Columbia Point

Last updated
Columbia Point
Kitcarsonmtn.jpg
The Crestone Group as seen from Mount Adams. From left to right: Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak, Columbia Point, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point. [1]
Highest point
Elevation 13,986 ft (4,263 m) [2] [3]
Prominence 360 ft (110 m) [3]
Parent peak Kit Carson Mountain [3]
Isolation 0.25 mi (0.40 km) [3]
Coordinates 37°58′44″N105°35′53″W / 37.9788886°N 105.5980644°W / 37.9788886; -105.5980644 Coordinates: 37°58′44″N105°35′53″W / 37.9788886°N 105.5980644°W / 37.9788886; -105.5980644 [4]
Geography
USA Colorado location map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Columbia Point
Location Saguache County, Colorado, United States [4]
Parent range Sangre de Cristo Range, Crestones [3]
Topo map USGS 7.5' topographic map
Crestone Peak, Colorado [4]
Climbing
First ascent unknown (probably climbed as part of an ascent of Kit Carson Mountain)
Easiest route Difficult class 2

Columbia Point is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,986-foot (4,263 m) thirteener is located 5.5 miles (8.8 km) east by south (bearing 102°) of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States. [2] [3] [4] The Crestones are a cluster of high summits in the Sangre de Cristo Range, comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point.

Contents

Columbia Point is subpeak of Kit Carson Mountain. It was known informally as Kat Carson, but was officially named Columbia Point in 2003 to honor the seven astronauts who died when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry on February 1, 2003. With a topographic prominence over 300 ft (91 m), it qualifies as a separate summit under the standard cutoff, but it is not a well-known peak.

The Memorial

The USGS Board of Geographic Names approved the name of Columbia Point in June, 2003. On the weekend of August 7, 2003, a group consisting of family members, astronauts, friends and climbers installed a memorial plaque on the summit. The trip included a dedication service for the memorial, and an F16 flyby in missing man formation.

Today, we name a point in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado in honor of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Seven brave astronauts perished during her final mission on February 1, 2003. Columbia Point is an appropriate honor for this shuttle's last voyage. Those who explore space in the days ahead may gaze back at Earth - and know that Columbia Point is there to commend a noble mission. The point looks up to the heavens and it allows us, once again, to thank our heroes who soared far beyond the mountain, traveled past the sky -- and live on in our memories forever.

The plaque reads:

COLUMBIA POINT, 13,980'

In Memory of the Crew of Shuttle Columbia
Seven who died accepting the risk,
Expanding humankind's horizons
February 1, 2003
"Mankind is led into the darkness beyond
our world by the inspiration of discovery
and the longing to understand. Our
journey into space will go on."

President George W. Bush

Historical names

See also

Related Research Articles

Space Shuttle <i>Columbia</i> Space shuttle orbiter

The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space-rated orbiter in NASA's Space Shuttle fleet. It launched for the first time on mission STS-1 on April 12, 1981, the first flight of the Space Shuttle program. Serving for over 22 years, it completed 27 missions before disintegrating during re-entry near the end of its 28th mission, STS-107 on February 1, 2003, resulting in the deaths of all seven crew members.

Sangre de Cristo Range American mountain range

The Sangre de Cristo Range is a high, rugged and narrow mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in southern Colorado in the United States, running north and south along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift. The mountains extend southeast from Poncha Pass for about 75 mi (121 km) through south-central Colorado to La Veta Pass, approximately 20 mi (32 km) west of Walsenburg, and form a high ridge separating the San Luis Valley on the west from the watershed of the Arkansas River on the east. The Sangre de Cristo Range rises over 7,000 ft (2,100 m) above the valleys and plains to the west and northeast.

Crestones

The Crestones are a group of four 14,000 foot peaks (fourteeners) in the Sangre de Cristo Range above Crestone, central southern Colorado, comprising:

  1. Crestone Peak
  2. Crestone Needle
  3. Kit Carson Mountain
  4. Humboldt Peak
Space Shuttle <i>Columbia</i> disaster In-flight breakup of Space Shuttle Columbia

The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was a fatal incident in the United States space program that occurred on February 1, 2003, when the Space ShuttleColumbia (OV-102) disintegrated as it reentered the atmosphere, killing all seven crew members. The disaster was the second fatal accident in the Space Shuttle program, after the 1986 breakup of Challenger soon after liftoff.

Fourteener

In the mountaineering parlance of the Western United States, a fourteener is a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 ft (4267 m). The 96 fourteeners in the United States are all west of the Mississippi River. Colorado has the most (53) of any single state; Alaska is second with 29. Many peak baggers try to climb all fourteeners in the contiguous United States, one particular state, or another region.

