Peak(s):  Humboldt Peak  -  14,064 feet
Post Date:  05/10/2010
Date Climbed:   05/08/2010
Posted By:  highplaces

 Humboldt Peak - East Ridge  

Hiked Humboldt Peak on Saturday. My first trip to the Sangre de Cristo range and it was a great day. Some good strong winds on the drive in Friday night, we were able to get within a mile of the summer trailhead with 4WD. The Sat forecast had called for increasing winds during the day, so we opted for an early start just before 4:00am. Easy going to the sharp left turn and then spent a bit of time route finding in the woods. The snow was mostly supportive with a few punch throughs here and there. A couple of guys caught us and passed, we'd pass each other again later just below the summit. Saw the first morning light around 5:30.
Hit treeline around 6:30.
The winds were already going pretty good. On the ground conditions were varied, some open ground, some soft snow and some icy hard packed snow.
We chose microspikes for the first bit and then opted to go to crampons just below the false summit. Spikes may have been sufficient, but with the strong wind and icy snow I felt better with the extra grip of crampons.
The clouds were blowing in and out. We got lucky and didn't get socked in, though it looked like we might several times.
We hit the top at 9:30. The Crestones were in clouds the entire time, I was looking forward to seeing them from the top, but they didn't want to reveal themselves this day.
Began the descent, stop to peer over the impressive north side several times.
Stayed in crampons until off the ridge and the icy snow.
Then, just an easy walk down to treeline. We stopped at treeline to retrieve our stashed snowshoes and remove layers – it was in the 50's now. Had hoped to get away with not having to wear the snowshoes out, but after a good round of postholing we finally wised up and put them on. Soon enough that was over and we hit just scattered bit of snow here and there, I think it was around 10,400ish. An easy walk out from here. On the road we saw several sections of substantial snow that will probably keep cars out for a little while longer. Back at the car around 2:00.

On the drive out, I spotted "1923" in the rockface on the shoulder. Anyone else see it?

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

11/30/2010 17:20
I see it and it even has quotes around it!
BTW, I climbed/skied Humboldt the day before you, via the SE Flanks Gully, and the wind was so strong I couldn't stand on the summit!


1923 two weeks ago
05/11/2010 00:54
Here‘s a shot from 4/21/2010...


Nice report - we were there also! Sunday
05/11/2010 02:17
Our group hiked on Sunday. I wish I would have know the 1923 was there. Brutal winds. My son - who is only 90 lbs fought them the entire way up but stopped about 200 vertical feet from the summit, wasted from fighting to stand up.

Beautiful views, however. The rest of the 11 person group made the summit (p.s., thanks to Bill Middlebrooks GPX file, we had no issues in the trees).


Ice Axe Found
05/11/2010 03:00
I climbed with highplaces, as I always do. Also wanted to note that on the way down, we came across a Black Diamond ice axe in the snowfield on the way to the first false summit. didn‘t know what to make of it, since we didn‘t see anyone come up after us. We left it there, figuring that maybe someone had gone up, but maybe took a different path and we missed them.


05/11/2010 16:12
That‘s crazy. Now that I see it I can‘t miss it. Look in the negative space, where there isn‘t snow. Nice TR.


05/11/2010 22:43
I saw it so clearly on the way out, thinking - What the heck is that? Now seeing the same thing from Bill‘s 4.21 photo, it‘s even more wierd. What is that mountain trying to tell us?!


05/14/2010 11:14
Is that there every year? Or is that just a weird phenomenon this year? Strange. Great report, now I am going to look in the photo stash and research and see if it has ever been there and that clear before.


Fun report...
05/14/2010 20:08
...and great photos.

Not to mention incredible imagination - (I finally saw it.)

Good luck this weekend, have fun, be safe!


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