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):