Sangre de Cristo Mountains

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. They are located in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico in the United States. The mountains run from Poncha Pass in South-Central Colorado, trending southeast and south, ending at Glorieta Pass, southeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The mountains contain a number of fourteen thousand foot peaks in the Colorado portion, as well as all the peaks in New Mexico which are over thirteen thousand feet.

Blanca Peak

Blanca Peak is the fourth highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The ultra-prominent 14,351-foot (4,374 m) peak is the highest summit of the Sierra Blanca Massif, the Sangre de Cristo Range, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The fourteener is located 9.6 miles (15.5 km) north by east of the Town of Blanca, on the drainage divide separating Rio Grande National Forest and Alamosa County from the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant and Costilla County. The summit is the highest point of both counties and the entire drainage basin of the Rio Grande. Below the steep North Face of Blanca Peak two live Glaciers once developed, until extinction sometime after 1903. North & South Blanca Glaciers were located at 37° 35N.,longitude 105° 28W. Blanca Peak is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude.

Crestone Peak

Crestone Peak is the seventh-highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The prominent 14,300-foot (4,359 m) fourteener is the highest summit of the Crestones and the second-highest summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range after Blanca Peak. The summit is located in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness of Rio Grande National Forest, 5.0 miles (8.1 km) east by south of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States.

Kit Carson Peak

Kit Carson Peak is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Officially designated Kit Carson Mountain, the 14,171-foot (4,319 m) fourteener is located 5.2 miles (8.4 km) east by south of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States. The name Kit Carson Mountain is used for both the massif with three summits, or to describe the main summit only. The mountain is named in honor of frontiersman Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson. The Crestones are a cluster of high summits in the Sangre de Cristo Range, comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point. They are usually accessed from common trailheads.

Humboldt Peak (Colorado)

Humboldt Peak is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,070-foot (4,289 m) fourteener is located in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 11.9 miles (19.2 km) south-southwest of the Town of Westcliffe in Custer County, Colorado, United States. The Crestones are a cluster of high summits in the Sangre de Cristo Range, comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point.

Challenger Point

Challenger Point is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,087-foot (4,294 m) fourteener is located 5.0 miles (8.1 km) east by south of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States. The summit is on the northwest shoulder of Kit Carson Mountain, and is a subpeak of the latter. It was renamed in memory of the seven astronauts who died when the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated shortly after liftoff on January 28, 1986.

Crestone Needle

Crestone Needle is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,203-foot (4,329 m) fourteener is located 6.9 miles (11.1 km) east-southeast of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States. The Crestones are a cluster of high summits in the Sangre de Cristo Range, comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point. They are usually accessed from common trailheads.

Mount Adams (Colorado) Mountain in Colorado, United States of America

Mount Adams is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,937-foot (4,248 m) thirteener is located in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness, 5.1 miles (8.2 km) east by north of the Town of Crestone, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating San Isabel National Forest and Custer County from Rio Grande National Forest and Saguache County.

Sangre de Cristo Wilderness

The Sangre de Cristo Wilderness is a long and narrow wilderness area covering 220,803 acres (893.56 km2) of the Sangre de Cristo Range centered about Saguache and Custer counties, Colorado. Smaller areas are located in Fremont, Alamosa, and Huerfano counties. All of the wilderness area is located on U.S. Forest Service land within the San Isabel and Rio Grande National Forests and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The wilderness area is home to several fourteeners and quite a few thirteeners. Crestone Needle is considered the most difficult.

Tijeras Peak

Tijeras Peak is a high mountain summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,610-foot (4,148 m) thirteener is located 9.8 miles (15.8 km) southeast by east of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States, in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness on the boundary between Great Sand Dunes National Preserve and Rio Grande National Forest. Tijeras Peak is the highest summit in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Tijeras is Spanish for scissors, and refers to the double-pronged rocky tip of the mountain.

Mount Herard

Mount Herard is a high and prominent mountain summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,345-foot (4,068 m) thirteener is located in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness of Great Sand Dunes National Preserve, 15.0 miles (24.1 km) southeast of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States.

Sangre de Cristo Formation

The Sangre de Cristo Formation is a geologic formation in Colorado and New Mexico. It preserves fossils dating back to the late Pennsylvanian to early Permian.

References

  1. The name Kit Carson Mountain can be used to describe three summits: Columbia Point, Kit Carson Peak and Challenger Point. It can also be used to describe the main summit only.
  2. 1 2 The elevation of Columbia Point includes an adjustment of +1.786 m (+5.86 ft) from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Columbia Point, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Columbia Point". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  5. "Secretary Norton and Nasa Administrator O'Keefe Announce "Columbia Point" In Honor of Space Shuttle Columbia" (Press release). Department of Interior. Archived from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2011-08-20.