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  1. #1
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    TR: The next day on Crestone Needle. 3-12-07

    Crestone Needle, 14,197’, South Couloir, March 12, 2007.

    Goldenboy, Don Pedro, non-mag Scott.


    Of Colorado’s 54 peaks over 14,000’, the last one to be climbed was Crestone Needle, in 1916 by Albert Ellingwood and Eleanor Davis. The two returned in 1925 and were joined by two others on the first ascent of the arete that now bears Ellingwood’s name (5.7). The history of mountaineering is chock-full of pioneering women, and the Needle is no exception.

    Last week, a group of us skied Crestone peak, and as soon as I looked at the S. couloir on the Needle, I knew it was a line I wanted to get, and soon, before the Sangre's short spring season started to end. https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=79070








    Mtnbikerskierchick and I headed off to ski Mt. Sherman in the Mosquitos on Sunday. It was a nice relaxing fourteener descent, in good snow to top it off. After that, we parted ways and I headed off from Fairplay to Salida to meet up with Don Pedro and Scott. We got to our hotel in Westcliffe, and headed to the local Irish pub for a Guiness and some grub. The day dawned bright and clear, and we fired up the snowmobiles and made our way to S Colony lake. Even though Scott has his own ‘bile, we tandemed in order to avoid taking 2 cars and 2 trailers from CrestedButte.





    We skinned right up this gully, which provides easy winter access to the upper lake.





    Crestone Needle and the elegant Ellingwood arête drew us forward and after 40 minutes of skinning, we were already done with all of the skinning we would do that day. Skis and poles were traded for ice axes and crampons, and we made our way up towards Broken Hand pass. By now, we had picked up on the fact that someone had been this way recently. I was 99% sure it was Iskibc, since he had pm’ed me regarding joining up in the Sangres that weekend. Sadly, the bootpack that they had made was blown over and gone for all intents and purposes, so we made a new one.








    Once over the pass, the previous day’s tracks were now visible and useful as we traversed the south side to get to the base of the couloir. The most difficult climbing of the day was soon encountered at the end of the traverse. Thankfully, Crestone conglomerate rock is a joy to climb and this rock band was negotiated easily.





    From this point forward, there was only one track in the snow, where there had been two. This gave us something to ponder as we made our way up the couloir.







    At this point the ski tracks ended and it was clear we had reached someone’s highpoint. The slope got steeper and narrower at this point but things were going smooth and the climbing was a blast.











    Don Pedro, minutes from the top




    From the top, Humboldt and Pikes in the distance.




    Looking down the north side.



    From left to right, a gaper with a camera, the needle-to-peak traverse, Kit Carson, and another camera-wielding gaper. Photo taken by a camera toting gaper.




    The mountains were already inspiring, but thanks for adding to it, Davenport.




    The “Dav shot”

























    All these action shots were taken by Don Pedro. I screwed up my continuous settings AGAIN and all my action shots are blown. We were able to ski all the way down to the end of the previous days’ tracks without taking our skis off. The climb out of the couloir up to the traverse proper was probably the scariest part of the day, with mud and wet grass and rocks and ice and snow.





    The snow was ripping up Broken hand pass, but we knew once we got down a little we would have a pow run to finish off the day.







    Up to this point, the Sangres had been treating us right. Maybe if we had known about the epics handed out to other maggots over the weekend we would have taken it easy on the snowmobile out. Regardless, as Don Pedro and Scott tandemed out, they came up on a corner too fast and had a head-on with a tree. Thankfully we were able to tie my tow rope to Don Pedro’s sled and move it enough to get it out.





    It still ran and we got to the trailhead OK. The front end is pretty smashed up, but right now the damage looks to be less than $500. The Sangres give no quarter.
    Last edited by goldenboy; 03-12-2008 at 07:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    Solid work.

    Thanks for posting.

  3. #3
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    Way to get it in good nick!
    Thinking of taking my snows off. - alabamaskier

  4. #4
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    Kick ass TR. Way to get after it fellas.

  5. #5
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    Beautiful pictures and well written prose make this an enjoyable TR.

    Is that Kit Carson's Cole Couloir in the background of that summit pic? I assume that's next, then it's off to California for Mount Whitney, right?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ireallyliketoski View Post
    Beautiful pictures and well written prose make this an enjoyable TR.

    Is that Kit Carson's Cole Couloir in the background of that summit pic? I assume that's next, then it's off to California for Mount Whitney, right?
    Yeah, Kit Carson might come up soon, but it's a slog and that part of it isn't sounding too fun right now.

  7. #7
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    Nice work d00dz! Had a feeling someone might be back
    `•.¸¸.•´><((((º>`•.¸¸.•´¯`•.¸.•´¯`•...¸><((((º>

    "Having been Baptized by uller his frosty air now burns my soul with confirmation. I am once again pure." - frozenwater

    "once i let go of my material desires many opportunities for playing with the planet emerge. emerge - to come into being through evolution. ok back to work - i gotta pack." - Slaag Master

    "As for Flock of Seagulls, everytime that song comes up on my ipod, I turn it up- way up." - goldenboy

  8. #8
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    Wow dude, big decent.....new skis too? You are getting soft in your old age.....I thought you like the weight of the PowderPluses?
    Donjoy to the World!

  9. #9
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    WERD. Nicely done.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    Yeah, Kit Carson might come up soon, but it's a slog and that part of it isn't sounding too fun right now.
    Quit yer whinin and get er done!

  11. #11
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    sweet report.
    Ride Fast, Live slow.

    We're mountain people. This is what we do, this is how we live. -D.C.

  12. #12
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    Yeah boys! Way to "sew" that Needle how it's done! Some kick-ass pics in there too! So inspiring!
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  13. #13
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    The difference a day can make.....
    Nice TR and way to get after it.

  14. #14
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    Sweet TR. Looks like somebody had a smooth time in the Sangres. Loved the action shots. Looks steep but manageable. How much longer do think it has before all the chokes melt out.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the Stoke! I would guess it hasnt been snowboarded to many times, props to that. Sorry to hear about the sled...

    Crampons? check

    were is this huck? its pretty burl
    Last edited by doumall; 03-13-2007 at 05:05 PM.

  16. #16
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    Awesome decent Goldenboy. You sir, are an animal!


    So, what made the difference in the couloir? As simple as warmer temperature? Snow looked soft.

  17. #17
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    damn one warm day, and a pair of crampons later and that was all that it took. you guys are making me jealous

  18. #18
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    Amazing the difference a day can make. Congrats on the success.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post

    Serious pucker factor. Egads.

    Nice!
    Fighting foot fungus one public bath house at a time!

    My site

  20. #20
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    Agree that this pic = $$$$$




    Nicely done.
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kya View Post
    Awesome decent Goldenboy. You sir, are an animal!


    So, what made the difference in the couloir? As simple as warmer temperature? Snow looked soft.
    I don't know what it was like on Sunday, but we had great conditions to boot up the couloir. We also had crampons on.

    KillingCokes, the couloir won't be in shape for long (maybe even days as hot as it is) without another shot of snow. Crestone Peak will last longer.

    The huck off the cornice is right near the bottom. Pretty much landed and went straight to the exit traverse/climb.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    KillingCokes, the couloir won't be in shape for long (maybe even days as hot as it is) without another shot of snow. Crestone Peak will last longer.
    Shit thats what I was afraid of. Can't make it down that way for at least 2 weeks.

  23. #23
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    FKNA you guys are mental!!!

    Way to rip it with style too.

    I think I'd be calling for my mamma right here...and this aint even the worst part.



    props again!
    so many mountains...so little time

    www.splitboard.com

  24. #24
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    Amazing the snow difference in 24 hours. Nicely done.

  25. #25
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    intense...

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