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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-03-21||Route: East Ridge
Info: East Ridge Route. Had to start from the winter closure (13 miles RT, ~5500 ft of gain). Needed snow shoes for the 6 of the 6.5 mile ascent. First half mile of 4wd road only part not totally covered in snow. Beautiful blue bird day with no wind which is surprising for a early season ascent. There was fresh snow since the last post and we were the first to summit on this route for the day, so we needed to trail break the entire route. By the time we finished there were a few other parties that had used this route ( a little trench should be there for a bit ). Overall, we had a great day. Beautiful views of the Sangres, the San Juans, and Pikes Peak. Started at 5:30 AM and didn‘t made it back to the car at 7:30 PM. The significant route finding in the trees and taking a longer, less direct route from 12,000 ft to 13,000 ft (see avy info below) really slowed us up - turning it into a 14 hour day. Some avy info (note, I am no avy expert, but this is what I saw and what we did as a result): wet slab a concern earlier on in the day (on the east face) but we were generally on a slope that was less than ~24 degrees for this. Snow pack seemed to be 1-4 feet from mile 3 to mile 5 (below and near tree line). CAIC has wet slab as an issue on our aspect. Persistent slab not shown on the CAIC website for our aspect, but when confronted with a ~32 degree slope above tree line, we lengthened our route slightly to take a lesser angled slope. Snow pack varied from 3 in to 1 ft in this area. Some rocks were showing through the surface so we opted to stay off of the snowy parts in favor of a longer, less snow packed, less steep route. Wind loading was visible on the ridges, but we stayed near the windward side of the ridge with minimal snow pack to avoid this concern.
|2015-03-15||Route: East Ridge
Info: Great conditions on Humboldt right now. Road is clear to the 2WD trailhead and there is a solid trench all the way to ridge line. Started early, so no need for snowshoes on the way up. Snow gets a little soft above treeline and on the way down though. Near 12,000 there appears to be two main "trails" -- hang to the right and head for the highest point. That will put you on the ridge to the top. Watch out for aggressive big horns.
|2015-03-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: Used snowshoes from winter closure to about 12,800‘. Breezy above 13k, but not your normal Humboldt winds... calm in fact. Once on the east ridge you‘ll find a spot where the trench forks... go right. We went left and ended up taking the scenic route.
|2015-02-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: Went for Humboldt via the East Ridge on 2/7 and got turned back just above 12k due to winds in the low 50s. Gave it another go on 2/8 with success to the top. From the Lower 2WD trailhead, the road starts out dirt and turns to well packed snow. Rainbow Trail to the ridge is a mix of packed snow and dirt. From 10k to treeline is a well consolidated trench. Treeline to the top is bare ground. Microspikes were helpful in the snow. Snowshoes were not necessary.
|2015-01-27||Route: East Ridge
Info: First off, a huge thanks to Shattuck311 and RWSchaffer for posting recent conditions reports. An actual conditions report is worth a thousand webcam looks and weather reports. I love this site for that. Not much new to report over Shattuck311 and RWSchaffer. The road is open past the winter closure to the 2WD trailhead (only a small .3m difference). From there one might be tempted to drive farther up the road but don‘t bother. It becomes quite snowy after .25m. From the tire tracks it looks like one vehicle had fun time trying to turn around. I found microspikes very useful on the bootpacked trail which started soon after the 2WD trailhead and went all the way to treeline. My hiking partner only had boots and was slipping/sliding on the icy snow in the morning and on the slush in the afternoon. I thought the turnoff from the Rainbow Trail was a little farther past the bridge (maybe .3m) than the .2m in route description. The bootpacked trail in the trees was mostly easy to follow with only minor route finding issues. I could imagine major route finding issues on the ridge if one was breaking trail. The snow was 98% avoidable above treeline all the way to the summit. The W/SW wind was pretty bad above 13,200. The East Ridge of Humboldt might be an "easy winter 14er" but I found the distance and elevation gain no joke as a day hike.
|2015-01-25||Route: South Face Direct
Info: I ascended the South Face from the trailhead (old upper lot) and descended the east ridge. The road was bootpack to the trailhead. There was enough snow just below timberline that I used snowshoes, though others might not. Ascending the south face, I climbed the steep snow at the base, keeping left of the main snowfield. Above the snow is a mix of grass and talus (photo 1). By keeping to the interface of the two, you can climb on rock that is well embedded without stepping on tundra (photo 2). About two thirds of the way up, cliff bands can be skirted or scrambled (photo 3). Above timberline, all this was dry. Descending the east ridge was also almost dry to timberline (photo 4).
|2015-01-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: Road from the winter closure to Rainbow trail was well packed, needing no traction. Rainbow trail to the ridge was also well packed and had several dry area‘s with no snow. From the ridge to tree line there was snow cover, but it was all packed well. I used no snowshoes and no traction devices, just boots worked well. Once above tree line, snow was almost entirely avoidable, and no traction was necessary. From winter closure to the summit I used only boots. The trail was very dry, and so long as no new snow hits, it‘s about as easy as it gets for a winter 14er!
