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Humboldt Peak  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-05-09  Southeast Flank Gully  Gully had good snow cover for climbing. Didn‘t make it to the top, but it looked continuous. The East ridge looked pretty bare (picture attached). On the way down we were postholing below treeline even with snowshoes on. aweygandt   2014-05-10 1     Edit Delete 
2014-05-02  East Ridge  South Colony Road had big snow banks after ~1 miles with max cross inclination angle ~ 10 degrees. A fallen tree was blocking the road 0.5 miles ahead of rainbow junction. But I met some people driving up with a band saw; they might have removed it. Great patches of snow existed right below the tree line. Snowshoes were very helpful. Snow got very annoying in the afternoon when partially melted; postholing a lot even on snowshoes; glissaded some slippery sections. Above the tree line everything was easy and enjoyable. Snow was thin and firm, still good for skiing. Basic traction devices can manage the ridge with no problem. XavierSX   2014-05-03 2  3    Edit Delete 
2014-02-22  East Ridge  Hiked the East Ridge of Humboldt peak today. Long day for sure. Based on craigjhn‘s report from Saturday I was worried the snow would be too deep to handle the last 500 feet to treeline. South Colony Road is packed snow all the way at least to Rainbow Trail where we turned off. 2 fallen trees block SCroad completely so no vehicle or snow mobile could. The snow is deep on the road and starts just past the 2wd drive parking. I parked bout 200 yards up from the lot deciding i‘d probably get stuck in the snow. As for the ridge, the snow was probably bout 40 inches deep on the steeper section below treeline. It only took us bout 1:30 minutes to travel the .3-.4 miles of the steeper slope due to the deep snow. Traction was hard to come by. Luckily the sun had hardened the surface layer just enough to make it manageable by zigzagging. That slope almost was the achille‘s heal of the trip. Above treeline was nice and hard snow or bare rock/ridge so easy hike to the summit. 7 hours to summit, 4 hours back to car (the snow slope below treeline was very difficult - we made a trench for the next group ;). rambis_21   2014-02-22 4  3    Edit Delete 
2014-02-15  East Ridge  Parked at the road closure on South Colony road. Would be hard to get much farther. Road packed pretty good from snowmobiles. Took the Rainbow Trail over to the East Ridge route. There are a few annoying fallen trees both along the road and along the Rainbow Tr. Lower on the East Ridge there are a few bare patches of ground that are kind of hard on skis, but not real long stretches. Then we got into the steep section of real thick trees where it becomes more of a slope rather than a distinct ridge. Well this section was extremely SLOW, due to soft deep snow that makes forward progress very difficult. One .25 mile section took us almost two hours to negotiate. Progress was so slow we didn‘t make treeline until 2pm (with a 630am start). Once at treeline, progress was very much faster because it‘s almost all bare ground with a patch of snow here and there. We only made it up near the false summit because it was getting so late in the day. Did I mention the WIND? I don‘t even want to speculate what the wind speed was. It was screaming like a freight train the whole time. It wasn‘t quite strong enough to lift us off the ground, but during the gusts it was almost impossible to walk. It felt like the Jetstream had parked over the top of Humboldt. My friend lost a mitten. It looked like it was headed for Pikes Peak. Coming down obviously was quite a bit faster, but we didn‘t make it back to the car until after 10pm. This is a tough little mountain. The snow and wind combine to make it a very LONG slog. By the way, don‘t plan on finding a trench or even any tracks from our trip. They were gone 5 minutes after we made them. I used a series of waypoints on my gps to find the way up and down that ridge. Definitely helped after dark to find the way. Finally, for what it‘s worth - I lost a pretty nice ski pole right at the creek crossing on the Rainbow trail. I can‘t explain how. I fell when my skis dug in under the snow and when I got up the pole was nowhere to be found. We dug around looking for a while, but it was late. If you find it, let me know. I‘m sure it will show up in spring time. It might actually wash down the creek if the water gets very high. Anyway - hope this helps someone. Take Humboldt seriously, it‘s a tough one. craigjhn   2014-02-17  0     Edit Delete 
2014-01-20  East Ridge  From the lower TH to the upper TH: fast & easy walk on snow-packed road Upper TH to ridge: a couple of paths that are very easy to follow to choose from, cairns along the way and plenty of tree branches that try to assassinate your face as you climb to treeline =) Ridge to summit: pretty wind-scoured, most snowfields are easily avoided by hugging the edge on the ridge (particularly after the "false summit") Snowshoes were not needed, but microspikes were definitely helpful. GermanLovesHiking   2014-01-22  0     Edit Delete 
2014-01-11  East Ridge  Climbed the East Ridge of Humboldt Peak today (and it was windy!): ...see Trailhead conditions for South Colony Lakes status - we started at the lower TH... ...from the Rainbow Trail junction, we needed snowshoes all the way to treeline. In the trees, there is a deep layer of faceted, sugary snow that provides little support and just slides when stepped on. This was especially frustrating while climbing the steep hill above 10,500‘ below treeline... ...above treeline, the ridge was pretty wind-scoured and we didn‘t use snowshoes (or even microspikes). There are some wind-packed snowfields on the upper route and the final summit ridge holds some more snow in the rocks and in a few places on the ridge crest. The gully on the Southeast face is filling in nicely except for the top few hundred feet, which we traversed into and climbed to avoid winds on the summit ridge crest. All in all, it was a big day spent fighting loose, faceted snow below treeline and intense winds above (20-35 with some gusts hitting upper 40s/low 50s), but we were rewarded with the summit and some great views! DanielL   2014-01-11  0     Edit Delete 
2013-11-12  East Ridge  Road to the Rainbow TH was mostly covered by a few inches of snow, with 2 slick, icy spots but not a problem for 4x4. The first 2 miles of climb in timber was slow due to 6-18" of sugary snow (shoulda brought some floatation). Gaiters were essential. Big drifts near timberline were avoidable. Once in the alpine, travel was simple. Micro spikes came in handy for a short stretch on the ridge, and ice axe was merely a ‘comfort tool‘. Beautiful day on the summit, wind less than 5 mph. Met 2 great guys on the summit who had come up the standard West ridge! gbell58   2013-11-14 4     Edit Delete 
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. http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewdavidoff/sets/72157633458613933/ 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 

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