Peak(s):  Humboldt Peak  -  14,064 feet
Date Posted:  06/13/2006
Date Climbed:   06/10/2006
Author:  chicago transplant
 Humboldt by Moonlight  

Humboldt Peak - 14,064‘
West Ridge Route at night
via S Colony Lakes TH (11,060‘)

After giving up on the road, Tracy and I hiked the remaining mile and a half or so to the parking area at the end of the road and set up camp in one of the existing campsites. It was 7.30 pm and the fading daylight was perfect for us to start an evening ascent of Humboldt Peak. We headed up the trail where we were delighted with view of Crestone Needle in the fading light:


We continued on up the Humboldt trail as it started to switch its way back and forth to the shared saddle with Crestone Peak and Obstruction Point. From the trail the moon rise to our southeast was spectactular:


The sun quickly set to our west as we continued up the ridge. The trail started out easy to follow but as the light faded it got more and more difficult to stay on the trail. We often found ourselves doing some light scrambling on the ridge crest in-between trail sections. As we got the false summit we continued over the top to the relatively flat ridge to just below the summit block. By now the moon was really turning bright and we could see without headlamps. We scrambled to the to of the summit block and took a snack break in the cool breeze admiring the nearly full moon (one day early). For the descent we again frequently lost the trail and stayed instead on the ridge crest. As we neared the saddle we could see the trail, rejoined and hiked back down the switchbacks in the moonlight without headlamps. The reflection of the moon on Lower S Colony Lake was amazing, too bad the pictures didn‘t do it any justice! Back on the main trail we somehow missed our turn and ended up on the northern branch of the trail. After a little while we realized we were too far north. We deciced to bushwhack back to the road and after a short while spit out of the woods right next to the trail register. We hiked back to our camp to rest up for Crestone Peak in the morning.

Sun set to the west:


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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