Ah! Summer is finally here. My wife and I planned our first big hike together.
Camping gear (check)
Dog’s gear (check)
Time alone together (check)
Clothing for climb, oh no!
I’m sure someone has experienced this dilemma. You’ve made all the preparations and planned for a wonderful weekend in the mountains. You drive many hours from home and up the long road to the trailhead. You’re excited as you begin preparing to backpack to your campsite only to realize you have forgotten something critical for the adventure.
In my case, it was all my clothing. I forgot my hats, gloves, socks, pants, shirts and jacket. I left everything I had planned for any weather I thought we would encounter; all of which were in a duffel bag many hours away. Here I am furious, standing at the trailhead in a pair of shorts, tee-shirt and flip-flops.
I thought it was mission over. My wife was quick to settle me down and started going over some options with me. I couldn’t see any options other then what a complete idiot I was. She was happy it wasn’t her who forgot something so critical.
To make a long story short, she decided to give me an early Father’s day gift. We would try and find somewhere we could get the minimum amount of clothing needed for a reasonable price. We thought Pueblo would be our best bet, but decided to see what was in Westcliffe. Pueblo would have killed our backpacking trip and forced us to car camp, so we were really hoping for something in Westcliffe.
We were pleased to find a store that caters to hikers. The store’s owner was very helpful and genuinely sensitive to our problem. He had everything we needed and gave us a 20% discount on the entire order. He didn’t have to do this; he knew we were going to buy it all anyway. I was very grateful. If you’re in the area check out his store; it’s called Take a Hike! There is a picture of it below. He has some pretty cool shirts with all the 14ers on it.
Now that my wife had saved the weekend, we were able to continue on with our adventure after what thankfully was a short delay.
We camped just past the trail sign that leads to the upper lake. We hiked back to this point to start up Humboldt the next day. We had heard the trail to the lower lake had some pretty nasty snowdrifts.
Our first previews of Humboldt confirmed the conditions that were reported on this site. Relatively snow free; again, summer has arrived.
Here is a good look at the Needle and Broken Hand Pass (to the left). We ran into many climbers who were doing either Crestone Peak or the Needle. All were reporting the need for crampons and ice axes.
Below is a shot of the newest member of our hiking team. Dixie is our 11-month old beagle. She did great except for the crux of the climb. The boulder hopping proved too much for her youth.
From high up on the switchbacks looking down at the South Colony lakes, you can see the great conditions of the route.
Again higher on the ridge looking down at the saddle; all is good!
Here is Copper contemplating his next move.
Many times on this climb I thought of Humboldt as just an access for photo ops of the Crestones. Not to take anything away from Humboldt, but the views of the Crestones are stunning throughout the climb. It brought back great memories from when I stood on Crestone Peak.
From the summit, there were great views of the Blanca group as seen below on the far horizon. We thought the haze from the fires would hinder our views, but that was not the case!
Having to replace all your clothing because you’re a bonehead: $150.00
Time with the wife and standing on the summit of Humboldt Peak with the Crestones and Kit Carson in the background: PRICELESS
Below is my hero who kept us on track. This picture really captured the beauty of this area as she crosses a snowfield. We brought micro-spikes but never needed them.
What a great weekend!
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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