|Peak:||Humboldt Peak (14er)|
|Range:||Sangre de Cristo|
|Date of Information:||05/15/2013|
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!
Photos (click for slideshow):