Peak(s):  Humboldt Peak  -  14,064 feet
Date Posted:  07/05/2009
Modified:  07/09/2009
Date Climbed:   06/25/2009
Author:  BirdMan

 Penance, Tests and Judgement on Humboldt Peak  

Having trashed the family vehicle not 4 days ago on a 4WD road (curse you Mt Huron!) I thought it wise on my first trip to Humboldt to park my CR-V at the 2WD TH and hike up from there.

View of the lonely 2WD TH parking lot and signage at 6:30 am.

Thus began my penance on this Thursday morning. When they say that parking at the 2WD TH adds 10+ miles and about 3,000' of vertical they're not kidding. Note: the 4WD road is passable for passenger cars for the first few miles and there are some places along the road for cars to park after the private property.

It seemed like most everyone on this day was driving to the 4WD TH or at least close to it. So, if you're planning on parking at the 2WD parking lot just be prepared for a big day.

A nice new tent platform along the 4WD road - way to go Colorado Forest Service.

Around 8:30 it began to first drizzle then down-right rain. I wondered, would I have to give up my summit bid? Thoroughly soaked but trying to exercise good judgement I thought I'd just keep going, take a look at the lakes, and give it some time in the unlikely event that the skies would clear up. I had already gone through the decision process and had decided I would pack it in if the weather wasn't cooperating, but amazingly, after about an hour of rain it did let up. Woo hoo - I could keep pushing on...

On the way to the 4WD parking lot there are three stream crossings which someone had felled trees to get accross.

I encountered some snow pack above the 4WD parking lot and up to the South Colony Lakes but there was no snow above the North Colony Lake.

The trail maintenance was excellent (thanks again CFI). First look at Humbodlt.

View of the Crestone Needle - will have to come back!

I know all 14ers have their share of marmots, but Humboldt seems to be a marmot playground.

Ridgeline to the summit.

Made it to the summit in just under 5 hours but was feeling it every step of the way - either due to not getting enough sleep the night before or the long approach. Looking tired on the summit.

I had heard rumors of a "pack trail" that connected the 4WD parking lot with the South Colony Lakes trail. I wasn't even thinking of it on the way up as it was my first time here and wanted to get a feel for the trail. However, I'm happy to report that I took the pack trail on the return. It saved me some time and wear and tear on my feet. You can find the pack trail at the back of the 4WD parking lot.

I read another trip report about how good Pizza Madness in Westcliffe is. Wanted to thank that person for posting and echo that. If you're hungry after the trail stop in - the people are friendly and the pizza was amazing.

In memory and tribute to John J. Stiefvater: 11/28/32 - 3/26/09

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Road conditions
07/13/2009 16:02
Good report- Would you think a sub forrester could make it to the end of the 4wd TH? Thanks


Road Conditions
07/16/2009 13:44
For a 4WD road, it seemed to be in pretty good shape. So, I would say a Forrester could get at least a good 2 - 3 miles in. There weren‘t a ton of parking places along the road but there were enough that I would go for it if I were you. Just a reminder that the first 1.5 miles of the 4WD road are through private property so you‘d want to get past that and then start looking for places to park. Have fun - hope this response wasn‘t too late...

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