Crestone Needle

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Crestone Needle
Crestone needle and lower south colony lake 2008.JPG
Crestone Needle, with the upper South Colony lake in the foreground.
Highest point
Elevation 14,203 ft (4,329 m) [1] [2]
Prominence 457 ft (139 m) [2]
Isolation 0.45 mi (0.72 km) [2]
Listing Colorado Fourteener 20th
Coordinates 37°57′53″N105°34′36″W / 37.9647221°N 105.5766752°W / 37.9647221; -105.5766752 Coordinates: 37°57′53″N105°34′36″W / 37.9647221°N 105.5766752°W / 37.9647221; -105.5766752 [3]
Geography
USA Colorado location map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Crestone Needle
Location Custer and Saguache counties, Colorado, United States [3]
Parent range Sangre de Cristo Range, Crestones [2]
Topo map USGS 7.5' topographic map
Crestone Peak, Colorado [3]
Climbing
First ascent July 24, 1916 by Albert Ellingwood and Eleanor Davis
Easiest route South Face: scramble (class 3+)

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 (bearing 108°) of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States. [1] [2] [3] 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.

Contents

Climbing

While not as high as Crestone Peak, and connected to it by a high, jagged ridge, Crestone Needle is regarded as a worthy climb in its own right. The easiest route is the South Face (or South Couloir), usually accessed via Broken Hand Pass from South Colony Lakes. This is a slightly exposed scramble with a few tricky moves, and is one of the more difficult standard routes among the Colorado fourteeners. However the classic route on the mountain is the Ellingwood Arete, also known as the Ellingwood Ledges Route. This is a steep ridge on the northeast side of the peak, leading directly up from the Upper South Colony Lake basin to the summit. It is a mildly technical rock climb (5.7 on the Yosemite Decimal Scale). It is particularly popular because of its inclusion in the well-known book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America by Steve Roper and Allen Steck. [4]

The peak consists mainly of granite and conglomerate. Knobby handholds are frequent near the summit. Snow fields linger around the peak throughout the summer.

Almost all fatalities on the peak occur on either the Class 4 traverse from Crestone Peak or the technical Ellingwood Ledges Route.

See also

Related Research Articles

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
Longs Peak

Longs Peak is a high and prominent mountain in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,259-foot (4346 m) fourteener is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness, 9.6 miles (15.5 km) southwest by south of the Town of Estes Park, Colorado, United States. Longs Peak is the northernmost fourteener in the Rocky Mountains and the highest point in Boulder County and Rocky Mountain National Park. The mountain was named in honor of explorer Stephen Harriman Long and is featured on the Colorado state quarter.

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.

Little Bear Peak

Little Bear Peak is a high mountain summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,043-foot (4,280 m) fourteener is located on the Sierra Blanca Massif, 8.8 miles (14.2 km) north by east of the Town of Blanca, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating Rio Grande National Forest and Alamosa County from the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant and Costilla County. Little Bear lies 0.96 miles (1.54 km) southwest of Blanca Peak, the ultra prominent fourteener that is the highest point of the massif.

Ellingwood Point

Ellingwood Point is a high mountain summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,048-foot (4,282 m) fourteener is located on the Sierra Blanca Massif, 9.9 miles (16.0 km) north by east of the Town of Blanca, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating in Rio Grande National Forest and Alamosa County from San Isabel National Forest and Huerfano County. Ellingwood Point was named in honor of Albert Russell Ellingwood, an early pioneer of mountain climbing in the Western United States and in Colorado in particular.

Elmer Albert Russell Ellingwood was a pioneering mountaineer and climber in the western United States during the first half of the twentieth century. He made first ascents of many peaks and routes in the Rocky Mountains, particularly in Colorado, including Lizard Head in the San Juan Mountains, Ellingwood Ridge on La Plata Peak in the Sawatch Range, and Crestone Needle in the Sangre de Cristo Range. Many mountain features are named for him, on peaks such as Middle Teton, on which Ellingwood made the first ascent, the Ellingwood Ridge of La Plata Peak, and the Ellingwood Arete ascent of Crestone Needle; the fourteener Ellingwood Point, near Blanca Peak in southern Colorado, is named for him as well.

Columbia Point

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 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.

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.

<i>Fifty Classic Climbs of North America</i>

Fifty Classic Climbs of North America is a climbing guidebook and history written by Steve Roper and Allen Steck. It is considered a classic piece of climbing literature, known to many climbers as simply "The Book", and has served as an inspiration for more recent climbing books, such as Mark Kroese's Fifty Favorite Climbs. Though much of the book's contents are now out of date, it is still recognized as a definitive text which goes beyond the traditional guidebook.

The Diamond (Longs Peak)

The Diamond is the sheer and prominent east face of Longs Peak and named for the shape of the cliff. The face has a vertical gain of more than 900 feet (270 m) all above an elevation of 13,000 feet (4,000 m). It is a world-famous Alpine climb.

Petit Grepon

Petit Grepon is a semi-detached spire in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. It is one of the "Cathedral Spires" which also includes Sharkstooth, The Saber, and The Foil. The South Face route of Petit Grepon is recognized in the historic climbing text Fifty Classic Climbs of North America and considered a classic around the world.

Hallett Peak

Hallett Peak is a mountain summit in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,720-foot (3,877 m) peak is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness, 10.1 miles (16.2 km) southwest by west of the Town of Estes Park, Colorado, United States, on the Continental Divide between Grand and Larimer counties.

Ellingwood Ledges

The Ellingwood Arete is a popular technical climbing route on Crestone Needle in Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Range. The Ellingwood Ledges Route is recognized in the historic climbing text Fifty Classic Climbs of North America. An "arete" is "a sharp narrow ridge found in rugged mountains".

Allen Steck is an American mountaineer and rock climber. He is a native of Oakland, California.

Carl Blaurock was an American mountaineer. He pioneered many climbing routes throughout Colorado and Mount Blaurock is named after him. Blaurock and climbing partner Bill Ervin were the first to climb all of the 14,000-foot peaks in the state of Colorado, doing so by 1923.

References

  1. 1 2 The elevation of Crestone Needle includes an adjustment of +1.763 m (+5.78 ft) from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Crestone Needle, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Crestone Needle". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  4. Roper, Steve; Steck, Allen (1979). Fifty Classic Climbs of North America . San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. ISBN   0-87156-292-8.