|2015-01-03||Route: East Ridge
Info: Didn‘t summit today. Got to that ridge "bump" approx 13,400‘ before the final pitch already 30 minutes after my planned turnaround time, but hopefully this will help others. You will end up parking at the Winter closure so expect a long day. Trail is well bootpacked. Traction would be a good idea starting around 10,600‘ as the terrain gets steeper, but there is an awesome trench to follow the whole way to treeline. I used snowshoes to take advantage of the heel-lift. Microspikes will be helpful once out of the trees.
|2014-12-24||Route: East Ridge
Info: There is about 6 inches of snow in the trees, some places are deeper, some places thinner. The route is very easy to follow to tree line. Above treeline mostly all of the snow was blown off of Humboldt. Easiest winter 14er I have done to date. We did not use our snow shoes once.
|2014-12-20||Route: East Ridge
Info: Very little snow. From Rainbow trail cutting west up onto the endless tree infested shoulder there was up to a foot or more in spots, but few places where snowshoes would have been helpful. Once above treeline only patches.
|2014-11-11||Route: East Ridge
Info: Hardly any recent snow accumulations. We did not make it to the summit but it looked pretty benign and blown mostly bare. Strong headwind. Bitter temps (not any worse than Denver currently) We brought microspikes and never used them -- however we were constantly walking on snow. There is only an inch or three on the ground all the way up to treeline. Above it is spotty wind depositions. Humboldt completely missed the snowstorms and was completely free of clouds during the day. If you hurry now you can follow our two-inch-deep trench up to treeline. Poles were helpful.
|2014-11-02||Route: West Ridge
Info: It snowed all morning (with windy conditions and low visibility). I had to make sure I stayed on the trail as my tracks kept disappearing behind me. I used only poles but turned around at 12,500. I‘m almost sure spikes were necessary if I had kept going, axe not sure... (I tried to keep up with 3 hikers in front of me so if any of you sees this, you can probably advice on conditions past 12,500 where I turned around). I camped Saturday night past the private lands but before the lower trailhead. It wasn‘t raining/snowing in the evening but the mountains probably got plenty of action overnight.
|2014-10-31||Route: West Ridge
Info: Climbed Humboldt yesterday for Halloween. Conditions were wonderful with very little snow. Did not need microspikes but a good stiff boot would be recommended. The road up to the south colony lakes was dry, but would definitely recommend a high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle to get to the trailhead. This was the furthest into fall we have ever climbed a fourteener, and it was a lot of fun.
|2014-10-25||Route: West Ridge
Info: Aside from a few minor patches, the trail was clear of snow until the saddle. Above the saddle, the west ridge to the summit is holding some snow, but in good shape. I wore spikes from just above the saddle to the summit, the other two in my party did not and were fine. It‘s beautiful out there right now!
|2014-10-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: I did the East Ridge (aka "The Winter Route") yesterday. I did not encounter any snow until above timberline. There were some large patches on the ascent to the East Ridge from timberline, but all can be easily avoided. The East Ridge itself...and the summit area...were snowy in places, but it was inconsequential. No microspikes needed.
|2014-10-11||Route: West Ridge
Info: We ascended the Southeast gully and descended the west ridge. Snow was 4-5" deep for much of the route above treeline, but along the west ridge it was commonly knee deep. It was melting fast by afternoon (the SE gully looked pretty patchy by 2pm), but I suspect the snow above 13k‘ is there to stay. We were glad we had poles and microspikes.
|2014-10-05||Route: West Ridge
Info: Great conditions. A bit of snow on the trail before the 12,900 saddle and along the ridge. No trax or micros required. Perfect day. Go get your peak before the heavy snow falls!
|2014-09-15||Route: West Ridge
Info: Weather was so good that I spontaneously decided to summit the afternoon of my arrival. Summited around 6pm no worries!
|2014-08-30||Route: West Ridge
Info: The trail up to Humboldt Peak is in great shape. No ice or snow to worry about. Expect to do some rock scrambling on the upper portion of route. The wind yesterday was blowing pretty good early in the morning and it was quite cold on top so I recommend bringing appropriate gear to keep warm.
|2014-07-19||Route: West Ridge
Info: 4WD drive road was rough, but doable with a few tough spots which require a little ground clearance. Take them slow, I was able to navigate in a 2WD (real wheel) Xterra no problem, with only a little hit on one of the running boards. The rest of the trail is in great shape, but a word of advice: trail head has a pretty small parking lot and lots of people parking over for a night or two. Be prepared to squeeze in to a makeshift spot or get there early. Awesome trails with awesome views, enjoy it everyone!