Peak(s):  Crestone Peak  -  14,299 feet
Date Posted:  02/10/2023
Date Climbed:   02/03/2023
Author:  notidealbutfine
 Wallowing through Mashed Potatoes - A Winter Ascent of Crestone Peak via the South Face   

This TR was taken from my blog, read the full report here:

The Red Gulley

Crestone Peak (14,266′)
South Face, Moderate Snow, 1400ft, Grade II

  • ~12 miles round trip
  • 9.5 hours car to summit
  • 4.5 hours summit to car
  • 14 hours round trip
  • ~6,000 feet of elevation gain
  • My first winter summit of Crestone Peak (14,266′)

Summit Views 1
Summit Views 2

6:15AM rolled around and we found ourselves hiking up the Cottonwood Creek Trail in perfect moonlight; no headlamps necessary. With the exception of the absolutely astonishing alpenglow of morning light, the first 2.5 miles of the trail were relatively uneventful: solid bootpack had us moving at a great speed all the way up until the first small frozen waterfall. At this point, we were breaking trail. Microspikes came off, snowshoes went on.

This is where the suffering truly began.

We managed through about half of a mile of decent trailbreaking, but we eventually hit some steep slopes that were finally being hit my the intense morning sun. Well folks, we all know what comes next, that’s right: Mashed Potatoes. The following 2.5 miles was some of the worst snowshoeing I have ever experienced: wallowing through sun baked, post holey, south facing, steep snow slopes. We even managed to miss the trail for a decent half mile while climbing up Cottonwood Creek’s final headwall. Having to transition from snowshoes, back to boots for some steeper rock climbing, and back again to snowshoes had us exhausted and severely behind schedule. We rejoiced at the top of the headwall, but looked at our watches and immediately got our asses in gear.

Read the full trip report on my blog:

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3

Comments or Questions
02/23/2023 12:24
For actually making a readable trip report that is also a link to a blog. The single-link TRs drive me crazy. Yours actually has me wanting to provide traffic to your blog.

02/23/2023 12:56
I think Chris might owe you a beer for that trench.

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