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Humboldt Peak  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2013-10-27  West Ridge  Areas of deep snow with occasional postholing, especially later in the day, in South Colony Basin. Switchbacks to Humboldt Col were about 50% snow covered - ice axe was useful in this section, particularly in the morning when the snow was firm. The trail was fairly easy to follow, though some of the switchbacks are buried. Some parts of this section were melting out rapidly on the descent. The West Ridge itself was mostly bare rock, with some sections of snow and ice where the trail meanders onto the N. side of the ridge. Can be avoided by staying on the rocks on the ridge proper, instead of following the trail. Snow quality varies greatly from S. facing aspects, where it is subject to freeze-thaw cycles, to N. facing ones, where it is loose and poorly bonded. Equipment: carried microspikes and axes. Spikes were optional; used axes on ascent to saddle, but can probably manage without. Would expect conditions to change considerably with approaching low pressure systems this week. AlexeyD   2013-10-28  0     Edit Delete 
2013-10-19  East Ridge  We went up Humboldt on the East Ridge there was between 6" and 1ft of snow up until tree line. From tree line to the summit there was no more than 6" on wind loaded areas. Micro Spikes and Ice Axe were very useful the whole time. We then decided to go down the West Ridge to get a better look at the Creston’s for a future trip. This is where we would have really liked to have snow shoes or skins. From the Saddle below the summit of Humboldt all the way to the S. Colony Lakes Trailhead there was 1ft to 2.5ft drifts. The main trail was very hard to find because most of the time it was under at least 1ft of snow. I would say that S. Colony lakes Trail is definitely in winter conditions. minnow_30   2013-10-22  0  3    Edit Delete 
2013-10-05  West Ridge  Really small patches of ice on some of the flat parts by the lake. Anything steep enough to require traction is bone dry. gnargrizzly   2013-10-06  0     Edit Delete 
2013-09-28  West Ridge  Pretty good conditions. Several small patches of ice and snow and frozen streams along the trail. Brought my young boys and even though we brought microspikes never felt the need to wear them. It was a little cold and windy on the ridge, but very manageable. Was a blue-bird day. Humboldt is still open for business until the next big snow storm. Also, it was a very easy 4WD to the lower 4WD trailhead. sheller   2013-09-28  0  3    Edit Delete 
2013-06-22  West Ridge  There were 2 places where there was a pile of snow, and besides being a little slippery was no problem wearing sneakers. There was a little mud in sections around the same area as the snow, but there are plenty of places to step or go around completely. It was pretty windy from the top of the ridge to the summit. A group of young kids and their father decided to turn around and try again some other time, but there were 4 or five other parties that summited without much trouble. The smoke from nearby fires was annoying but the higher up you got the less you could smell it. bradmacgregor   2013-06-23  0     Edit Delete 
2013-06-16  West Ridge  Road clear to TH. Crossed two small snow fields on trip up, no need for special gear. Was a little muddy and wet in a few areas, did fine in boots. JohnnyZ   2013-06-16  0     Edit Delete 
2013-05-27  West Ridge  The road was dry until close the old trailhead and then it was continuous snow to the lakes. From the lakes to the summit there was more bare ground than snow and it was melting fast. summitridge   2013-05-28 4  3    Edit Delete 
2013-05-26  East Ridge  Hiked Humboldt on Sunday 5/26/2013 via the East Ridge Route. Snowshoes weren‘t needed along the route, though right before breaking out of treeline there were several large drifts, but they were able to be navigated without any issues. The upper ridge did have some snow along the route, but it was crunchy and also didn‘t cause a problem. I descended the SE Flank route. The snow was sparse in the upper portion of the gully. About 500 feet below the summit I was able to start my glissade all the way down to the terminus. The road all the way to the upper TH is clear and free of snow. ColoradoSherpa   2013-05-28  0  1    Edit Delete 
2013-05-22  East Ridge  Snow was great in the morning, but in the afternoon you‘ll posthole below treeline! Bring snowshoes and good gaiters. The final approach on the ridge has patches of snow and rock, but crampons or microspikes are not necessary. Check out the attached picture. esagas   2013-05-22 1  3    Edit Delete 
