Matt Mahoney's 2001 Colorado Vacation

Kit Carson

While waiting for tomorrow's 13 mile Crestone run, I climbed Kit Carson (14,165 ft), taking the standard route from the Willow Creek trailhead in Crestone over 14,081 ft. Challenger Point. The climb to Challenger, which took 4 hours from 8880 ft, climbs a steep ridge and then traverses a 60 deg. conglomerate wall on ledges 3-12 inches wide (class 2+). From there it took 40 minutes to descend east and circle around to the east side of Kit Carson on a shelf and climb the class 3 rock to the summit. The weather was so nice that I stayed on the summit for an hour and descended with some slower climbers, taking 11 hours total, and had dinner with them back at camp. We took a detour off of Kit Carson, accidentally descending an extra 500 ft. of class 3 slabs and having to climb back up.

A bighorn sheep on the Willow Creek trail.

Kat Carson (left), Kit Carson (center), and Challenger (right).

The 3 close peaks are Crestone Peak (center and right), partially hiding Crestone Needle (left), as seen from Kit Carson.

Kit Carson from Challenger. Behind it to the right is Crestone Needle and Peak.