Peak(s):  Humboldt Peak  -  14,064 feet
Date Posted:  02/22/2011
Date Climbed:   02/19/2011
Author:  Dad Mike

 Making Things Difficult on Humboldt  

Mileage...13 miles
Elevation...around 5,700 feeet
Route...East Ridge

7:15am...rainbow trail sign
12:30pm...can't find snowshoes
2:15pm...rainbow trail sign
3:00pm...back at car

For those of you that like quick, easy-to-read reports with more pictures than words...this is the one for you.

It's been a really tough winter. A couple annoying, slow-healing injuries have pretty much kept me inside for the last 3 months. I figured it was time to test the ankle...and give my poor wife a break from my incessant whinning. "Why god...wwwwhhhhyyyyyy?" That was me whinning.

After seeing a post from TMatthews and Yikes about an attempt on Humbolt's East Ridge, I decided to give it a go. They were meeting at the TH at thanks. I told them to start without me.

Road to the 2wd parking area is mostly clear. There is about 500 yards of snow at the very end that you might want to avoid if you don't have 4wd.

The start to the day was incredible. Clear skies to the east and no wind in the trees.

Pretty clear it was wasn't going to last though. I enjoyed views like this while I could.

The road to the Rainbow Trail was well-traveled and went quick. This was taken shortly after turning off the road.

No rainbows today.

I caught up with Yikes, TMatthews and RockyMtn22 at the start of the East Ridge, just above the turnoff from the Rainbow Trail. I was feeling great and quickly took over the trailbreaking duties. I told myself I was going to be a "DBaker Team Player" today, but I just couldn't do it. I soon found myself alone again. Oh well...the fun begins.

The slog through the trees was endless, but I loved every second of it. It felt so good to be outside. Now it was time to drop the snowshoes and prepare for the wind and snow. I tied the shoes together and stood them up on what I thought was an easy to spot snowfield. I would pay later for not thinking this through.

I found the upper section of the ridge to be straightforward. The views down the North face through the clouds and snow were pretty impressive. Yak Trax definitely helped…crampons not necessary.

Sorry, no views today.

Mustache shot…been growing that thing for 2 weeks as part of a work dare…you might have to zoom in to see it.

Got back down the saddle just above treeline and couldn’t find my snowshoes anywhere. F*cking marmots…right? If I was smart, I would have put them right under the funky, twisted Bristlecone Pine. But I not smart. I spent the next hour and 45 minutes crawling, rolling, postholing up to my knees, and fighting off tears of frustration. It was AWESOME!

Finally back on supportable snow.

The storm was closing in as I got back to the car.

Two days later I was still pissed at myself for losing my snowshoes and for putting myself through all that extra effort. Then I read Alyson and Prakash’s story. A broken femur! 14 hours at 13,000 feet! Ok, so my day wasn’t so bad.

Thanks for reading.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Michael York

03/01/2011 07:23
Sweet report, sucks about the snowshoes,looks like one of those days where you find out what you're made of. Sweet report!

Dad Mike

08/12/2014 23:13
The only kind of facial hair we are allowed to grow is a mustache. Stupid, right?


02/24/2011 18:20
Isn't that a great route. Nice work and a fun report!


02/24/2011 03:51
Dang Mike! I talked to you right after I got down from Pikes Peak on Saturday and you didn't even mention your Humboldt climb! Good Job! Nice pictures! Sucks about the snowshoes! I don't like those 05:30 starts either!


02/24/2011 13:54
Your mustache doesn't qualify as such. And how are you able to go to work looking like that?!


Just because I care
06/02/2011 14:57
Cracked me up too.

These look interesting: The Tubbs flex ones:

Hope you get yours back from the lost and found forum.

Dad Mike

08/12/2014 23:13


02/23/2011 20:38
Looks like you guys timed it right! My friends and I tried La Plata that day and we looked like we would have been successful if it wasn't for a wrong turn in the predawn woods. Once we called it and turned around, I thought I could take my snowshoes off and plunge step down. NOPE! I did a fair amount of crawling, rolling and postholing as well until I could get into position to get the damn thngs back on!


I Not Smart!!
02/23/2011 04:36
Mike, you crack me up!!
I've got some old Tubbs you can use, but you have to be part of the DBaker team. ;)
Nice work, you frikkin nut.

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