Solo Climber Stranded on Cliff Band Overnight on Colorado 14er

CragBrains | ClimbingClimbing
crestone needle, colorado
Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak in the Sangre de Christo Range, CO. Credit: Reddit

On the afternoon of Friday, July 31 Custer County Search and Rescue (CCSAR) was alerted that a climber descending Crestone Needle, CO got off route and became stranded on a cliff band.

After assessing the situation from the field, the team concluded the terrain was too difficult to safely conduct a rescue in the dark and planned to resume support in the morning, leaving the climber stranded overnight.

First thing in the morning, three technical team members were inserted into the field via FFL and made visual contact with the subject. After providing technical team support the subject was in a secure location by midday. All teams were out of the field by 2:15 pm.

climber, rescued
Flight for life helicopter. Credit: CCSAR

The majority of CCSAR missions on Crestone Needle are a result of people losing the route during the descent. This is also a great reminder for everyone to carry more gear/food/water than you think you’ll need in case you’ll need to spend the night out.

Crestone Needle is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,203-foot (4,329 m) fourteener is located 6.9 miles (11.1 km) east-southeast (bearing 108°) of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States. The Crestones are a cluster of high summits in the Sangre de Cristo Range, comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point. They are usually accessed from common trailheads.

crestone needle, colorado
Crestone Needle, CO

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