Guided Sangre De Cristo Alpine Climbs

The climbs of the Sangre De Cristo range rival those of many in Colorado for best quality and most scenic. With a unique conglomerate rock that is both solid and difficult to protect it yields some of the most classic alpine rock climbs in the state.

With climbs such as Ellingwood Arete, known as one of the classic climbs of North American on Crestone Needle you can enjoy one of the most accessible classic routes. For those looking to climb the both Crestone Peak and Needle  the Crestone Traverse is a good introduction to the great traverses. Other even less travelled but amazing climbs such as Gash Ridge on Blanca Peak or Ormes Buttress on the spectacular north face are distinct in their grandeur as well as their history, being known by the Diné as Tsisnaasjiní, the sacred mountain of the east.

For those just learning alpine skills or even just looking for a rest day activity there are also less difficult summits such as Humboldt Peak which can be hiked without ropes and serves as a good way to acclimatize for other ascents.

Want to climb but not interested in hauling a bunch of gear. Ask us about portering services!

Sangre De Cristo 14ers and 13ers

14ers: Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak, Humboldt Peak, Blanca Peak (Tsisnaasjiní) and Ellingwood Peak

13ers: Broken Hand Peak

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Sangre De Cristo Alpine Climbing Information


We are able to offer climbs in the Sangre De Cristo mountains from Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather permitting. Crampons and ice axes are usually required until later in June with the best weather often being in August and September especially for more technical climbs like Ellingwood Arete.

Guided Trip Rates

1 Guide Non-Technical Trekking Day Semi and Technical Climbing Day Extreme Technical Climbing Day
1 Guest $309 $429 $699
2 Guests $249 $369 $599
3 Guests $199 $309 $449
4 Guests $169 Please Call Please Call

Rate Information:

Previous guests enjoy a 10% discount on all our services. All rates are per person, e.g. 3 people for a Non-Technical Trekking Day would be $189/person for a total of $567. Semi-technical and technical climbs require climbing implements such as ropes, crampons, and helmets while non-technical ascents are un-roped ascents that don't require ropes, just weather appropriate clothing.

Rates are per day, approach days are billed as Non-Technical Trekking Days. For example, a 3 day trip to climb Crestone Needle would have 2 Non-Technical Trekking Days and 1 Technical Climbing Day. Total for 1 person would be $907.

Certain technical objectives may require lower ratios and proof of competency if you have never climbed with us before. That may entail something as simple as a climbing resume or reference or doing a quick half day of rock climbing with us ahead of time.

Sangre De Cristos: We offer climbs in the Northern Sangre De Cristos near the South Colony Lakes outside the town of Westcliffe, CO. Frequently our guests fly into Denver International or Colorado Springs Municipal Airport allowing us to check their gear in person before starting their days of climbing.

We also offer climbs in the Southern Sangre De Cristos near the town of Alamosa. Denver International and Colorado Springs Municipal Airport are still the best locations for flights. From Colorado Springs it's roughly two hours to the Northern Sangres and another 45 minutes farther to the Southern Sangres.

Climbing mountains is a Colorado past time. We offer some of the most classic alpine climbs in the Sangre De Cristos.

Climb Name Climb Description
Gash Ridge on Blanca Peak (Tsisnaasjiní) 1500' 5.0 One of the four sacred mountains in the Dinė (Navajo) culture, this is the easternmost sacred peak in their ancestral land. Gash Ridge is the sharp ridge descending to the east from the summit. While not the most difficult of technical climbs it is nearly a mile long with significant exposure in a remote alpine valley. Most successful ascents are done over three days with the first day being a hike in below the eastern face, a second day of technical ascent and descent, and a third day to hike out. Stronger parties may be able to complete the ascent in two days, rarely are parties successful in one day. Blanca Peak
Ormes Buttress on Blanca Peak 1400' 5.6 While it may not be the biggest route or the most technical it is a true alpine adventure. Difficult routefinding, serious pitches in a remote setting make this a route not for a novice alpinist. Generally done over three days with an approach day, a climbing day, and a hike out day this complex east face follows a rock rib to the final ridge onto the summit. Because the most straightforward descent is down Gash Ridge you get a lot of mileage climbing up and down the rock making for a very big climbing day with the likelihood of seeing anyone else being almost none. Crestone Needle
Ellingwood Arete on Crestone Needle 1800' 5.7 From the spanish word for crest and originally one of the "Trois Tetons" due to the resemblance to Teton Range in Wyoming this peak is also home to one of the 50 classic climbs of North America, Ellingwood Arete (5.7). There are easier routes such as the traverse from Crestone Needle (4th class) or the regular South Face (difficult 3rd class) but not much can beat a two thousand foot climb up such an aesthetic ridge. With a rough 4WD to set the tone before a pleasant backpack into South Colony Lakes this is generally done over three days while strong parties can do it in two. One day to hike in, one day to climb, and one to hike out. Really strong parties or those doing the easiest routes may be capable of single day ascents. Usually these are over 15 hours on the move. Long's Peak

Trips Include

-Group climbing equipment (ropes, carabiners, etc).-Individual climbing equipment (harness, helmet, boots, crampons, and any necessary equipment for climbing).

-Group camping equipment for overnight trips (tents, stoves, water treatment) -Dinner from the first night of the trip til breakfast of the last day, excluding lunch/snacks.

-Guide with AMGA training and certification for climbing and instruction.

Trip Excludes

-Transportation to climbing sites or any sort of lodging. Please note, most trailheads require high clearance and 4WD. We're happy to make recommendations on how to arrange these but guests are responsible for making sure they have an appropriate vehicle. Additional days may be needed when approaching from lower 2WD trailheads.

-Guide gratuities.

-Personal clothing and footwear appropriate for the objective (unless mountain boots are required).

-Personal snacks/lunch and water.

-Trip Insurance

-Other costs not associated with services provided by The Colorado Climbing Company.

Refund and Cancellation Policy: If for some reason you need to cancel your course or trip outside of 30 days you will receive a full refund less service charges to cover our costs incurred. For trips less than $500 this service charge is $50 and for those more than $500 this service charge is $100 or 10% of the trip cost, whichever is greater. If you must cancel within 30 days of the course or trip a refund of 50% will be given. All balances are due in full before the start of any course or trip and no refunds will be given beyond the course or trip date. In the case of unsafe conditions, weather or other circumstances beyond our control we will do our best to reschedule or issue a credit for a future trip. If this isn't possible you will receive a refund less the previously outlined service charges.

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