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Sunlight Spire

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Standard Route, Sunlight Spire T 

Sunlight Spire Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 14,000'
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: George Bell on Jun 19, 2007
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Sunlight Peak and Sunlight Spire from Eolus


Sunlight Spire is a quarter mile southeast of Sunlight Peak in Colorado's Needle Mountains. It lies on the ridge between Windom and Sunlight. It would be Colorado's most difficult fourteener, except that it is so close to Sunlight Peak and there is very little drop between the two. The topo map lists its elevation as 13,995' but a recent survey upgraded to an even 14K.

You walk right past this Sunlight Spire on the usual route up Sunlight Peak. Sunlight Spire doesn't look very impressive except for the monolithic summit block which makes it so hard to climb. The top is a hundred-foot tall "obelisk". If you look carefully you'll see a beautiful splitter crack facing you as you near the summit of Sunlight Peak. This slightly overhanging crack faces southwest.

Getting There 

The usual (and shortest) approach is to take the train to Needleton and hike up into Chicago Basin. This is the standard approach for climbing the 14ers Windom, Sunlight and Eolus. A longer approach with no train ride begins from Vallecito Reservoir and crosses Columbine Pass.

Climbing Season

For the San Juans area.

Weather station 11.4 miles from here

1 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Sunlight Spire

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sunlight Spire:
Standard Route, Sunlight Spire   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 150'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sunlight Spire

Featured Route For Sunlight Spire
Rock Climbing Photo: From below.

Standard Route, Sunlight Spire 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b  Colorado : Alpine Rock : ... : Sunlight Spire
From the standard route on Sunlight Peak leave the trail at about 13,700' and head up a steep slope to the base of the summit block. This approach is 3rd class but rather loose and steep for about 300 feet.A short Class 4 to 5.6 pitch (depending on line chosen) leads to the base of the overhanging crack. This crack is a perfect size for jamming but is rather sustained and made more difficult by the altitude. The start is made easier by a ramp you can work your feet along, but the ramp eventua...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Sunlight Spire Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking at Sunlight and Windom from the pass above...
Looking at Sunlight and Windom from the pass above...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jagged from Windom or Sunlight, I don't recall....
Jagged from Windom or Sunlight, I don't recall....
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunlight Peak on the left and Sunlight Spire on th...
BETA PHOTO: Sunlight Peak on the left and Sunlight Spire on th...

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