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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-06-12||Route: West Ridge
Info: Drove 4WD road to upper parking lot (road is all-clear, just make sure you have 4WD and good clearance). Long road up to trail fork - sporadic snow drifts on this trail. Found a good campsite about halfway to the lakes - dodging snow. There's definitely more snow in this valley than the more northern valleys I've been hiking up (Elbert, Columbia, Quandary). Started hiking from campsite at 430 am, summited at 730am - wind was unreal at the Humboldt saddle. We got pounded. 5-6 big patches of snow drifts on the trail to the saddle - not enough for snowshoes or any snow/ice gear. Just plow through if its mushy (it will be on the way down) or ride the frozen snow before dawn with boots or microspikes - we were all in boots and youll do just fine with only boots. Not alot of people up in this area which was surprising, we only passed a couple of people on the way down as we were the first to summit.
|2016-06-11||Route: West Ridge
Info: West Ridge of Humboldt on Sat 6/11. Tons of melt, water ways down the road from the lakes, etc. Entire route is probably close to 95% clear now. What little snow remains is mostly avoidable with just a few small exceptions. No real glissading opportunities any longer, unfortunately. Summer-like conditions, so no snow gear needed at all. Left TH around 6am, summited just after 11am. Saw only seven others on the mountain. Road to TH absolutely fine... except for the low clearance car that got himself stuck. Lol. There's a reason the route info calls for good clearance 4wd...
|2016-06-06||Route: West Ridge
Info: Started ascent from 4WD trailhead at 6am. Some drifts towards the end of the old 4wd road, but passable and road 90% clear. Once the trails split, the Humboldt trail runs into snow in the trees pretty quickly. Post-hole inevitable. Around both lakes still a lot of snow. Switchbacks visible in some parts. Ridgeline to summit is fairly clear. Good glissading opportunities on the way down. More post-holing on the way down. No snowshoes.
|2016-06-05||Route: West Ridge
Info: Did the West Ridge on 05Jun16. The 2.5 miles up old south colony lakes road to the road/trail junction was mostly clear. After this point route finding was a bit tricky due to snow. Would recommend snowshoes from the road/trail junction to about 12000'. Gaining the ridge and the remaining route to the summit I wore micro-spikes but they probably weren't necessary. Snow was soft and slushy by mid morning. Lots of water running down the old road.
|2016-06-05||Route: East Ridge
Info: The 4WD road is clear of snow and there is no snow up until about 11,100 ft, at which point patches of snow appear. Just below treeline knee deep snow appeared. We opted to bring snowshoes, ice axes, and microspikes. We used the snowshoes here just below treeline and then a little past treeline. Above treeline there were patches of snow again, some very large and unavoidable (we used snowshoes on a large patch, which was nice). After the false summit there was more snow than there wasn't. We mainly used microspikes and the ice-axe as protection. About 100 ft below the summit the snow disappeared and there was minimal snow on the summit. It was quite slippery in many spots due to transition snow and it was nice to have trekking poles or an ice-axe for balance. The descent was good, but we used the snowshoes again around treeline. I would have regretted not bringing the ice-axe and microspikes, the snowshoes were perhaps unnecessary (but nice to have in a few places). The weather was very nice, I mostly wore a t-shirt and only put on a light jacket at around 13,000 ft.
|2016-05-24||Route: East Ridge
Info: The snow line is was pretty far above the Rainbow trail. If you plan on starting in the dark like I did, I highly advise downloading the .GPX file for the left off of the Rainbow trail was very easy to miss. With no snow for awhile and in the dark, hiking from waypoint to waypoint was necessary. Eventually, large mounds of snow were showing up. Alternating between 10-50 yards of snow knee to waste deep and then the same with dry ground so it took some time to give in and get out the snow shoes. They were necessary though.Eventually not far from treelike the snow became solid both by being consistent and not postholing. T This was well before sunrise and the temp was estimated around 29 that night at that altitude. If you're in the dark and the conditions haven't changed, I wouldn't expect or plan on using the trail too much after the first hour. After the treeline it was pretty straight forward and solid so snowshoes were fine for awhile. Eventually cramp ons were needed. This was still before sunrise. The wind was very strong so warmer gloves were needed (It was much warmer at the trailhead so a smaller, thinner pair were fine). The snow was very solid so the crampons gripped very well. All I can say about the peak is that the view was amazing, the sky was 100% clear and the wind made it almost unsafe to leave your gloves off very along. Also, if you do take your gloves or anything off, don't expect them to be there too long if you're not keeping them secure somehow. Heading back the temp went up fast so the snow conditions changed tremendously. The angles are moderate so it didn't matter, but form the little I know about the I would have been thinking about wet avalanches if it were steeper for it was around my ankles. Another note, the temp was so warm by the time I got back to the Rainbow trail I was wearing a short sleeve gym shirt and could have worn shorts. In terms of skiing: It would have been quite awhile before you would have been doing any skinning. And except for very close to the peak, you would have been avoiding rocks quite a bit coming back. The East Ridge. I don't regret not skinning.
|2016-05-14||Route: East Ridge
Info: South Colony Lakes Road to rainbow trail junction is clear with the exception of a couple spots where only one tire had to roll through snow. Sporadic snow on this route from 10,200-10,800 due to the south facing slope direction. Continuous snow after that in which snowshoes were very helpful; we were postholing without them. At sunrise, we decided to stash our snowshoes above treeline as the snow was consolidated. Summitted around 7:30 am using just microspikes; the snow was pretty firm on the way up. Much less firm above treeline a couple hours later on the descent. For conditions of neighboring peaks, message me and I can send some higher quality photos taken with dslr if the attached ones don't suffice.
