Humboldt Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-04-04, By: TX2AFA
Info: Parked at 2WD trailhead. Four other cars in the lot at 7AM. I do not recommend trying this one right now without snowshoes given the warm weather. I did and it resulted in a ten hour round-trip ordeal with countless hip-deep postholes. Shoutout to the girl in front of me that had it even worse having to check every step for post-holing. Traction is also useful on the way up. If you get an early start you can mitigate some of the post-holing but it is inevitable and aggravating below the tree-line. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-04-03, By: Grisel
Info: Can park at the 2WD trailhead. Boot packed it all the way but snowshoes would've made the day significantly easier especially on the descent. Above tree line, mostly bare. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-03-31, By: jamesabrown
Info: Trench was still in up to around tree line but blown out past that. Some route finding to avoid the wind loaded areas but easy enough as long as you stick to the route along the ridge. I didn't use traction or flotation on the way up but did on the way down. The ice and snow was starting to melt and everything started getting sloshy. On the plus side the trench is twice as packed now! Many thanks for the trench put in last Sat!!! 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-03-27, By: kalestew
Info: New trench has been established over the recent snow as of this morning! Bootpacked to the Rainbow trail split if you go early enough, sloshy in the afternoon. Flotation was needed up to the top of that false summit (a good bit more snow than we had on our ascent Jan 31 this same year, when we were able to ditch snowshoes at treeline). 
3 5
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-03-06, By: Carl_Healy
Info: Summited Humboldt Today with daway8 & iainwint. Conditions quite warm though wind made things not so warm closer to the summit (still wind wasn't that bad). Was also surprised just how dry everything was above treeline. Starting from the 2WD trailhead for South Colony/Rainbow trail, we went a good way without snow shoes, then put them on, even though arguably you might get away without them at least for the road. Trench now in from Rainbow Trail up to treeline. Might be hard to follow though for the little bit from Rainbow Trail where you're meant to gain the ridge that you follow for the rest of the route since a lot of that was dry. Beyond that trenching wasn't too terrible. It was deep in spots but there was a lot of hard consolidated snow around too. You won't need snow shoes past treeline. Past treeline there are some snow fields here and there but a lot of the route is completely dry. Closer to summit you scrabmle/rock-hop and there's snow around but it can be avoided most of the time. Didn't use traction at all. daway8 indicated a Trip Report is pending. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-02-21, By: wintersage
Info: Snowdrifts blocked access 0.4mi to the 2WD TH. From the 2WD TH to the Rainbow TH snowmobile tracks packed down the trail, but past that, we had to break trail all the way to treeline as there was no former trench. There is now a beautiful trench there the whole way you're welcome ;) . Past treeline microspikes helped as there was a mix of rock and light snow. Conditions above treeline were extremely windy, with its southwest direction acting as a headwind on the way up and a tailwind that seemed to want to blow you off the ridge on the descent. Overall a 13 hour day due to the deep snow below treeline. Pics courtesy of my fellow trench digger rosey33. 
5 5
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-31, By: kalestew
Info: Our group established a snowshoe trench up the east ridge this morning - recent snow had covered whatever tracks might have been there before. Flotation needed from car to treeline, but we were able to stash our snowshoes before heading up towards the false summit. No traction needed past treeline, ground was mostly exposed or hard & windblown (see pics) 
6 2
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-18, By: QuietBear
Info: Trail was hardpacked in the cold of the night to be bootpacked up to the turn off of rainbow trail onto the east ridge. The east ridge trail is well-packed and snowshoing on it was about as easy as it can be (which is still quite a slog). There are a number of offshoots and ski tracks weaving around the main trench-- be careful not to get off of the main trench unless you like sinking into deep powder. Above treeline was heavily windblown with patches of wind-packed snow and exposed tundra. A high wind and low temperatures before sunrise meant that full face coverings, goggles, and heavy gloves or mittens were required above 12000ft until the winds calmed and the temperature rose. The upper ridge is mostly free from snow except for a few short sections which did not absolutely require spikes, but which were nice to have due to the hard wind pack of the snow. Descending later in the day, snow on the upper mountain remained hard packed, but below treeline the trail was a bit slushy, especially in the steeper sections. Two happy-looking bighorn sheep were grazing at ~13000ft, and I deviated a bit so as not to disturb them. A great day on the mountains and my fourth attempt and first successful winter solo of Humboldt. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-17, By: maxhouck
Info: Parked at the 2WD trailhead. No cars going past it - only ATV's/snowmobiles. The road up to the Rainbow trail junction is mostly hardpack/bootable snow with a few patches of dirt. Pretty well defined snowshoe/skin track up through the treeline, and snow covered up to about 12000 feet. Above there is mostly bare rock/dirt except for some small snowy patches. No crampons required. Lost my Scarpa Zodiac Tech boots on the way down - please text 630-995-1965 if found. Posted on forum also. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-16, By: Clint the climber
Info: There is a fantastic trench between the 2wd trailhead and treeline. It's probably possible to boot it but snowshoes were still nice. Once above treeline there isn't much snow. 
