Peak(s):  Humboldt Peak  -  14,064 feet
Date Posted:  10/11/2012
Modified:  10/19/2012
Date Climbed:   10/11/2012
Author:  Alpineair

 24 Hours of Humbolt  

Left the house at two am, intent on feeding the rat that has been gnawing at me for some time now.

Pointed the new/old truck south and made it to South Colony Lakes Trailhead by 6:30. The road wasn't so bad, compared to Mt. Princeton or Castle Creek. Started up the trail with no real expectations of getting to the top of anything due to being forced out of my normal MO by a disabled camping vehicle and suspect conditioning.

The weather forecast had led me here and it did not disappoint. As I slowly made my up I could barely believe how warm it was this high and this late in the season. Glimpses of the surrounding peaks spurred me on even though I knew I was well past the best light of the day. The views just kept getting better and better.

At a spot where I could see the upper lake I had to stop, peel off some layers and take it all in. The great photos I had seen and the words I had read did not prepare me for what all my senses where taking in at this moment.

After putting the cameras through a workout, I decided to head up to the saddle below Humbolt's West Ridge and see how much energy and time I might have left. It was getting late to go higher but the incredible weather and new vistas beckoned.

Reached the saddle at high noon and again was awestruck by my surroundings! More photos, more water, a snack, and then I needed to decide whether to go up or down. The little sleep and long drive, plus the hike up till now began to work against me but I was so close. Slurping down a gel concoction I started up. Three quarters of the way between the saddle and the top I was really starting to feel unwell but the mountains and the weather seemed to will me upward. Seeing the big cairn and level ground boosted my spirit if not my body. The views and the outstanding weather made up for all the effort.

After twenty minutes or so I knew I needed to get down in a hurry so I chose the East Gully. Not recommended without snow, but perhaps a little shorter. I had seen goats in this area on the way up and hoped to see some on the way down but they had moved on.

Made it back to the truck just as the sun left the valley. Twelve hours on the trail almost exactly.

The drive home may have been the crux of the day and I don't want to go into details here except to say ten minutes shy of 24 hours after leaving I returned home and that no wildlife were harmed during this journey.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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