Peak(s):  Humboldt Peak  -  14,064 feet
Date Posted:  10/06/2012
Date Climbed:   10/05/2012
Author:  richardscout
 Humbolt - in the nick of time  

Some of our nicest peaks have been in October and Humbolt did not disappoint.

Last spring 2 of my climbing buddies and I sat down and mapped out a plan for the summer; It was an ambitious plan (for us) with 9 peaks. We put the dates on our calendars, invited other friends and started reading the forums. Life being what it is, we were able to get some peaks together, other peaks with friends, an unplanned peak or two, but none of us bagged all 9. One of those unplanned peaks was Humbolt.

A cold front moved through earlier in the week. Would it leave behind too much snow? Would the road be drivable? Would we be at risk attempting the summit? Would we have to cancel?

NO! At 4:15am we left Colorado Springs and headed south. The moon was still bright and we had clear skies overhead. But as we got closer, we could see clouds over the Sangre De Cristos. We pushed on arriving at the trailhead about 2 hours later and were on the trail at 6:25am. The sky overhead was cloudy, but it was clear to the east so as the sun rose the light cut across under the cloud layer and we saw beautiful Crestone Needle lit up like a candle straight ahead Image
Crestone Needle
(apologies for the poor focus). The one thing that was perfect clear was that it was windy, and when it's windy below tree line, it probably won't be any better in the open!

We made good time, enjoying the full-width road to the lakes; it's nice to hike side by side and be able to talk easily between ourselves. We headed south from the lakes and also really enjoyed the trail improvements! The rock steps and stairs are very well done.

As we made our way up to the saddle, the cloud cover began to break. Being so close to the hill side helped decrease the wind; at least it wasn't a constant gale . The views of the Crestones was great Image
Crestone Needle and Peak

We made the saddle and started up the western approach. Here the wind became our friend as it was at our backs and helped blow us up the hill ! We made the summit just before noon without having seen anyone on the trail nor on the summit; we had the mountain all to ourselves! Image
Humbolt summit

A quick snack then back down, enjoying the end of the fall colors at this altitude. We did pass 3 other hikers on the trail on the way down.

When we got back to the car at the trailhead, we looked back and saw some very ugly clouds building from the west. We could clearly see the precipitation falling and new that we had done Humbolt just in the nick of time!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

10/07/2012 02:11
Perfect... thank you! I was wondering how the conditions were up there right now. Crestone looks like it's relatively free of snow. I hope it stays like that over the next week. Could you see much snow on Broken Hand Pass?


Broken Hand Pass
10/07/2012 02:46
Scottfarish - Broken Hand was clear (yesterday),I've added image 5 (can't seem to insert an image in a response?) showing most of it.


10/07/2012 16:01
Nice TR, and a nice fall climb. Humboldt is a good way to get one's feet wet in the Sangres.

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