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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-02-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: Snowshoe trough now in place to treeline. Largely wind-scoured or minimal post-holing on the ridge above the treeline.
|2016-01-23||Route: East Ridge
Info: The peak conditions were similar to the last report, as there wasn‘t any significant snow accumulation in the past week. We turned off the Rainbow Trail at .4 miles. Don‘t get discouraged in the trees at the steepness! Snowshoes were needed, despite a nice snow trench almost up to treeline. Once out of the trees, it is extremely windswept and dry. There‘s also a picture of snow conditions on Broken Hand Pass.
|2016-01-17||Route: East Ridge
Info: South Colony Lakes Road is very well packed by snowmobiles/hikers/skiers. No flotation was needed, but it did make the walking a little easier. The Rainbow trail turnoff is well signed and there is a packed trench on the Rainbow Trail. We left the Rainbow Trail about .4 miles from South Colony Lakes Road where it was obvious that other parties had done the same. There‘s a good trench/packed trail to treeline. We used snowshoes and they definitely helped, but you might be able to get by without them. Above treeline is windswept and has only patchy, firm snow - we walked on a lot of grass and rock. No flotation was needed above treeline. Upper parts of the route are pretty clear of snow, but there is definitely some snow along the route and microspikes made the descent easier/safer. Avy danger on this day was very low. Storms may change the conditions.
|2016-01-02||Route: East Ridge
Info: I just wanted to share a few thoughts from my experience today heading up towards Humboldt‘s east ridge. Same conditions apply to the trailhead as they did last week... the 2WD TH is where you can park at this point. Most of the road is completely snowed over... from what I could see, a couple of cars have tried to make it up to the mile marker but from the tracks left behind, looks like they had an interesting experience! Save yourself a headache! Walking on the road, microspikes were all that were necessary since in general there was a well packed down trail. From the turnoff onto the Rainbow Trail, we didn‘t put on our snowshoes... there were a couple of messy parts (and we postholed a couple of times on that first gradual ridge), but in general, the trail was packed down enough that again, microspikes were all we needed. One thing to note: the route description says that about .2 miles after the bridge, you can turn off of the RT and gain the small ridge. As of late, no one else has done this. What was packed down was the ‘alternate‘ way to gain the ridge (add another .2 miles or so to the RT and then turn left... it was an obvious turn). Where we did put on our snowshoes was when we turned NW to go up the ridge. Jclark217 had said that they thought they went wrong on their route finding. However, I don‘t think they did. We followed what they had done up to about 10,600‘ or so. (They were clearly the last people who had attempted the east ridge since the tracks stopped where they said they did). Yes, the route is a bit steeper, but I felt that where we were snowshoeing matched the route description. My friend & I ended up breaking trail all the way up to tree line and a bit beyond. The snow condition was the same as it was on 12/29. It was loose and powdery; nothing had consolidated. It definitely was a good work out since there was a good amount of postholing. You can follow the trench we put in up to about 12,200‘. We ended up turning around at this point since it was getting later in the day & we didn‘t want to deal with the route through the forest without light. While the first couple of miles went really fast, the slog up to tree line took a while. Be careful as you descend though through the forest. Because the snow is loose (even after being packed down by snow shoes), it‘s easy to slip, even with traction. Watch your footing! Hope this helps; have fun out there!
|2015-12-05||Route: East Ridge
Info: The trench put in per the 11/29 CR on this route is gone. There is an intermittent ski/snowshoe track to the upper 4WD TH as of 12/5 but beyond that you‘ll be breaking trail in 2-3 feet of snow. Pic is looking north from the road toward Rainbow Trail to East Ridge.
|2015-11-29||Route: East Ridge
Info: We parked at the lower trailhead due to the road being snowy/icy. Tried driving higher, but only got about 0.5 miles further. Trail had been broken on the road to the Rainbow Trailhead turnoff previously. We broke trail through shin to thigh deep snow (especially once you leave Rainbow Trail) up to roughly 11,000 ft before turning around due to heavy snowfall and deteriorating visibility.
|2015-09-20||Route: West Ridge
Info: 9/12 report is spot on. If you‘re coming from Needle trail make sure you make note of the crossover trail the Upper Colony Lake/Humboldt trail on your way up. You have to turn right near the E end of the lake. It‘s clearly an intersection but not as obvious as you would think as you‘re coming down.
|2015-09-12||Route: West Ridge
Info: Clean and dry. Lots and lots of cairns from the saddle onward. Trail often gets lost in upper talus, but searching for cairn to cairn will guide you through. Bit of easy class 3 or 2+ needed to get up some blocks right before the summit level. Two rock windbreaks with one at the summit and another on the eastern end. Western false summit is less rocky with a bit of soil and gravel.
|2015-09-12||Route: West Ridge
Info: S. Colony Lakes road is very drivable now by a 4wd vehicle. Pretty straightforward. The trail is dry and in good shape. A few cairns below the false summit are hard to find but the goal is obvious so it doesn‘t really matter.
