Oh, yeah, I forgot about Crestone Needle!
I grew up not far from the shadow of the bare rock pinnacles of the Organ Mountains, affectionately known as The Needles, between White Sands National Monument and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Early Spanish explores named the mountain range Sierra de los Organos because the fluted jutting spires reminded them of organ pipes back home in European cathedrals.
During one of my road trips to visit my parents in California, I traveled through Needles, which name is derived from the sharp pinnacles of the Mohave Mountains. The wind-blown holes in the peaks may be seen by boating along the Colorado River.
The Colorado River, of course, starts at La Poudre Pass, which forms the border between Larimer and Grand Counties as well as the northern boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park. I spent eight years in Estes Park, the eastern gateway to the Park, where I developed my love for the Rocky Mountains. Here, I lived almost inside the shadow of Lumpy Ridge, affectionately known as The Needles. I've hiked almost every trail along the Lumpy Ridge, although I've never climbed to any of its highpoints.
Gem Lake on the Lumpy Ridge Trail
I got my first view of Molas Pass after my first Ride the Rockies, which traveled from Cortez, near the four corners of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, to Copper Mountain via Telluride. That autumn, I decided to return to the route to see if good autumn color existed in this new-to-me segment of the world. I drove to Telluride, but then on the return trip, I decided to turn right instead of left at Ridgway because the option existed. That's why mountain climbers climb, right? Because it's there.
My eyes about fell out of my head as I beheld Silverton and Red Mountain, both of which sported entire walls of the most radiant aspen gold I'd ever seen. I kept going, all the way to Durango. The stunning mountain vistas along the highway, which I'll be seeing again during this year's Ride the Rockies, really knocked my socks off! I took SO many pictures!!!
Crystal Lake on Red Mountain Pass
The western edge of the Weminuche Wilderness I'll be pedaling along next month contains yet another Needle Range. The Needle Mountains form the spine of the San Juan Mountains. Ride the Rockies will traverse this scenic backbone in just one month.
One of the sharpest Needles is Vestal Peak, with the impressive Wham Ridge, a soaring crib that causes my Lizard to drool. Crib is Welch for ridge, and the American word twin cracked me up because mountain climbers typically are quite the opposite of babies. I looked up ridge in other languages, too... Harjus is Dutch. Crête is French. Lapa is Hawaiian. Tagaytay is Filipino. Ķimigaaķ is Inuit. I'm having WAY too much fun...
At 13,870 feet, Vestal Peak is the tallest summit of the Grenadier Range, a subset of the Needles. Wham Ridge is one steep mama. Or perhaps it's a daddy... I expect the closest I might ever get will be Vestal Lake at the foot of the mountain, which should provide a stunning foreground for photos of this magnificent peak.
The Lizard admires the view of Wham Ridge on Vestal Peak and neighboring Arrow Peak
Vestal Peak, Mount Eolus and Arrow Peak
Paintbrush and Vestal and Arrow Peaks
This trip report includes some stunning photos of Vestal Peak.
I hope one day to be able to share photos of Vestal taken by me. They may not be from the summit, but I will find a way to make them memorable.
You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!
Finished Size: 4 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line
Vestal Peak Snowflake Instructions
Make magic ring.
Round 1: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), * 1 dc in ring, ch 5; repeat from * 4 times; 1 dc in ring, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 3 sp of Round. Pull magic circle tight.
Round 2: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, * 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, [ch 3, 1 dc in same sp] 2 times; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 5.
Round 3: Sl st into next ch 3 sp, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same sp, * 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in next ch 3 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.
NOTE: Binding off here makes a cute little snowflake, and working the mesh stitch here for a mandala or a snowflake-covered rock looks pretty awesome, too.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.
Optional Round 4a: 1 sc over post of dc directly below, * ch 7, 1 sc in next gap between 3/dc shells, ch 7, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp; repeat from * 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.
Optional Round 4b: 1 sc over post of dc directly below, * ch 5, 1 sc in next gap between 3/dc shells, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in same sp, ch 10, 1 sc in same sp, ch 5, 1 sc in same sp; repeat from * 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.
Round 4: Ch 8 (counts as 1 tr and ch 5), * 1 sc in next gap between 3/dc shells, ch 5, 1 tr in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch, ch 7, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in each of next 3 ch, ch 5, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch, 1 tr in same ch 3 tip, ch 5; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last tr and last ch 5 of final repeat; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 8; bind off. Weave in ends.
Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.
If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.