After leaving Wheeler Peak, we decided to grab lunch in Taos, and take off toward Arizona.  As we were nearing Albuquerque, we decided to stop for the night, as it would be the middle of the night before we got to Flagstaff.  As it turns out, we ended up stopping at the very same Flying J’s where our truck broke down last year, and we stayed at the same Microtel Inn across the street.  Eerie, huh?  Well, it was for us, I assure you.  Anyways, the next morning we took off toward Flagstaff and BC’s nemesis, Humphrey’s Peak.  As we were heading west on I-40, once again we caught sight of Humphrey’s Peak, but this time, it came into view when were almost 100 miles away! 

This picture was taken just before we got to the US180 exit on I-40, Humphrey’s peak, still almost 90 miles away, can be seen quite clearly.

Highpoint: Humphrey’s Peak
State: Arizona
Height: 12633 ft.
Highpoint #: 39 (JO), 37 (BC)
Date: 8/4/2004
Trails: Humphrey’s Peak Trail
Distance: 9 miles roundtrip
Vertical Gain: 3600 ft.
Time Taken: 9 hours
Weather: Nice and cool before dawn, warm but hazy after dawn, 70’s
Group: JO and BC
Comments:  When we got into Flagstaff, we grabbed dinner and went looking for a campground supposedly nestled in the hills east of Humphrey’s, but the road that lead to it didn’t actually exist.  We ended up camping in the Sunset Crater National Park.  We woke up at 2 and drove to Humphrey’s trailhead, on the trail by 3.  We made our way up the 7 long switchbacks that make up the first part of this trail, and made our way towards the upper Snow Bowl by dawn.  There was no snow this time, which was quite a relief, and BC was doing far better than last year.  We made it up onto the saddle of the summit ridge by 7:30, and began the long traverse to the summit.  This part of the hike is much longer than it looks or sounds.  It seemed to take us several hours to get up and over several false summits, but when we finally reached the summit, we saw it was only 9:00.  BC was relieved to conquer this peak after the failure last year, and we stayed on the summit for close to an hour, eating snacks and taking pictures.  We could tell that we were both getting stronger at high altitudes. We made it back down to the car by 1 p.m. and we both felt surprisingly good.  Next up was Boundary Peak, but we had two rest/travel days ahead of us and some cool things to see.

Looking south to Agassiz Peak and the ski runs on its flanks, just as we are cresting the top of the Snow Bowl. 

Looking up at the summit from the saddle (well, almost; the true summit actually hidden from here).

From the saddle, the trail follows the outside of the ridge; you can see the trail traversing to the left here.

Almost there!  About a quarter of a mile left, although the highest point visible here is still yet another false summit.

BC on the summit, at last.

JO on the summit for the second time

Just before we get back to the car, one last look up at the west ridge of Humphrey’s Peak.

Go to Thursday, 8/5/04

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