Elevation Gain: 4,300 ft.
Distance: 8 miles round trip
Hike Duration: 8.5 hrs.
Trialhead: Rainbow Trail
Weather: Extremely Windy
Was looking to add a Sangre de Cristo Mtn. to my 14er list in May. I thought Humboldt would be the best bet.
So, early Friday morning I set off from the Rainbow Trial sign at 6:40am.
Rainbow Trail Sign:
Bill's trial description for the East Ridge was very good. Here is a picture of the bridge on the way back.
I loaded the GPX file in my Garmin and was able to navigate through the forest without a problem.
It did seem to take some time getting through the forest, I was expecting snow, but didn't get into any until about 10,600.
But was able to meander around most of the snow banks until I reached treeline. So around 12K I did put on the
snowshoes for about 100 yrds or so. But, found on the way back that I could have avoided the snow
by going a bit off trail.
Rugged Trees at Treeline:
I was very happy to be out of the trees and able to see the first false summit/ridge. Now the problem became the wind.
It was very bad, a constantly blowing head wind that at one point pushed me backwards as I was trying to
go over some boulders on the ridge. The wind itself was enough to discourage the weak of heart. But, it
got worse as I crested the ridge and finally was able to see the Humboldt summit.
Ridgeline of Humboldt:
Looking down the Ridge to Treeline:
I was glad to see it, but knew it was still a mile away. Because of the wind I was averaging at this point under 1 mile an hour.
Looking up towards the Summit:
Broken Hand Peak came into view and it had that dark rugged look of the Crestones….
Broken Hand Peak :
At around 13,500 I believe I finally got some relief from the wind, being in the shadow of Humboldt.
But, continued to get some gusts that blew snow in the face and at one point picked up some sand and
gravel that hit me in the face. Hmmm, was I ever going to get wind cover again?
View of the Ridge line:
Finally topped out on the summit. What a view of the Crestones!! The wind was still stronger
than ever, it just wouldn't quit.
Summit with Crestones in background:
I took a few shots of the summit and headed down ASAP. It was still 4 miles back to the truck, and
I would have to go through the forest again via GPS navigation. Overall it was much better with the
wind at your back and once in the trees the hiking was pleasant.
Farewell to Humboldt: