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Columbia Point is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,986-foot (4,263 m) thirteener is located 5.5 miles (8.8 km) east by south (bearing 102°) of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States.[3][2][4] 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.

Columbia Point
The Crestone Group as seen from Mount Adams. From left to right: Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak, Columbia Point, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point.[1]
Highest point
Elevation13,986 ft (4,263 m) [3][2]
Prominence360 ft (110 m) [2]
Isolation0.25 mi (0.40 km) [2]
Parent peakKit Carson Mountain[2]
Coordinates37°58′44″N 105°35′53″W / 37.9788886°N 105.5980644°W / 37.9788886; -105.5980644Coordinates: 37°58′44″N 105°35′53″W / 37.9788886°N 105.5980644°W / 37.9788886; -105.5980644[4]
Columbia Point is located in Colorado
Columbia Point
Columbia Point
LocationSaguache County, Colorado, United States[4]
Parent rangeSangre de Cristo Range, Crestones[2]
Topo mapUSGS 7.5' topographic map
Crestone Peak, Colorado[4]
First ascentunknown (probably climbed as part of an ascent of Kit Carson Mountain)
Easiest routeDifficult class 2

Columbia Point is subpeak of Kit Carson Mountain. It was known informally as Kat Carson, but was officially named Columbia Point in 2003 to honor the seven astronauts who died when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry on February 1, 2003. With a topographic prominence over 300 ft (91 m), it qualifies as a separate summit under the standard cutoff, but it is not a well-known peak.


The MemorialEdit

The USGS Board of Geographic Names approved the name of Columbia Point in June, 2003. On the weekend of August 7, 2003, a group consisting of family members, astronauts, friends and climbers installed a memorial plaque on the summit. The trip included a dedication service for the memorial, and an F16 flyby in missing man formation.

Today, we name a point in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado in honor of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Seven brave astronauts perished during her final mission on February 1, 2003. Columbia Point is an appropriate honor for this shuttle's last voyage. Those who explore space in the days ahead may gaze back at Earth - and know that Columbia Point is there to commend a noble mission. The point looks up to the heavens and it allows us, once again, to thank our heroes who soared far beyond the mountain, traveled past the sky -- and live on in our memories forever.

The plaque reads:


In Memory of the Crew of Shuttle Columbia
Seven who died accepting the risk,
Expanding humankind's horizons
February 1, 2003
"Mankind is led into the darkness beyond
our world by the inspiration of discovery
and the longing to understand. Our
journey into space will go on."

President George W. Bush

Historical namesEdit

  • Columbia Point – 2003 [4]
  • East Summit
  • Kat Carson Mountain

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The name Kit Carson Mountain can be used to describe three summits: Columbia Point, Kit Carson Peak and Challenger Point. It can also be used to describe the main summit only.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Columbia Point, Colorado". Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  3. ^ a b The elevation of Columbia Point includes an adjustment of +1.786 m (+5.86 ft) from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Columbia Point". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  5. ^ "Secretary Norton and Nasa Administrator O'Keefe Announce "Columbia Point" In Honor of Space Shuttle Columbia" (Press release). Department of Interior. Archived from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2011-08-20.

External linksEdit