5 1
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-05, By: pucksandpeaks
Info: Had a beautiful - and long - day going up Humboldt's east ridge. On an otherwise calm day, the wind above 13,500' and especially on the summit were rough so I stayed up top for about 5 minutes ;) In terms of conditions by section: -The road from 2wd to the Rainbow TH is an easy walk thanks to snowmobiles having run over it. -The east ridge from the start up to tree line has had some serious work! Huge thanks to everyone who hiked over the last few weeks before me! It's well trenched in most places with decently firm spots in others where windblown snow has taken over. Look out for my two face plants where I took a pair of diggers on the way down haha -Above tree line, much snow in the steeper spots can be avoided by zig zagging. I brought my axe and had it out only for ascending the bump up to 13,500'. -The upper ridge itself is a rock walk with snow that can be avoided. 
14 2
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-02, By: KingHenryJames3rd
Info: Parked at 2wd pretty much only option without snowmobile Road to rainbow turn off is snowmobile packed and pretty easy going. Great snowshoe trench to treeline from rainbow turn off thanks to climbingcue who put one in on 1/1/21 and I refreshed it today. Snowshoes necessary about a mile after turnoff from road until you gained the first ridge after coming out of treeline. I stashed mine there and didn't need any traction to summit. Plenty of exposed rock and grass. Above treeline I was on and off of the snowshoe/boot pack. When I was on it I will say it was nice. My tracks were pretty wind blown on my return already. Great clear day with mild wind at times. Go get it before the next snow. 
4 2
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-01, By: joflyer22
Info: Started at 2WD and refreshed the trench made by CaptCO before the last storm. Lots of deep snow below treeline but it's fully trenched now so take advantage before next snow! Ditched snowshoes at 12,700' and barebooted/microspiked to summit. Final stretch up to 2WD lot is unplowed but there are sufficient tire tracks and the lot is mostly packed down if you're feeling lucky in your FWD car/SUV ;) 
4 5
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-12-25, By: CaptCO
Info: Shoutout to bfaulkne and his partner for providing a brolic trench. Another shoutout to commander skidouche and his ratchet for booting down it, luckily I was able to make it clean ;) Booted from 2wd to rainbow junction in 45min, I went the longer way around this time to gain the ridge. Much much better than the BS "shortcut" 14ers tries to provide as a route. Snowshoes shortly after gaining the ridge, ditched supplies at treeline and used spikes to gain false summit. Ran over to the real summit from there, pretty easy day @7hrs RT thanks to BFaulkne 
10 1
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-12-25, By: bfaulkne
Info: Refreshed the trench yet again today. The trip reports from 12/22 and 12/21 are still accurate. The trench is easy to follow and we ended up stashing our snowshoes just above treeline after the snow thinned out. We turned around at 13,500' due to time/energy constraints, but the final ridge looked in fine shape. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-12-22, By: Will_E
Info: Summitted Humboldt today, same conditions as QuietBear's report from yesterday, and a few more pics. 
8 2
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-12-22, By: QuietBear
Info: I refreshed the east ridge trench, which is in good condition. Beware that the snow is very deep in many areas between 10500 and 11500, and even with the trench the snowshoeing can be quite arduous. It was also a bit slippy and slushy in spots on the descent, especially after a relatively warm day. There was very little snow above treeline, and I did not need microspikes above the top of the trench. There are two spots where the trench branches. I always took the more well-trodden path, which meant going climbers left at both splits (there are a few smaller deviations that shortly meet back up with the main path). The trench follows the route pretty faithfully. 
2 2
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-12-06, By: bangerth
Info: Well, the trench is in now, but that was a monumental effort. There are 2-3 ft of loose snow below treeline and for the ~2000 ft from the Rainbow trail to treeline, that means many hours of wallowing in deep, steep snow. I believe it took us more than 5 hours just to reach treeline. It also required a substantial effort to get back down through that snow on the way back. The rest of the route is moderately dry and windblown. I wore microspikes from treeline to top and back, but one could have done that with just boots. The final ridge is mostly dry but occasionally slippery with very large drops off to the right. Pay attention. Round-trip time was 14 hours -- definitely not an easy class 2 at this time of year. The road to get to the Rainbow Trail trailhead is impassable. We took a pickup to give it a shot, but the 4-8" of snow are underlain by an icy layer. With difficulty, we made it to within 1/8 of a mile of the end of the private property, but got hung up on large rocks coated in ice and ended up driving back down. Short of an ATV, I don't believe that any car/truck can make it through the last section of private property. 
8 2
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-11-20, By: CJHubbard
Info: I parked my truck below Rainbow Trail and walked the remaining distance to the trailhead for the East Ridge of Humboldt. The road is rough and icy but I watched what appeared to be stock 4WD vehicles make it up to Rainbow trail and beyond. I'm just not into beating on my new truck just yet. Getting above treeline for the east ridge was a LOT of work. There is a good amount of snow below treeline and along with the bushwacking makes for a tough approach. I did not wear snowshoes and I don't think they would have helped much. The snow was soft and slushy in most spots. The thick forest would also be pretty miserable to get through with snowshoes on. There are occasional cairns on the ridge below treeline but they are few and far between and not reliable or very helpful. The beta on is tough to follow since there is really no obvious landmarks on a bushwack. I just kept working my way up and in the direction of the summit and eventually you will make it through the thick forest and see the east slopes. Once above tree line the route finding is straight forward and the snow is basically gone. I never used/needed traction. It's a slog up the east ridge. Very windy on this day but manageable. 
6 3
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-16, By: Ssgustafson
Info: Made it to 13700 on the ridge and had to turn back due to sustained winds of 40-50 mph and gusts to 70 mph. Temps in upper 20s on the ridge. Absolutely beautiful day around the lakes. 

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