Mount Humboldt

Date to Climb: July 21, 2009

Date Climbed: July 15, 2009

Elevation: 14,064

Range: Sangre de Cristo

Latitude: 37.97610, Longitude: -105.55500

Route: West Ridge

Round-Trip Mileage: 4 (from lower lake)

Pre-Approach Comments

Before leaving Salida we hope to shop at least. After finally getting to Colony Trailhead we will see about the road. There are all kinds of rumors as to the road condition and a possible trailhead campground. We are expecting a 3.5 mile approach to Colony Lakes along the 4wd road. The Element will not be able to drive the road.

Post-Approach Comments

After climbing Lindsey, we went to Westcliffe. Robin was leaving the next morning and Ray and Monica were arriving.

Ray and Monica met us at the town park. Ray showed up with a bag of Hardees burgers that made Amy very happy. After a brief discussion, we decided to find a motel room for the night. The motel did not have any dog rooms available so Jake had to sleep in the car. He wanted to go in the room, but soon fell asleep in his most comfortable, familiar surroundings.

Robin left in the morning, heading for Garden of the Gods and then on to Denver to meet a friend. Robin helped a lot and we appreciate her coming out to visit us and share in the experience.

We finished packing and drove to the Colony Lake trailhead. With Ray right behind us, we headed up the steep road. Too soon, Ray was no longer visible behind us. Eventually, we decided that he must be having trouble.

Parking at the two mile marker, we felt like the Element had enough of the road. We started getting ready for the hike while we waited on Ray. After a while longer I decided to walk down the road to see what I could find out. From talking to vehicles coming up the road, I found out that Monica was sitting by a gate at the first steep section of the road and that Ray was seen driving to the lower lot.

Ray had, indeed, had car trouble and did not want to chance driving up the steep hill. He parked his Element and walked to where Monica waited with the packs. We walked together for a while, but I then ran ahead so I would be ready to leave when they arrived at our parking place.

The walk up the dirt road was dusty but rather easy. Along the way we saw the new work being done on the parking and camping areas. The area will be much improved when the four wheel drive road is finally closed. Everyone will then have to carry in their gear rather than rely on 4WD to get them to the lakes.

Pre-Climb Comments

If we have good weather we will probably try it on the same day we pack up the road. Jake should do well with the climb. It is not hard.

Post-Climb Comments

After finding a site and setting up camp we took a nap. Weather had moved into the area and we adopted a wait and see plan.

At 4:00 the clouds looked stable enough for us to try climbing Humboldt. Jake came with us.

The climb is a class 2, which means the climber has to occasionally use his hands to assist on the climb. There were several sections we had to use our hands as we picked the easiest passage for Jake. He chose his steps well and soon we were on the top.

Mount Humboldt

Mount Humboldt in background, left

Total time to the top was two hours and round trip was three and a half hours. We ate as big of a meal as our meager freeze-dried supplies allowed and then retired for the evening. We knew we had two big days coming with the Challenger - Kit Carson traverse on one and the Crestones on the other.

Mount Humboldt - July 15, 2009 summit check