Peak:  Humboldt Peak (14er)
 Route:  East Ridge
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  kman
 Date of Info:  03/17/2012
 Date Posted:  03/18/2012

Got weathered off the mountain a few weekends ago, so went back for round two. Met 14ers members Chris (chrisinaz), Zach (zxbraves), and Jason (jasayrevt) at the 2wd parking area, and we headed out around 06:30 under excellent hiking/climbing weather conditions. As 14ers member mcormier states in his conditions report from last week (3-10-2012), you can walk the road from the 2WD parking area to the Rainbow Trail cutoff without snowshoes. This is still the case. Snowshoes were definitely needed past this point, and all the way to treeline. I believe it was Jason and Zach who actually were able to hike the entire section to treeline without snowshoes (although they had the snowshoes with them), because they don‘t weigh that much and were able to stay on the hard-packed surface of the trench. This was for the morning ascent only! Snow conditions were MUCH softer during the afternoon descent. There are still "aggravating" areas of bare trail from the creek to the ridge. Snowshoes can definitely be stashed at treeline. The "round" part of the ridge above treeline is mostly devoid of snow - see picture #1. This is, however, were the wind picked up significantly and we endured sustained wind of 35-40 mph with gusts at or exceeding 55 mph. Be prepared for wind anytime you‘re in the Sangre‘s! The more defined section of the East Ridge leading to the summit is also mostly devoid of snow - see picture#2. It was here, just below the summit that I ran into 14ers member Javier (javy20040) who was also back for "round two." Check out his Aconcagua pics in the trip reports section if you get a chance. We all spent some time on the summit trying to hold the camera steady and level in the wind gusts, and I managed to get one of the "stones" - see picture #3. Heading down, specifically in treeline, the trench had softened up quite a bit. There was some post-holing (with snowshoes), even in the well established trench, and especially if you veered slightly left or right of the trench. See picture #4. It was an all around great day (except for the wind), and I enjoyed meeting and climbing with Jason, Chris, Zach, and Javier!

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3Image #4

 Comments or Questions

Humbled by Humboldt
03/19/2012 00:44
Had a blast hiking with you and everyone else--what a day!!

(and I won't say anything about Betsy...)


Betsy who?!!!! Ha Ha!!
03/19/2012 15:21
Yeah, it was definitely a blast (literally...with the wind!) hiking/climbing with you guys! I'll email some pics to Jason, who will forward them to you and Zach!


Avalanche Risk?
03/24/2012 21:03
I checked out the topo and it doesn't look like there is much avy risk along the east ridge, but were there any sketchy areas you noticed? Also, would you recommend any traction devices for above treeline?


Zero Risk!
03/25/2012 00:26
Actually, I try to never say there is an absolute zero risk with anything, but the avy risk on this route is pretty darn close to zero! You can actually exit treeline, and continue to the summit without stepping on ANY snow at all. That was the case last week,and it has been very warm in that area over the last week, so I'm sure that's still the case (as far as not having to step on any snow). The only sketchy areas were well below me. There was no reason for any traction devices above treeline. Again, the snow is really lacking this year. This (the East Ridge) is the safest route on the mountain when snow is present. The weather forecast looks good in that area for the foreseeable future, so if you're contemplating a go at it good luck, and enjoy!! It's a great climb.

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