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Humphery's Peak

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Humphery's Peak

Postby chewbachman » Sat May 28, 2011 2:25 am

I'm looking to hike Humphery's Peak the first weekend in June via Humpherys Trail. I was wondering if anyone has been up there recently and how the snow conditions are, would I need crampons or just boots? This is the first time I have done Humpherys at all, so anything else we should keep in mind would be great as well. Thanks!
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby Clark_Griswold » Sat May 28, 2011 2:42 am

June requires nothing more than boots. Maybe trekking poles for some. Just treat it as a tough-ish hike and you'll be fine. Oh, and plan for high wind, be happy if it isn't gusting over 50 MPH, and temps in the 40s to 50s.
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby Andinistaloco » Sat May 28, 2011 7:35 pm

The trail's pretty well snowed under... I was up there last week and you can't follow it for more than a half mile or so. Things will melt, but we had a decent amount of snow this year and it might take a few weeks.
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby lcarreau » Sun May 29, 2011 3:16 am

I can see snow on Humphreys from 55 miles away in Cottonwood, Arizona. Please give it a few more weeks.

8)
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby eferesen » Sun May 29, 2011 5:48 am

I was there a 3 weeks ago. Lost the trail for about 20 minutes, otherwise it was not bad. I went super early and wish I had my yak traks. It is very doable. The winds have been unbelievable in town.
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby Clark_Griswold » Sun May 29, 2011 5:16 pm

Snow was off by a lot this winter, 88" vs 110". We did have some freak events in April and just a couple of weeks ago. In past similar years, I found things to be clear or nearly so, even by this point. It gives a strong indication of how lousy and cold this spring has been if there is a lot of snow up there. There were large drifts on Kendrick this past week, but nothing I couldn't get around. Drifts, not trail obscuring or widespread snow.
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby SeanReedy » Sun May 29, 2011 11:34 pm

chewbachman wrote:I'm looking to hike Humphery's Peak the first weekend in June via Humpherys Trail. I was wondering if anyone has been up there recently and how the snow conditions are, would I need crampons or just boots? This is the first time I have done Humpherys at all, so anything else we should keep in mind would be great as well. Thanks!


Hmmm. This thread did have me crossing Humphrey's off of my list of considerations (same time frame), but I'm still not 100% convinced one way or the other. I've got Yak Traks, trekking poles, and a powerful dog that can be attached to me with skijoring gear. I would want to avoid having to deal with much post-holing.

I've never done anything in AZ, besides drive across the northern border area. I'll be on a trip with my wife, kids (age 2 and 4--still very easy to please), and dogs to NE OK/SW MO area from San Jose, CA area and needing to cover about 350 road miles per day on average. I expect AZ to be the highlight of the trip on the way out and can make up time further east. Short, scenic hikes and scenery along the way with a longer adventure to wear myself and the dogs out here and there would be ideal. Good spots to get off the beaten path for boondock camping/free, quiet, and safe overnight parking of our truck camper will be needed along the way (dirt, gravel, and mild 4X4 roads are OK).

I was thinkng a drive along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon with parking for the night in the NF east of GCNP followed by a drive through Canyon de Chelly on the way to Albuquerque area. Tagging Humphrey's and parking nearby for a night prior to heading to the Grand Canyon is something I have been considering. Given the time constrainsts, is Humphrey's worth it and am I missing anything great that would be easy to add to my plans?
Last edited by SeanReedy on Mon May 30, 2011 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby Clark_Griswold » Sun May 29, 2011 11:58 pm

I would post those other questions separately since they will get better attention that way. Other forums are better for non-SW US stuff, too.

As far as Humphrey, is it worth it?
Thats a personal choice. If it's your first time, you'll probably get a lot out of it. My first time had lousy monsoon weather. I've had conditions close to my first time since then and have hated being out. I'm to the point of having so many summits under so many different conditions that I, at this point, believe I will only summit Humphrey in winter, with good to great winter conditions. There is nothing like a clear, calm day on the Peaks, with fresh snow, and views up to 183 miles. The only place I have ever seen further while still being on earth is Mount Whitney, but I didn't have the summit to myself and I had to work way, way harder to get there.

