Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crestone Needle

Approach to Crestone Needle

Miles, Chad, Erin, Arman, and I hiked Crestone Needle (14,197 feet above sea level) on Saturday. The Needle is a little sister to Crestone peak, but it's still ranked as one of the harder fourteeners in Colorado. The difficulty comes in at the final hour-long push to the summit. It's an unwaveringly steep crawl up coarse conglomerate rock that has an unfinished look, as though it were forced from the depths of the earth too soon. The view from the summit was obscured by clouds for all but 5 seconds when the skies opened up and gave a glimpse of the world below. High mountain tops are always barren places, and I feel like I'm defying nature just by living and breathing atop them. Being the highest thing around is exhilarating, but it's nice to descend back to where birds chirp, flowers bloom, and oxygen pervades.

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