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 Peak(s):  Humboldt Peak  -  14,064 feet
 Post Date:  09/03/2008 Modified: 09/04/2008
 Date Climbed:   08/31/2008
 Posted By:  bergsteigen

 Humboldt - Into the Wind   

Who: JB and I
Route: Standard

After an enjoyable drive up the rough and bumpy road in my truck, we found that the trailhead was packed with vehicles. Parking was going to be an issue.... Not wanting to back up too far, or double park someone, we ended up making our own spot at the edge of the road. Only a few plants were hurt in this operation.

The sleep in the back of the truck was way too short, and waking up to high winds and camp fire smoke made staying in the sleeping bag very desirable. The proposed "Alpine Start" was further hampered by over-hearing someone's conversation outside the truck. What are some words that one does NOT want to hear upon waking from a slumber? "...look at that huge forest fire... it looks really close by..." It was just before sunrise, and we could see a bright red strip further down the valley. (In hindsight, this was obviously just the sun)

After having gone through 2 terrible forest fire seasons in Alaska, I think, "how are we going to get out of this forest, if the road area is on fire?" We think of all the people on the road, and all the huge campfires we passed on the way up. The night was really windy, so once a fire starts, it would move quickly.

So we wait, look for a phone number to call. Finding none, we just pace around trying to think. And while waiting, that red strip that looked sooo like a fire line, turned orange, then yellow. Now feeling like complete idiots, we get ready for the days' hike. Looking up valley, everything is covered in low clouds, so it may be a good thing to have waited longer.

We pass people who are also concerned about the low clouds and light misty rain. Up at the high lake, we sit for a while, trying to warm up, out of the wind, and decide on whether we should continue or not.

Seeing some blue sky, and the huge line of people approaching, we decide that we'd better get going to try to catch this nice window of weather approaching.

Once up on the ridge, the wind that wasn't so bad down in the valley, starts to pick up. The clouds pour over the summit ridge and you feel pushed towards the cliff.
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Makes me wish I had my other camera with the video function. The clouds - wind - ridge interaction was pretty impressive.

A clear view of the summit
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Just before the summit, we decide to take a break from the wind and hide behind some rocks.
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Once on the summit, we find the main wind shelter full, so we move further on to another. Amazing what a couple rocks can do to avoid the wind. We didn't sit for long, as the clouds came back in vengeance and pelted us with hail.
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A view back up the ridge from the saddle, on the way down.
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Never got a view of the Crestone's, but Broken Hand pass did peak out a few times. Most climbers we talked to only made it to this point before turning around.
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Side view of Humboldt's ridge.
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Welcome to Fall mountain weather!



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