|2015-09-08||Route: West Ridge
Info: Hi my name is Kristina! This is my 41st fourteener this summer. My goal is to climb them all this summer. You can read more about this hike and others at Sunshineof1985.com! Enjoy! Distance (Upper Parking Lot to Upper Colony Lake): 4.3 mi. (one way) Distance (from Upper Colony Lake): 3 miles (Round trip) Total Elevation Gain from Upper Colony Lake: 2,000 ft. Time started (from Upper Colony Lake): 7:30am End time (back to Upper Colony Lake : 10:55am Time to Summit Humboldt Peak from Upper Colony Lake: 2 hours Time to Descend Humboldt Peak to Upper Colony Lake: 1 hour and 10 minutes *GEAR (to bring): FOR 2 NIGHTS & 2.5 DAYS if trying to bag all three mountains (Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak & Humboldt. Bear spray, water purifier, first aid kit, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, headlamp, flashlight, toilet paper, GPS, extra batteries, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, extra change of clothes, wear a tank top, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat, lightweight gloves, winter hat, overnight pack with water sack and extra water (160oz), food for 3 full days (large bag of jerky, large bag of trailsmix, 6 protein bars, and 6 granola bars or more). *Road Condition: My sedan made it all the way to the upper trailhead! I did scrape the underside of my car a couple times, but nothing serious. It will take guts, but it can be done! *Trail Condition: Easy to follow, but muddy in some spots. From the final junction to Humboldt‘s peak, the trail is dry, easy stone steps at first, then you‘ll be climbing boulders and some harder class 2 moves will arise. There is a false summit, but getting to the real summit is easy. There‘s little elevation gain. Also- it‘s cold and windy.
|2015-09-07||Route: West Ridge
Info: Beautiful Labor Day on Humboldt. Road to 4WD TH is in decent shape and passable for most vehicles (we had a RAV4). Trail is also in very good shape - no issues to report. Very windy from TH to summit, though there were periods of calm later in the morning. Some people reported having to crawl on all fours near the summit. Great views of the surrounding peaks as the clouds cleared around noon.
|2015-08-23||Route: West Ridge
Info: Fairly wet trail till the final ascent, but not much of the muddy stuff, so easily avoidable. We hiked Humboldt at sunrise, and we made two route errors in the darkness: 1) when we reached the willows, the trail appeared to go straight at one point and we soon found ourselves bushwhacking; this is NOT the route! If you find yourself bushwhacking, turn back immediately and find the main trail off to the right about 5 yards after you start bushwhacking. 2) Stay to the right as you go up the final ascent; we accidentally went left for a while and were walking on a section with sheer dropoff to our left. Not the trail! Final word of caution if you are hiking Humboldt in the dark: we started second guessing that we were on the correct trail as we reached the willows because of all the headlamps to our left. We quickly realized the Crestone trail parallels the Humboldt trail on the left hand side of the willows for a while. Know that you are on the correct trail for Humboldt, don‘t dismay! There just won‘t be as many headlamps (or none at all) on the Humboldt trail.
|2015-08-12||Route: West Ridge
Info: Road isn‘t too bad for cars with decent clearance. Beautiful colors for mid August and gorgeous hike. 11.6 miles from the summer trail head. Got out around 6am and only ran into one other person on the way up and had the place to ourselves. Well worth the steep switchbacks and final steep but (mild) mile boulder scramble up the top.
|2015-07-17||Route: West Ridge
Info: Climbed Humboldt today. Camped near the upper lake and had no trouble with bugs. Trail was dry and in good shape. It‘s a quick climb up from the upper lake if you want to catch summit sunrise. Added 2 photos of Broken Hand Pass. Photos taken July 17th.
|2015-07-03||Route: West Ridge
Info: No extra gear needed, although you will definitely want waterproof boots/shoes. Only 4 or 5 short snowfields and 3 of them can be avoided. Made it to the 4wd trailhead in my 09 ford escape. Had a little trouble in one spot on the way up because of the mud and a little trouble in one spot on the way down. If you go slow you‘ll be just fine!
|2015-06-27||Route: West Ridge
Info: Humboldt is easily doable with no ice gear as of 6/27. All the upper trail areas are free of snow. I had gone out with the intention of climbing Crestone Needle but Broken Hand pass was full of snow and I had no ice gear so it was up Humboldt. Here are several shots of BH pass and Crestone Needle. Alan
|2015-06-22||Route: West Ridge
Info: Climbed Humboldt standard route (sort of) on Monday 6/22. Trail was snow clear except for a few easily traversed snow fields between 11k and 12k. Saddle on up was totally clear. A lot of water running down parts of the trail below both upper and lower lakes but not enough to rise much above soles, so if you have gortex lined boots...no problem! Love my Vasques. Sunny all day (I know that doesn‘t help you now..but hey). I‘ve included a few pic, some show snow conditions of Broken Hand Pass. No excuse not to climb Humboldt if it‘s on your list. Edit: The road to the upper TH was totally clear.. a few sketch spots but no problems. AND..if you find my wallet anywhere on the mountain or parking lot..please call me at 720-971-1686 Bob.
