Click to Expand
|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|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.
|2015-06-13||Route: West Ridge
Info: Went up the East Ridge and came down the West today...West Ridge is pretty good up top, but very easy to lose the trail down low. Not much of a trail from the end of the old road until getting up to the around the 2nd lake. Lots of soft snow due to the heat/warmer nights but patchy enough to the point where snowshoes would be pointless. Take care in routefinding after getting off the old road!
|2015-06-13||Route: East Ridge
Info: East Ridge is basically dry - no need to even consider floatation or traction. Routefinding is difficult at the start - for the most part, heading north and west will just get you on top of the ridge eventually. Road to the Rainbow Trail is dry and fine - made it in a CRV
|2015-06-08||Route: East Ridge
Info: I‘ll have photos and a full report up on my blog by late tomorrow (Tues) night. In the meantime...Parked at 4WD trailhead (see trailhead info). I used hiking boots and was just fine (1:20a.m. departure from TH and 9:30a.m. return, maybe two hours doing photography at summit and enroute). No snow on the "trail" until approaching treeline, then just a few random piles. No real need for flotation or traction, although soles with good traction would be good since the last half mile to the summit you‘ll probably be on snow a great deal. You can avoid a lot of it above treeline if you want, but it‘s packed pretty well and I walked on it going up this morning no problem (hard freeze starting about treeline). As I came down, the snow was starting to turn to ankle-deep slush in some places (plunge step works well). Watch out for frozen grass, ice and frozen mist on rocks--you can slip in a millisecond in some places. Saw a guy starting up south slopes (SE Flank Gully?) around 7a.m., I think to ski (he was very far away down there). That line won‘t be there long--things are melting fast. As it is, you have to start maybe 50‘ below the summit and you won‘t get much below treeline before you hit rocks.
|2015-06-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: Trail is snow free until about 500 feet below tree line. Bring crampons or spikes (we didn‘t use snowshoes) to make the hike up to the false summit and along the ridge to the summit easier. We started at 3:45 and summited at 8:45. This would have been cut shorter, but we got lost along the way and had to backtrack a bit. If you do this route the trail is difficult to follow in the snow leading up to tree line, and make sure you know where you are going.
|2015-06-03||Route: East Ridge
Info: Conditions changed significantly in 2 weeks. Only few snow patches now below treeline, easily avoidable for most of them. No snowshoes. No spikes. The false summit is composed of snow on the lower part, it is however dry on the upper part. Spikes used. Snow has melted a lot on the ridge to the summit, snow patches are sticky which is safer than 2 weeks ago. Summit much more easily reachable. Good weather conditions were a bonus too.
|2015-05-29||Route: East Ridge
Info: Road is clear of snow to at least the Rainbow Trail (would require good 4wd). Trail is then easy to follow once you gain the ridge to near tree-line. Some snow patches but easily avoidable. No snow shoes or micro spikes needed below tree-line. Turned around at this point due to fog. Hiked at night so now good view of the above tree-line section.
|2015-05-29||Route: West Ridge
Info: Attempted to Peak via the West route. However the snow as way to deep to attempt to make it to South Colony Lakes. We couldn‘t even find the trail to South Colony lakes. It was a fun trip playing in the snow however could not attempt to peak. The 4x4 trail is clear all the way so there is no problem there. The trail after the 4X4 trail head is clear most of the way, higher up it gets covered with snow. When you get .5 mile from the South Colony turn off. The snow is waist deep.
|2015-05-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: First 1.5 miles are snow free and the weather was pretty warm, a slight snow was falling at 6am but ended up around 7am. Even though it‘s a pain to navigate through the trees as there is no real trail, postholing was minimum and only used my microspikes. The snow on the ridge to the false summit looked fresh, unstable and I was postholing to ankles only. However it is very slippery and was sliding backwards even with microspikes. Weather turned pretty bad at the false summit, visibility was very poor and snow gave me a lot of sweats. Not sure if crampons would have helped but it was a constant worry for each step in order to avoid the cliff on the right (that I could barely see) and the powder on the left that made me slide few times down. I use my axe quite a lot. The final pitch is very unstable, I waited 15 mnutes to assess if it was reasonnable to do it and was ready to turn back. The wind was ferocious on the ridge, the snow started to fall at 10am but postholing was minimum below tree line on the way back.
|2015-05-24||Route: East Ridge
Info: SNOWY UP HIGH. dry albeit potential to be muddy on road and from Rainbow TH to ridge. some snow drifts, not too serious, to about 11k. from there, floatation helps and will for a little while yet (we had snowshoes). a trench does exist if you can find it, though might have some snow on top. snow was punchy but we didn‘t face any serious postholing...varied from a few inches to several feet all the way up the ridge above treeline. would still recommend crampons just for the last 1/2 mile to the summit, but you could make Kahtoolas work if you‘re feeling stubborn. poles: optional. ice axe: highly recommend. snow looks to stay up there for a few weeks at least. pictures to come. southeast flank didn‘t look bad, saw one skier making slow but steady progress until the threat of precipitation got serious around 12.30pm (during our descent). sorry, I haven‘t figured out how to deal with the pictures. they‘re still a visual, though.