Personally, if you can handle a potentially windy day, it will be worth it. Today we have 55 MPH gusts in Flagstaff, so 100 mph on Humphrey would not be out of the question. That is the high end. Likely, it will be windy but not as severe. It is trail season, not the winter snow route, and most of the trail is a boring hike on a gentle grade through dense spruce. Only for the last 1000' and 1.25 miles are you above treeline and do you have views. Spring haze and dust will decrease visibility, but it is still typically more than summer views during monsoon season. You ought to be able to see up to 125 miles away and Navajo Mt, but the Pine Valley Mountains and Henry's will not be visible as they are under perfect winter conditions.

I say go for it. On the way back or out. I think you'll find it worth it.
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby sm0421 » Mon May 30, 2011 12:08 am

Hi Sean,

I hiked Humphrey's Peak in Feb, I had poles, microspikes (better grip than YakTraks), with no problem. Post holing here and there but no major problem, route finding is a big problem, you can check my report by clicking my name.

I also hiked Wheeler Peak in NM yesterday, I haad poles and microspikes, with no problem. Snow is very soft and slushy on the lower elevation but ok with no post-holing higher up. Wheeler Peak and Humphreys are similar both have steep headwall climb, perseverance is key, I flew from NYC so definitely felt the altitude.

Snowshoes would be nice but in my opinion not worth the extra weight and they will slow you down.

Hope this helps...
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby SeanReedy » Mon May 30, 2011 2:22 am

As far as Humphrey, is it worth it?
There is nothing like a clear, calm day on the Peaks, with fresh snow, and views up to 183 miles. The only place I have ever seen further while still being on earth is Mount Whitney, but I didn't have the summit to myself and I had to work way, way harder to get there. [/quote]

Thanks!
Exactly what I was thinking when I put it on my rough itenerary. It would actually be my first state high point as I find that I am actually more into having the feeling described above than worrying about if it at the top of a list. I have done things sort of similar to Whitney, but with less permit hassles and people.
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby Andinistaloco » Mon May 30, 2011 6:47 am

Another option would be to take the Weatherford trail up to Humphrey's. I'm going to do that one in a couple of days and it will almost certainly have less snow on it, as it's more exposed (as opposed to the trail from Snowbowl, which goes through a lot of forest). We've had a bunch of warm days at this point though, so even that one will be getting better.
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby Clark_Griswold » Mon May 30, 2011 7:09 pm

If the main trail has snow on it, the north face of the Weatherford will have a lot more between the 2 saddles.
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby jeffh25 » Tue May 31, 2011 2:40 am

This looks to be a much lighter snow year than last year and I did it on June 4th of last year with only boots & gaiters. There was still a lot of snow below treeline, so much that I continually lost the trail but I never postholed or even had much slow going due to the snow. Routefinding on the other hand...
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby SeanReedy » Tue May 31, 2011 5:04 am

I'm getting inspired to stay away from the interstates and aim high on my way to the Ozarks from CA. The highpoints of AZ, NM, and OK are now on my itenerary with scenic drives and fun stuff for the whole family mixed in. We'll aim for southern UT and southern CO on the way back west.
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Re: Humphery's Peak

Postby Andinistaloco » Tue May 31, 2011 5:15 am

Lionel wrote:If the main trail has snow on it, the north face of the Weatherford will have a lot more between the 2 saddles.


Not too bad, actually. Don't know enough about weather patterns to say why, but I did it last week and it's passable. Huge piles of consolidated snow but you can stomp right over and it's easy to see where the trail goes. I think the main difference between it and the reg. route is that it's easier to lose the latter in the trees - it's not so obvious sometimes.
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