| Making Things Difficult on Humboldt
Elevation...around 5,700 feeet
7:15am...rainbow trail sign
12:30pm...can't find snowshoes
2:15pm...rainbow trail sign
3:00pm...back at car
For those of you that like quick, easy-to-read reports with more pictures than words...this is the one for you.
It's been a really tough winter. A couple annoying, slow-healing injuries have pretty much kept me inside for the last 3 months. I figured it was time to test the ankle...and give my poor wife a break from my incessant whinning. "Why god...wwwwhhhhyyyyyy?" That was me whinning.
After seeing a post from TMatthews and Yikes about an attempt on Humbolt's East Ridge, I decided to give it a go. They were meeting at the TH at 5:30am...no thanks. I told them to start without me.
Road to the 2wd parking area is mostly clear. There is about 500 yards of snow at the very end that you might want to avoid if you don't have 4wd.
The start to the day was incredible. Clear skies to the east and no wind in the trees.
Pretty clear it was wasn't going to last though. I enjoyed views like this while I could.
The road to the Rainbow Trail was well-traveled and went quick. This was taken shortly after turning off the road.
No rainbows today.
I caught up with Yikes, TMatthews and RockyMtn22 at the start of the East Ridge, just above the turnoff from the Rainbow Trail. I was feeling great and quickly took over the trailbreaking duties. I told myself I was going to be a "DBaker Team Player" today, but I just couldn't do it. I soon found myself alone again. Oh well...the fun begins.
The slog through the trees was endless, but I loved every second of it. It felt so good to be outside. Now it was time to drop the snowshoes and prepare for the wind and snow. I tied the shoes together and stood them up on what I thought was an easy to spot snowfield. I would pay later for not thinking this through.
I found the upper section of the ridge to be straightforward. The views down the North face through the clouds and snow were pretty impressive. Yak Trax definitely helped…crampons not necessary.
Sorry, no views today.
Mustache shot…been growing that thing for 2 weeks as part of a work dare…you might have to zoom in to see it.
Got back down the saddle just above treeline and couldn’t find my snowshoes anywhere. F*cking marmots…right? If I was smart, I would have put them right under the funky, twisted Bristlecone Pine. But I not smart. I spent the next hour and 45 minutes crawling, rolling, postholing up to my knees, and fighting off tears of frustration. It was AWESOME!
Finally back on supportable snow.
The storm was closing in as I got back to the car.
Two days later I was still pissed at myself for losing my snowshoes and for putting myself through all that extra effort. Then I read Alyson and Prakash’s story. A broken femur! 14 hours at 13,000 feet! Ok, so my day wasn’t so bad.
Thanks for reading.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):