| Humbolt - West Ridge - Night Ascent
Shanahan96 (Jamie) and I rucked up and began hiking up the South Colony Lakes road from the 2WD parking area at 8,800' at about 1545 on Friday afternoon. Shanhan96 was carrying his 50 lb pack (looking like Samwise Gamgee) and I was carrying my super-ultralight (no tent) hydration pack with an intention to camp high on Humbolt if conditions allowed.
After hiking 3.5 miles we heard the sweet sound of ATVs coming up the road behind us. Three nice young men - Kyle, Robert and Justin were happy to give us a ride to the TH. We were VERY APPRECIATIVE of the ride! Our transportation for the final 1.5 miles of the South Colony Road:
We made it to the TH (11,040') about 1830 and Shanhan96 immediately set up his tent and camp. Kyle, Robert and Justin headed up to the Lower Lake to make camp at 11,670'. After Jamie finished setting up camp, we headed up to the Lower Lake to visit with Kyle, Robert and Justin for a few minutes.
I was determined to bag Humbolt on this trip and the sky was looking favorable. Jamie headed back to his low camp at the TH and I headed up to the Upper Lake and Humbolt at about 2010. Feeling quite tired, I reached the Humbolt saddle at about 2135. The almost full moon was providing plenty of light for a night ascent. I summited Humbolt at 2230. There is NOT A LICK of snow between the 2WD parking at 8,800 and Humbolt's summit at 14,064. TalusMonkey on the Humbolt summit wind shelter with the moon behind.
I returned to the Humbolt saddle (12,850') and made a light bivouac on a small grassy area. It was a little breezy on the saddle, so I built a very short wind break out of rocks. I slept under the stars and the almost full moon.
My bivouac consisted of a Kelty Light Year 25 degree bag, Thermarest Prolite 3 Short pad and a piece of polypropylene tarp all shoved into a Camelsak RimRunner hydration pack (1,550 ci). The loaded pack with all gear (including ice axe and helmet), food and water weighed in at about 19.5 lbs.
Here are two photos taken only 30 seconds apart at about 0545 on the Humbolt Summit. Crestone Needle is on the left and Crestone Peak is on the right.
The next morning I woke and prepared for the traverse around the South Colony cirque rim to Crestone Peak's North Couloir... See the Crestone Peak trip report:
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):