Mount Humphreys Arizona

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Jessicahiker

 
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Mount Humphreys Arizona

by Jessicahiker » Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:50 pm

Can anyone give me advice on hiking Humphreys in Arizona? I plan on being there on December 29th. Do I need any special tools, crampons, etc...? What is the best route for a day hike? Is the Snow bowl road open? If it is closed how do I get to Humphreys? Is the mountain full of snow? I have lots of questions.

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nebben

 
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Re: Mount Humphreys Arizona

by nebben » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:03 pm

Jessicahiker wrote:Can anyone give me advice on hiking Humphreys in Arizona? I plan on being there on December 29th. Do I need any special tools, crampons, etc...? What is the best route for a day hike? Is the Snow bowl road open? If it is closed how do I get to Humphreys? Is the mountain full of snow? I have lots of questions.


It doesn't look like there is anything sticking to the southern slopes based on the webcam image at noa.gov. If there is snow, you might need snowshoes and possibly crampons depending on how old the snow is, recent weather patterns...etc. The road to the Snowbowl is plowed, so you'll always be able to get up there.

One thing that is very common no matter how much snow is on the ground is the wind. It is often very windy up there, so plan for some cold if nothing else. The hike up from the Snowbowl is pretty straightforward.

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MoapaPk

 
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Re: Mount Humphreys Arizona

by MoapaPk » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:05 pm

Jessicahiker wrote:Can anyone give me advice on hiking Humphreys in Arizona? I plan on being there on December 29th. Do I need any special tools, crampons, etc...? What is the best route for a day hike? Is the Snow bowl road open? If it is closed how do I get to Humphreys? Is the mountain full of snow? I have lots of questions.


The locals will chime in soon... but keep track of the snow levels via the web cams:
http://24.121.15.116/ (you are really seeing Agassiz here)

Snow is hard to predict a month ahead (looks dry right now). If they get a dumping, and you are lucky, someone from Flagstaff will have already broken the trail. I haven't been there in winter, but those who have tell me that finding the trail is the biggest issue.
Last edited by MoapaPk on Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Andinistaloco

 
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by Andinistaloco » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:06 pm

What tools you need... well, depends on the conditions. There's very little snow so far and you wouldn't need anything at this point; however, you'll certainly want to check closer to the 29th. If there's significant snow by then you'd need at least snowshoes and maybe an axe (probably not crampons though, unless you're breaking new gear in). Likewise, the route depends on the conditions - if no snow, the standard route from SNowbowl up the west face is fine; if snow, I'd recommend cutting north from Snowbowl to the big couloir on the west face and following that to the summit ridge (then north over a false summit or two, to the actual summit). So far the road's open and if it snows it'll probably be open as well, for traffic to the ski area. I'd go up with you if I wasn't working!

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Andinistaloco

 
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by Andinistaloco » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:07 am

jhodlof wrote:I recommend this route:
http://www.summitpost.org/route/479566/ ... Ridge.html


Nice work on the route page dude. I've been that way a bunch of times and it's a great winter route. However, you might want to mention that it's not legal to go that way unless the route up high (11,400+) is covered with snow.

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Alex Wood

 
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by Alex Wood » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:57 am

Isn't it true that if the Snowbowl road is open the road is plowed? It has been getting very very cold up there. Even if there isn't alot of snow, be prepared for freezing conditions.

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Day Hiker

 
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Re: Mount Humphreys Arizona

by Day Hiker » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:20 am

nebben wrote:The road to the Snowbowl is plowed, so you'll always be able to get up there.


I'm quite sure that "always" is not the correct word, unless something has changed in the last several years. I was there the day after a snowstorm, and the Snowbowl road and ski area were closed. (Imagine a ski area closed the day after fresh snow. Haha!)

The date was 04 January 2004, between 08:50 and 09:00 local time (MST). The weather was cold and sunny, as the cold front and storm had passed the day before. Of course the Snowbowl road goes up to the trailhead at 9300 feet, but the gate was closed just off of US180, at elevation 7350 feet. US Highway 180 was open through to Valle, over its summit at 8050 feet.

It has been several years since this observation. But, again, if nothing has changed, you can't expect to have any luck at Snowbowl after a storm.

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lcarreau

 
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by lcarreau » Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:09 pm

For some reason, the "El Nino" that they're talking about on the California thread doesn't seem
to be "kicking in" for AZ yet.

Central AZ is so dry that firefighters had to quell a wildfire that happened earlier in the week.

Please keep abreast of weather conditions coming in December. You'll definitely need to dress
in layers with an appropriate "outer shell" to protect yourself from cruel winds on Humphreys!

Have a great one out there!

8)

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Re: Mount Humphreys Arizona

by derekthered » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:45 am

Jessicahiker wrote:Can anyone give me advice on hiking Humphreys in Arizona? I plan on being there on December 29th. Do I need any special tools, crampons, etc...? What is the best route for a day hike? Is the Snow bowl road open? If it is closed how do I get to Humphreys? Is the mountain full of snow? I have lots of questions.


I hiked Humphreys last weekend from the Snow Bowl. This is the shortest route to the summit, as the Weatherford Trail is a few miles longer. There were only a few inches of snow on the ground, and it's a very gradual climb over 4.5 miles, though I suspect there will be more at the end of December.

Once we above the treeline on the saddle between Humphreys and Agassiz, it became noticeably chillier and windier. As we hiked higher and higher the winds really picked up, and the last 100 feet feet were the fiercest winds of my life. I still can't believe how ferocious they were. Luckily there's a 3 ft high rock wall built at the top to protect you from the winds, and once you crouch below the wall the temperature increases dramatically. There were only a few inches of snow at the summit; I suspect most of it was blown toward the leeward side of the mountain.

Some of the hikers I encountered at the top had crampons, and they said they helped. I didn't use them or need them. But they'll probably aid you when you hike in December because there will be more ice. Maybe a pair of hiking poles. But that should suffice. It's a great hike.

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cp0915

 
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by cp0915 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:46 pm

Please feel free to lemme know when Agassiz is snow-covered too!

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Andinistaloco

 
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by Andinistaloco » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:09 pm

You may luck out... apparently there's a storm coming. Until then, jhodlof's beta is solid.

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Alex Wood

 
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by Alex Wood » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:23 pm

Just was up there last up there the 16th-17th. A snow report doesn't really matter much now cause now the San Francisco Peaks are probably under five feet of new snow. There was enough snow on Agassiz to climb it legally, so we did.

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