Stormy Sangres

Crestone Needle

This weekend I went on a little road trip to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Westcliffe, Colorado, to meet up with a friend for some camping and hiking around South Colony Lakes. The lakes are situated at the foot of three 14ers, making them a perfect basecamp for several days worth of hiking.

The weather was grim during our first two days, with rain, hail, lightning, thunder, and relentless Patagonia-esque winds. On the third day, however, I woke up at 2:30am to clear starry skies, so I jumped out my sleeping bag, got my stuff together, and started hiking via headlamp up to Broken Hand Peak, hoping to get a sunrise shot of the Crestone Needle fourteener from the neighboring summit. After some tricky routefinding around some cliffs and up some snowfields, I made it to the summit at about 5:00, and witnessed a spectacular sunrise from the top.

Humboldt Peak

After the Broken Hand Peak hike, I made my way back down to the lake where my friend was hanging out, and since the morning was still showing great blue-sky weather, we decided to hike up Humboldt Peak, another nearby 14er. Having just climbed one mountain, I wasn’t expecting to immediately go do another one, but I was feeling good and perhaps still had some more pent-up energy after the two previous stormy days. The weather held out, and we got to the summit around 11:30am along with about 20 other happy hikers.

See some more photos from the South Colony Lakes trip here.

7 thoughts on “Stormy Sangres

  1. Jack,

    Just awesome…I really love them all. This area is gorgeous, isn’t it? A few years ago I had an epic 18 hours in this area, summitting The Needle, Crestone Peak, and Humboldt, and I still regret to this day not slowing down and taking more pictures. You really captured the area well. Are these taken with the E-620? Again, nice series!

  2. Beautiful pics Jack! I know the area pretty well having grown up in nearby La Veta. I’ve hiked into these mountains plenty, mostly for the fishing, but this area is a hidden paradise. Keep up the excellent work!

  3. Beautiful pictures…. I drove through there three times last summer…. drove through million dollar highway… screaming… thank you for the memories…. love the area… not enough gut to climb or hike through yet… some day…..I missed the place… for now your pictures help me pass the time through..

  4. Awesome pictures of Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak. I was just looking at a photo album of a hike I did last weekend, summiting Challenger Pt. and Kit Carson. We were lucky to see Crestone Peak from the other side. Such a beautiful colossus of a peak. I particularly like your picture of Crestone, coming down from Humboldt. Great photos 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *