. In the town of Crestone on the west side of the Crestone Range, head two miles east on East Galena Avenue to its terminus at the trailhead. Hike the trail up to Willow Lake Campground (5 miles and 3000 feet of elevation gain). The route starts just north of the Willow Lake Campground on the left side of talus below the cliff (see the topo and pics provided). Once the climb rolls into second class terrain after approximately 1500 feet of climbing, travel NW until you reach gentler slopes down to the north side of Willow Lake. It is better is to follow the ridge line to Challenger Point and then follow the Mountaineer's trail back to the campground.

Protection 

A double set of thin gear to a #4 Camalot and one set of nuts. Gear up to a #6 Camalot can be placed for protection on easier parts of the climb. Pitches 1, 2, 3, and 4 have two bolt anchors, not all have links for rappelling though. Pitch 4 anchors are the "commitment anchors". Retreating after pitch 4 will require leaving gear.


Photos of Septem Virtutum Anima Mea Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Once at the fourth pitch anchors, evaluate the wea...
BETA PHOTO: Once at the fourth pitch anchors, evaluate the wea...
Rock Climbing Photo: This picture looks up the last 300 to 400 feet of ...
BETA PHOTO: This picture looks up the last 300 to 400 feet of ...
Rock Climbing Photo: A left-facing chimney followed by some slab climbi...
BETA PHOTO: A left-facing chimney followed by some slab climbi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climb up and slightly left into a wide gully syste...
BETA PHOTO: Climb up and slightly left into a wide gully syste...
Rock Climbing Photo: This shows the 3rd Class slab up to the 2nd pitch ...
BETA PHOTO: This shows the 3rd Class slab up to the 2nd pitch ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The third pitch starts by crossing the 3rd class l...
BETA PHOTO: The third pitch starts by crossing the 3rd class l...
Rock Climbing Photo: After climbing this easy boulder problem on the 2n...
BETA PHOTO: After climbing this easy boulder problem on the 2n...
Rock Climbing Photo: The second pitch is somewhat rambling. I hope the ...
BETA PHOTO: The second pitch is somewhat rambling. I hope the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: This shows the start of the second pitch.  2a.
BETA PHOTO: This shows the start of the second pitch. 2a.
Rock Climbing Photo: Elisha Gallegos leading the first pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Elisha Gallegos leading the first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: This view of the route is taken from the Willow La...
BETA PHOTO: This view of the route is taken from the Willow La...

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