2013-05-15  East Ridge  The road leading up to the the Rainbow TH was bare and dry, as was the route for the first 1.5 miles or so. I agree with the previous post, the route is not that difficult to navigate, since you know that your objective is just to gain, then stay on the ridge until you exit the trees at about 11,800‘. At approximately 10,800‘ feet there is a hard delineation point where snowshoes are absolutely necessary. Even at the 8:00am in the morning the snow was pretty slushy, and I was post holing periodically even with the snowshoes - so if you have the float extenders - bring them! Overall I would say snowshoes were only necessary for about one mile each way though, (2 miles RT). Once exiting the trees I only had to put on snowshoes once more, and that was for a very short section of drifted snow on the final summit ridge. I never once used my microspikes, and it was pretty quick travel in either shallow snow or over rocks. I decided to hike the East Ridge because I couldn‘t find a ski partner, and I decided not to bring my skis since the East Ridge wasn‘t fabled to be a very good ski descent. It was a good decision - there was not even close to enough contiguous snow to make it worth lugging skis/a board along. However, the Southeast Flank Gully is still filled in enough to get a great ski in, all the way from the summit. I‘m not sure how long that snow will last, but right now, it‘s in! AW007   2013-05-16 2  3    Edit Delete 
2013-05-11  East Ridge  I had planned to do this hike with climbnowworklater but for a variety of good reasons we cancelled. I couldn‘t get it off my mind though, so at the last minute I headed out. I spent the night Friday at the Rainbow Trail crossing (see the trailhead status from 2013-05-11 by eskermo, who I am pretty sure I met up there today). A little snow and ice came down Friday night, but it was a dusting. The Rainbow Trail is muddy, but on the actual trail there isn‘t much snow to speak of. The bridge is out (it‘s totally gone) but there‘s a quick and easy detour. There was a small amount of snow at the start of little ridge you gain off the Rainbow Trail. I was in microspikes until about .8mi at which point the snow got very deep very abruptly. I switched to snowshoes and was fine. Snowshoes were required from that point on. On the way down, which was still before noon, things were already extremely slushy. On my way down I ran into a group of 3 snowboarders who were on their way up (I think one of them was eskermo), and they had been postholing knees and higher most of the way up (no snowshoes), in my tracks. They turned around after talking to me about the conditions on the rest of the trail. I had read that since the East Ridge doesn‘t have a trail, lots of route finding is required. This is true, but I found the route finding to be quite easy. I found the ridge to be narrow enough that it was very easy to know whether or not I was on the top of the ridge and moving in the right direction (rising elevation). To my surprise there were quite a number of cairns on the ridge, and as grateful as I am to whoever put them there, I don‘t think they‘re necessary. This is my experience, at least. It was a beautiful day to be on the mountain, but unfortunately above about 12,900 cloud cover obscured visibility to a degree I was not comfortable with, so I turned back at around 13,200, after about 30 minutes in this cover and with more ominous clouds moving in and staying around. I should have been able to see the summit from where I stopped, and all I could see was white. I think turning back was definitely the smart move as things looked even worse as I was descending the ridge, and still looked very covered while I was driving away. The picture of the trail crossing is from about 6am this morning. The snow on the road was totally gone by the time I got down. The shot of the ridge is from right about tree line, and gives you an idea of what the ridge looked like and the cloud cover, during my descent. In the image of my route, the only reason it deviates near where you gain the ridge is because on the way down, I went a little further east past where I gained the ridge on the way up. The last picture is just another view of the cloud cover looking south over the range, as I was on my way down. Not very exciting images, but here are some more from today. They might be good to show conditions. vdavidoff   2013-05-11 4     Edit Delete 
