Guidebook

Climb the Inspiring 14ers of the Sangre de Cristo Range

Climb some of the most technical and remote 14ers in Colorado in the Sangre de Cristo Range.

Description

The 14ers in the Sangre de Cristo Range are renowned as some of the most technical and most challenging mountains in the state of Colorado! Originally, some of these mountains—most notably Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle—were thought to be impossible to climb. But course, humanity found a way to stand on top of these majestic mountains.

The Sangre de Cristo Range itself is notable as "the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains," according to Wikipedia. The range begins at Poncha Pass above the Colorado town of Salida and runs to Glorieta Pass, located southeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico. While the range doesn't contain any 14ers in the state of New Mexico, Wheeler Peak, the state's high point at 13,167 feet, is also found in this mountain range.

Little Bear Peak is arguably the most technical mountain in the range, due to the incredible difficulty and danger of its standard route. If you add in the traverse to Blanca Peak, it gets even more committing. The linkup route is one of the most coveted mountaineering challenges in the state.

While the standard routes up Crestone Peak and the Crestone Needle aren't as technical as the route up Little Bear, linking them together with the traverse is even more technical than the Little Bear to Blanca Traverse. The Crestone Traverse easily scores a Class 5 difficulty rating. Completing the Crestone traverse is a true achievement of Colorado mountaineering.

Kit Carson and Challenger Point, while not quite boasting the same magnitude of difficulty as the aforementioned peaks, still require serious commitment and preparedness.

If you don't want to risk death on one of Colorado's most challenging mountains, Humboldt Peak, Culebra Peak, and Mount Lindsey, are all very approachable climbs. Ellingwood Point falls somewhere in the middle, but it's not nearly as death-defying as Little Bear!

Whichever mountain you choose, the rocky spires and vaulted summits of the Sangre de Cristo Range reign supreme as some of the most inspiring mountains in the state of Colorado!

Sources:
14ers.com
SummitPost.org
Wikipedia.org

Crestone Peak
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Crestone Peak

Salida
16.6 km
1,791 m
Climb one of the most beautiful and most challenging of Colorado's 14ers
Moderate
Private
Crestone Needle
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Crestone Needle

Salida
18.2 km
1,739 m
One of the most aesthetic and challenging Colorado 14ers.
Moderate
Private
Kit Carson and Challenger Point
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Kit Carson and Challenger Point

Salida
21.5 km
1,934 m
Standard route up the Challenger Point and Kit Carson 14ers outside of Crestone, CO.
Moderate
Private
Little Bear Peak
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Little Bear Peak

4.6 km
715 m
One of the most technical and coveted 14er summits.
Difficult
Private
Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point
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Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point

9.3 km
967 m
Tag two lofty summits on the Blanca Massif.
Moderate
Private
Humboldt Peak
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Humboldt Peak

Salida
5 - 6 hrs
19.9 km
1,311 m
1,311 m
One of the least technical peaks in the Sangres.
Severe
Private
Culebra Peak
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Culebra Peak

6 - 7 hrs
21.8 km
1,625 m
1,625 m
One of the few privately-owned 14er summits in Colorado
Severe
Private
Mount Lindsey
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Mount Lindsey

12.1 km
1,107 m
One of the four 14er summits in the Sierra Blanca Massif.
Moderate
Private
Little Bear to Blanca Peak Traverse
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Little Bear to Blanca Peak Traverse

8.0 km
951 m
One of the most technical and challenging mountaineering challenges found on Colorado's 14ers!
Difficult
Private
Crestone Peak to Crestone Needle Traverse
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Crestone Peak to Crestone Needle Traverse

Salida
18.5 km
2,015 m
The highly-technical 5th Class traverse route/combo of Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle.
Severe
Private