Crestone Peak & Crestone Needle
Crestone Peak and Needle, located in the heart of the Sangre De Cristo Range, are two of the most awe inspiring 14,000 foot+ mountains (14ers) in Colorado. Their jagged summits dominate the skyline above the surrounding valleys and reward those who ascend them with unforgettable views. Climbs in the Crestone Group range from long Class 3-4 scrambles to the epic Peak-To-Needle Traverse to the technical Ellingwood Ledges route. Also known as the Ellingwood Arete, it is one of the 50 classic climbs of North America! The Crestones offer some of the best alpine rock climbing in Colorado.
Climb with our experienced and highly trained guides. We are here to help you challenge yourself and achieve your goals while providing the technical expertise needed to safely negotiate these climbs.
Important Note: With the exception of just climbing the standard route on the Crestone Needle, we highly recommend the two day option for all other climbs in the Crestones (Crestone Peak, Peak-To-Needle Traverse, Ellingwood Ledges).
1-day sample itinerary:
- Meet the day prior to climb and review gear/logistics
- Middle of night start
- Drive 2.6 miles on 4×4 road* from lower trailhead (8,700′) to upper trailhead (9,900′)
- Start approach from upper trailhead (9,900′) under headlamp to base to Crestone Peak or Needle. Goal is to reach technical sections shortly after dawn
- Climb objective(s)
- Descend and hike back to upper trailhead (9,900′)
- Drive back to lower trailhead
*4×4 road can be hiked as part of the day but makes for a very long single day climb. 2-day climb with high camp is recommended when hiking from lower trailhead to upper trailhead.
2-day (high camp) sample itinerary:
- Meet the day of climb and review gear/logistics
- Drive or hike* 2.6 miles on 4×4 road from lower trailhead (8700′) to upper trailhead (9900′).
- Start approach at upper trailhead (9900′) to high camp (~11,500′ – 12,000′)
- Set up camp prep for next days summit objective(s)
- Wake early and approach routes under headlamp. Goal is to reach technical sections shortly after dawn
- Climbing objective(s)
- Descend back to camp
- Break camp and hike back to upper trailhead (9900′)
- Drive/hike* back to lower trailhead
Previous climbing experience required. For big days in the Crestones our preference is that we’ve climbed with you in the past. If you are new to us, we’ll expect a simple climbing resume for review.
Climbing with an AMGA Certified Alpine or Rock Guide (minimum). All group climbing and safety equipment. Camping and personal climbing gear can be rented if required.
Transportation- Rental vehicle with high clearance and 4×4 capability may be required. This cuts off hiking milage getting to upper trailhead. We may be able to supply 4×4 transport from lower (2wd trailhead) to upper 4×4 trailhead for additional fee.
Personal climbing gear, clothing, food and travel/medical insurance.
Pikes Peak Alpine School operates under special use permits from the USDA Forest Service, Pike National Forest and is an equal opportunity service provider & employer