I've gotten so much information from 14ers.com over the past few years, so I thought it was time for me to contribute a trip report from a really nice hike in the Sangres.
I had been wanting to hike Marble Mountain early in the hiking season for several years because I had heard it was very low risk for avalanches and knew that it would provide great views of the Crestones. It didn't disappoint.
I postponed my hike 1 day because of forecasts for 70 mph wind gusts on the date I orginally planned to hike. I had great weather this day with very little wind and warm temperatures. There was no snow on S. Colony Rd. as far as the Rainbow Trail crossing.
The day started with some really nice views back to the east toward Pikes Peak and the Wet Mountains. I started hiking at 6:30 a.m.The first hour and a half I was in the trees, but a few times I wandered over to the north edge of the ridge to look up into the South Colony basin. I started seeing Crestone Needle fairly early in the hike. The snow below treeline was consolidated and still firm for my ascent.
Marble, Broken Hand Pk., Crestone Needle
After breaking through treeline, I immediately hiked over to the north part of the ridge to get great views of the Crestones and surrounding peaks. I had these views for the rest of the ascent and stopped often to take pictures and catch my breath. I'm definitely not in mid-season shape yet.
As I climbed higher, Kit Carson and Columbia Pt. (I think) came into view. Upper and Lower S. Colony lakes also became more and more visible.
S. Colony Lakes, Crestones, Kit Carson
Broken Hand Pk., Crestones, Kit Carson
From my vantage point it looked like much of the east slopes route of Humboldt was dry, except some of the areas on the ridge (although I'm not sure of the exact course of that route )
It took me 3 hours and 15 minutes to reach the summit. I would have liked to have continued west on the ridge that leads towards Milwaukee Peak, but the snow on it made it a little beyond my comfort level .
summit looking south
I was very impressed with the basins to the south of Marble Mtn. (the Music Pass area) It took me 2 1/2 hours to get back to my car. By the time I got below tree line the snow had softened a lot. I postholed fairly often, but not enough to put on my snowshoes which remained attached to my pack all day. It was a great day in the mountains. Thanks to the 14ers.com members who helped me with information in the forum prior to this hike.