|2016-04-10||Route: Southeast Flank Gully
Info: South Colony Lakes Road very snowy from Rainbow Trail intersection on. I turned off road at 1.8 miles past the summer TH bridge. Initially, hellish postholing, even with snowshoes. But, once slope angle increased, snow was great. It's easy to find the bottom of the avy slope...you can see the open area through the thick trees. The SE flank gully had ~1000 feet of snow...hard, with graupel sliding down in waves. At the end of the snow, I followed the line into the talus, and ultimately intersected the East Ridge Route near the summit.
|2016-04-04||Route: East Ridge
Info: Drove to within a mile of the trailhead. Was very warm, around freezing when we took off around 6:30AM. Already mud and slush up the road and into the trail. There is a very large tree down across the trail that turned out to be a good place to take that left past the bridge to gain the ridge. The trail up the ridge and through the trees was easy to see and follow however we had to shoe up through most of it because of lots of post holing. Even with shoes we often post holed to our knees. We left our shoes at tree line. We went straight up the hill to the 13,100 ridge and had to crampon up from there. There was no tracks to follow and with the fresh snow on top, had to pick our way through the rocks carefully but it was definitely doable. Had a birthday cake on the peak!
|2016-03-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: We started a bit before 7 without any trouble. Snow drifts would prevent cars from going all the way up the road to the Rainbow Trail, but otherwise the road and the on trail portion was pretty bare. There was a packed down track a good ways up the lower ridge, but ends well below treeline. Throughout the hike there was occasional post-holing, especially right before treeline, but nothing bad enough to require flotation. Once above the trees, snow could be easily avoided, but the winds were...well doing what wind does best. We got to right up to the flat ridge-13,100, before a white out turned us around. Also a Public Service Announcement: Whenever wearing gloves/mittens, make sure the strap that goes around the wrist is actually tightened, not just on. When I took off one of my hiking poles, it took the mitten off and blew within two feet of dropping the north face before sticking on a rock.
|2016-03-05||Route: East Ridge
Info: The overnight low before the hike was about 20F. We hiked to treeline in only microspikes, above treeline it is mostly bare ground. We wore snowshoes below treeline on the way down with minimal postholing, one in our group did not have snowshoes and didn't posthole that badly, but it was partly cloudy and not much above 40F during midday. Starting at 6:20 start to finish in just under 10 hours.
|2016-02-28||Route: East Ridge
Info: Snow is mostly consolidated, even below treeline. Above treeline it is windblown and solid. Microspikes (or winter boots with an aggressive sole) are mandatory. Snowshoes are optional. A solid trench is in place all the way to treeline, but there are some spots where postholing will occur, particularly around the flat areas at treeline. If you don't like postholing, bring the flotation. Prepare for a long day either way since you'll be starting from the 2WD trailhead, and the road is completely packed with snow. Weather was warm and sunny with basically no wind during the day, highly unusual for winter!
|2016-02-20||Route: East Ridge
Info: Three of us hiked Himboldt today and all agreed snowshoes were NOT nessacary. We used Microspikes for most of the hike (except above tree line) and were glad we had them. Windy most of the day, took us just under 10 hours round trip including all stops/breaks and summit time. Great packed easy to follow trail in place. About a dozen people total on the mountain. Don't bother trying to drive past the 2wd trail head.
|2016-02-15||Route: East Ridge
Info: Nice stroll up Humboldt today. Trench is well defined going up the East Ridge. Snowshoes are recommended unless you like playing post hole roulette. Above treeline there are some snow patches which eases ascent/descent. Halfway up to the 13,200 point the slope is blown clean and remains that way until the final summit ridge. Micro spikes were a definite help on the upper sections. Very windy today. Gusts up to 60mph had me hunkering down a couple times. Had to stay to the south side of the ridge proper to avoid the high winds. Winds died slightly on the way down and once you are back in the trees they are irrelevant. It took 6hr20min to reach the summit as the wind really slowed progress. Round trip ended being 10hr04min. Long day but the views were spectacular. Go and get it. Just be prepared for high winds and keep pushing.
|2016-02-14||Route: Southeast Flank Gully
Info: There was a solid amount of snow to skin from the 8800 foot summer trailhead-though it might have melted up a bit by now. There is plenty of snow below treeline, but it quickly disappears above. I mostly hiked on loose talus to the peak, but was able to find enough snow to ski from about 13000 feet on the southeast flank.
|2016-02-13||Route: East Ridge
Info: Humboldt‘s east ridge is in excellent shape right now. From the 2WD parking lot to the Rainbow Trail is packed with snow mobile tracks. From the Rainbow trail turn off to the ridge line has a solid trench in place. The trench from last weekend‘s crew was also re-modeled and smoothed/widened today. Once you get to treeline, it‘s pretty dry except for some snowfields that are extremely hard packed. Summit is totally dry. Snowshoes still needed, microspikes needed. Crampons would be overkill currently.
|2016-02-10||Route: East Ridge
Info: Road is packed down by snowmobiles to the upper South Colony trailhead, microspikes recommended but not necessary. Below treeline: Solid trench in place thanks to the crew on Saturday all the way to treeline on the East Ridge route makes things go very quickly with none of the usual route finding issues, snowshoes required. Make sure to follow the snowshoe track and not the skin track that goes directly up in some spots, you will post hole with snowshoes in the skin track. Above treeline: spikes optional, mix of grass and satrusgi up the first steep section, minimal snow on the ridge proper. Southeast flank: much less snow than the Saturday crew had, talus hopped to around 13-13.3, then was able to ride back to the car. Icy, hard snow above treeline, spring slush below. A note on the weather, don‘t believe the forecast. It was calling for 10-15mph winds, and it was up to 40-60mph gusts on the ridge above treeline which made it very tough going. Be prepared for anything.
|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.