Humboldt Peak via West Ridge (standard route)
~12 miles RT, 4,200' of elevation gain
Humboldt Peak is one of my favorite "easy" 14er hikes, but it isn't that easy. You have to hike over 4 miles to reach the steep section that starts heading up to the summit. Having done this one before, I knew exactly how long it took me last time, and I hoped to beat that time by a couple minutes.
I did make a mistake this time. I didn't quite adapt my load to conditions. I had originally thought that it was going to be cold, so I had 2 jackets, gloves, hat, and pants in my backpack. I had packed 2.5 liters of water. It turns out that I didn't use any jackets or pants at all.
Anyway. It was HOT- one of the hottest 14ers I have done ever. I brought 2.5 liters and it simply was not enough. I ran out of water on the way down with about 3 miles to go. Lesson learned? I wasn't paying full attention to the conditions and predicted weather, and the unusually hot weather really "bit" me. Luckily Chris is a stud and he bailed me out with about 10 oz of water, which was plenty enough to keep me going. Anyways, pics...
|Looking ahead up the trail.|
|Looking back down the 4x4 road|
|Looking NW, that is broken hand pass in the middle, Crestone Needle to the right|
|This is the west face of Humboldt Peak|
|Snow is melting rapidly|
|Finally up to South Colony Lakes, here is a nice place to relax- for a couple seconds anyway.|
|And here we are at the upper lake, with Crestone Peak starting to show (R)|
|Getting higher up to the saddle, we have an excellent view of Crestone Peak on the R, Needle on the L.|
|From the saddle, we see Colony Baldy Peak|
|This ridge goes up 1,200' to the summit of Humboldt Peak|
|Getting higher up...|
|Chris is high up on the ridge above 14,000'|
|Right before Chris hits the summit|
|Kit Carson and Challenger Point center left, Mt. Adams right.|
|Summit Pano with the Blanca group in the distance|
|Distant Right is the Blanca Group, distant left is the Spanish Peaks|
|Kit Carson Peak is to the left, Colony Baldy on the right.|
|A beautiful day in Colorado|
|This is a 4-shot pano I had to do extensive Photoshop on.. it was worth it.|
Just another beautiful, HOT day in the mountains. It was one of the hottest 14ers I've ever done. Thanks to my hiking partner Chris Sumey for putting up with my rambling and bailing me out with water. It was a great day in the mountains.