|2015-06-20||Route: West Ridge
Info: Pretty good conditions for my first 14er. For the most part, conditions are good. We made it with only hiking boots and never really thought we needed anything else. I had much more trouble on the 4-wheel drive road than some others. I didn‘t make it up in a Ford Expedition, but we did see that many cars did. The road is completely dry and clear, although with some nasty ditches. For the hike itself, we started at around 3:30am and summitted by 8:30. The trail was in good shape leading up to the Lakes, just a little wet. Approaching the lakes there was a lot of snow, but early in the morning it was still hard. Granted some parts were slippery and we proceeded slowly, but made it without trouble. Above the lakes it was completely snow free and dry. The snow on the way down was much softer with the warmth and the sun. Slightly annoying, but again very doable. My group was 5 people and only one had actually done a 14er before, but we all made it up.
|2015-06-20||Route: West Ridge
Info: Route is almost completely free and clear of snow. No traction or flotation needed, although it doesn‘t hurt to have a pole to help across the snowfields. The road to the 4wd trailhead is in decent shape, although there are two sections were you will absolutely need at least 6" of clearance, and a little more would be better. I made it in a Freelander, but 95% of the other cars at the trailhead were trucks or highi-clearance Jeeps. From the South Colony trailhead there is some water on the trail, but nothing you will need to wade through. By the first lake a section of the trail has turned into a small stream, but even in the middle of the day there is not more than an inch or two of water. I brought water resistant hiking boots and didn‘t get a drop in them. There are a few snowfields, each no more than 50 yards long, on the main trail that have been well tracked but turn slushy by midday. They can be a little slick so if you don‘t have good traction on your boots bring a pole to steady yourself. The rest of the trail to the summit is total clear. One recommendation: the trail is very exposed right now and the hot weather makes heat exhaustion and heat stroke very possible for hikers starting later in the day. I started at sunrise and by noon I was dipping my head in the waterfalls every half mile to stay cool. I‘ll post pictures soon.
|2015-06-14||Route: West Ridge
Info: West ridge and east ridge clear and dry. WARNING: THERE IS A CRAZED NIBBLE-OBSESSED JACKRABBIT ROAMING THE BASIN AND CHEWING ON YOUR GEAR. He is not afraid and he loves the taste of slings and straps. He also tried to taste tents, backpacks, water bottles, etc... but is not interested in the food we had at camp. This rabbit is aggressively cute -- he resisted attempts to be pepper sprayed or snowballed... because that would just be heartbreaking. Eventually I think he found some people at a higher camp to bother. Don‘t bother with snowshoes, microspikes, or ice axe if attempting the west ridge route. Just bring waterproof footwear (gaiters too) as most of the trails resemble small streams right now. Snow begins after departing the road at the start of the wilderness area. However there are no patches that are particularly deep, and coverage is spotty. Later in the day it‘s mushy but the trail has been packed heavily and is still pretty supportive. In the morning it is pretty bulletproof. There is widespread snow cover after entering the S. Colony Lakes basin. Again, not particularly deep, and very supportive if following the bootpack. Most of the campsites near the lakes are inundated with water or still covered in snow. We found a nice spot though. The trails are mostly submerged in water-- wear good shoes and trudge down the middle of it. The saddle is probably the hardest/sketchiest part of the west ridge route right now. There are three or so steep snowfields that need to be crossed. However they have deep bootpacks making the traverse pretty trivial if you follow the footsteps. I just wouldn‘t want to fall early in the morning when that steep snowfield is iced over. After ascending the switchbacks to the saddle there is no more snow. In contrast to other recent conditions reports I found the trail very clearly and was able to follow it all the way to the summit with almost no departure from the trail. The trail through the S. Colony Lakes basin is very clear, as well as the switchbacks up to the saddle (looks like a massive, recent rockslide ran across part of the trail, there is huge gouges in the ground and boulders laying in fresh craters in the snow at the bottom). After the saddle, we thought the trail was extremely clear and straightforward up until about 13,750ft, where it turns into talus-hopping between cairns with bits of trail visible. No issues, really solid and clear trail. No snow except for a few small patches of ice and packed snow near the summit. Broken Hand Pass is a mess right now. Still totally socked with snow (at least on the NE side), some recent slide activity, and I didn‘t really see any footsteps headed up that way. The Crestones (from the back) looked pretty snowy. The lower lake is almost completely melted out and there were a lot of fish jumping (and some sort of large rodent -- marmot? swimming around and dunking under the water), if you‘re into that whole thing.