Humboldt Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
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. 
2
 
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. 
3
 
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 14ers.com 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 14ers.com 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. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-13, By: cooligan32
Info: Very very windy. Made it to 13,350ft around 10am before we had to turn around due to 40-50mph gusts. There was one other group there that turned around the same time we did. Otherwise no snow on the route and temperature was around 45-50 degrees at the point we turned around at. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-10, By: ktfoote628
Info: Summer conditions! Things in the valley look a bit brown but beautiful hike. It is a nice trail basically to the top so we lost it for a bit and did a bit more boulder hopping than we needed to but the trail was easy to see on the way down. 10 hours for the 16.5 miles from the 2WD. There are signs that the water quality is compromised so please pack out your waste, campers! 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-04, By: Shea
Info: Beautiful autumn day, 10-15 deg warmer than forecast, no clouds. Very long and last third very steep. No snow. One guy heading up the switchbacks at 2:30 pm. Many guide books suggest going around the false summits. Be careful. to the left (west) the cairns lead to challenging class 3 scrambling and higher winds. One couple turned back 500 ft from the summit. to the right (east), it's easy to lose altitude in attempts to "traverse". Best to ascend the false summits. the trail is clear and you don't noticeably gain/lose altitude. 10 1/2 hr round trip, started at 6:30 am. 
4
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-20, By: HPIvelocity97
Info: South Colony Road is snow free to the 4WD trailhead...no problems on the drive in my Silverado Trail Boss. West Ridge route is basically summer conditions. Snow melt makes the trail a little muddy in some short sections in low lying sections near the lakes. Also a bit of snow on some of the north facing aspect of the ridge to the summit and false summit, but very minor and easily avoidable. Ran into 15-20 or so bighorns too! 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-14, By: kampfender
Info: Snow and slush to and past first of South Colony Lakes. Post-holing below the knee as long as you stay on trail. After wringing out the socks above first lake decided to scramble the South-facing slope instead of trudge to switchbacks/saddle. Met the West ridge about 1/2 way up the ridge and descended the East Ridge (icy snow covering all the way down). Saw others summit, a group coming down West Ridge says less than 10 on the day. Doable!! 
2
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-14, By: LivingOnTheEdge
Info: As of the 12th, packed snow at the trailhead and decently packed trench up the road to the split at the old trailhead. We broke trail from there up to the Lower South Colony Lake, but were not prepared for hip deep drifts and constant knee deep slogging. I heard that others broke past us and eventually gave up but at least one made it all the way to the top of Humboldt. Melting pretty quickly, but I wouldn't be surprised if all of that snow doesn't melt off this year. Plan for the potential of full on winter conditions if you want to ensure your success. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-07, By: RockingWall
Info: Don't underestimate the 4WD road and have alternate plans for camping if you can't make it up, I turned around in my forester early on the 4wd road. Only 2-3 cars at the upper trailhead were not jeeps or trucks. There is no camping at the lower trailhead and it is private property for 1.7 miles up the 4WD road, luckily we were able to find camping at Music Pass trailhead which is nearby and was much milder to drive up (Very Subaruable but still not a flat road). The ridge section is a step up from a walk up 14'er and requires some route finding, and scrambling. Just below the false summit has a short section of harder scrambling. The rocks during the scramble were mostly stable but some were loose so be careful. We got lured a little down the south flank of the ridge near the false summit on the way down by a patch of dirt that looked like a path, once I realized the terrain was getting steeper and less stable I was able to navigate back up to a cairn. I recommend paying close attention to the cairns. There are a few places where the path takes you close to some gnarly cliffs but these are pretty obvious and easy to navigate around. I would recommend having good 4WD, backpacking up to the lakes, or both as there are tons of gorgeous camp spots near the lakes and starting from the lower trailhead was a brutal 12 hour hike. 

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