2013-05-04  East Ridge  Made it to the Rainbow Creek Trailhead in my 4X4 although it took some aggressive driving at points. Trail started out dry, and ridge was dry (Pic 1). Bridge is still out but creek crossing was easy. Started encountering snow around 10,000 ft (Pic 2). It was earlier in the day so the snow had not yet softened up. We used Microspikes till tree line. Was either dry or windswept snow to the top. Final pitch was not too bad with a couple of scrambles (Pic 3). On the way down once we hit tree line we put on our snow shoes. This was a must to avoid the post-holeing that Zdero1 had to go through the week before. Eventually got back to dirt where we took out snow shoes off. As we were leaving, it looked as though weather was coming in (Pic 4). Note: I finally broke down and bought a GPF for this climb. It was heaven sent as route finding would have been very difficult otherwise. Also, I’ve got additional pictures from the top of the Crestones and a panorama video if anybody would like to see conditions on some of the surrounding peaks. Dan_Suitor   2013-05-05 4  2    Edit Delete 
2013-04-28  East Ridge  I was able to drive my Forester to about 1.3 miles short of the Rainbow TH. Snowshoes are an absolute must have at this point when descending from treeline. We postholed from treeline at 11,600 all the way down to 9,800‘, adding a few hours to our trip. Above treeline, the snow is fairly scarce, making the route more of a Class 2+ difficulty for the final 400‘ or so of vertical gain. Please feel free to PM me with any questions. I‘d be happy to help. Mike zdero1   2013-04-30 4  4    Edit Delete 
2013-04-13  Southeast Flank Gully  Gully appears to be kinda-sorta-maybe in for a ski descent, though with a very billy-goaty top. This was prior to last night‘s heinous winds. Photo abused and manipulated to bring out rock/snow detail. Bean   2013-04-14 1     Edit Delete 
2013-02-07  East Ridge  too wiped out to do a full trip report, but wanted to get this up asap since time was of the essence... wookie horn and i did some leg killing trenching/trail breaking but we did manage to pull it off in the end. we both wanted others to use it asap - you just first had to hear how tough it was to make it! yes, it wavers off the gps route from time to time (as wookie horn said, it looked like it was made by a drunken sailor), so if you are ok with drunken sailor trailmaking without the sailor mouths we had when making it, it‘s all yours. weather was gorgeous and once we got out of the trees it didn‘t even slightly resemble winter. snowshoes are a must (the trail breaking even with snowshoes sunk us down to knee to hip deep). microspikes are useless. had to leave the jeep about .75 mi away from the rainbow trail trailhead but was not a big least not in comparison to the trenching. get up there before it dumps more snow and buries our labor of love...or hate...or something like that. lafutura   2013-02-07  0  1 2  Edit Delete 
2012-12-29  East Ridge  Powdery snow below treeline roughly 6 inches to 18 inches deep, depending on where in the trees you are. For the most part it is not bad at all. We did not encounter any avalanche danger on the East Ridge route. Brought snowshoes and ice axes but got by using Microspikes and trekking poles to get through the snow. Stashed our snowshoes as there was very little snow above treeline, just thin sheets of crust in certain areas (windblown); mostly ground showing above treeline. Oh yeah, and the bridge that goes over the creek at Rainbow Trail is now gone. SilverLynx   2012-12-30 4     Edit Delete 
2012-12-01  West Ridge  Did the standard west ridge. Made the upper trailhead in our Subaru Outback (granted, with off-road tires). Starting around 1.5 miles from the parking lot, the were some drifts and icy spots. The parking lot image (photo 1) suggest the road conditions. Snow was consistent until reaching the lower lake. The snow became patchy between the lower and upper lake (photo 2). The approach to the saddle: bone dry (photo 3). The ridge itself: also bone dry (photo 4). Had the ax and micospikes... never used them. Didn‘t use snowshoes either, as there is a warn boot path in the lower elevations. Of course, the next snow will change all of that. Jyak   2012-12-02 4  1    Edit Delete 
2012-12-01  East Ridge  Hiked the east ridge today. The TH was reachable by 4WD, although the majority of the road is packed snow with some icy spots. Parked at the Rainbow TH. About a foot of snow in the trees along the East Ridge, with no snow above treeline. There is a nice packed snow trail though the trees right now so route finding is not an issue. Obviously these conditions will change with the next storm. WarDamnPanic   2012-12-01  0  1    Edit Delete 
2012-10-01  West Ridge  Still summer conditions. Negligible snow all the way to the summit. Fall colors starting to fade. mrschaible   2012-10-02  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-09  West Ridge  Trail is completely free of snow all the way to the summit. There are a number of downed trees blocking the trail, but each are easy to get around or over. Very scenic hike. South colony road is a realtively easy drive with 4wd and high clearance. talusman   2012-06-11  0     Edit Delete 

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