Hiking in Flagstaff Part II : Humphreys Peak Hike & Ski

Humphreys Peak : Hike + Ski & Snowboarding 

May 21st:  
Humphreys Trail #151: 6.5 miles / Bushwhack & Ski Trail: 2.1 (8.6 miles 3,136 feet elevation gained)

May 22nd 
Wild Turkey / Logjam / Sundance / Spur Catwalk / Upper Bowl / Lower Bowl (5.6 miles, 2,710 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
-  On Sunday the 21st, Whitney and I headed to the Snowbowl to hike Arizona's highpoint, Humphreys Peak.  I had hiked this mountain once before, in May of 2014, it was an easy hike as the trail was snow free, this time however was a much different story!
- Humphreys Trail starts off at the bottom of the snowbowl ski area.  It cuts across one of the bunny slopes and heads into the woods and crawls it's way up to the ridge over four very long switchbacks.  Usually this is the easy part as it's in the woods, below treeline, and has easy grades, however after about 1.5 miles the trail was filled with snow along with some nasty side slopes.  Luckily, we both had microspikes, unfortunately one of Whitney's broke, but I was able to use the velcro strap from my hillsounds spikes to repair it enough so it wouldn't fall off.
-  We navigated the snow laden trail quite well, however other hikers we ran into weren't prepared, were getting lost, and having trouble staying upright, most of these hikers bailed at this point.
-  Once above treeline on the ridge, the trail was once again snowfree from abundant sun exposure.  It was a very easy ridge walk to the summit and there was no wind which is an abnormally for a peak that is notorious for high winds.
- At the summit we took a nice break, had lunch, and enjoyed the tremendous views.  It was a little hazy but we could even see the Grand Canyon to the north of us.
- On the way back we deviated from the trail at treeline and made a b-line through the woods to the ski slopes.  It was one of the easier whacks we've done, albeit with some loose rocks and dirt.  In a matter of twenty minutes we popped out on the slopes and had an easy walk back to the trailhead.  
- We also scoped out the ski trails for snow to see if there was enough lingering around for a return trip the next day, which there was, for Whitney's birthday and some late May skiing and boarding.
- For our fun in the snow hike & ski we both had to strap our gear to our backpacks, making them pretty heavy, Whitney had no issues considering she's hiked two 2,000 mile thru-hikes with excessive weight, but for me it was kind of uncomfortable and tiring carrying all that weight.
- We hiked up the ski slopes to the snowfield below Agassiz.  Whitney hiked a few hundred feet and skied back down to where we left our packs, I went about halfway to where she went and boarded back down.  It was kind of choppy so we headed down to a trail called Lower Bowl, and jackpot, we found a really fun run that we then did a few times.  We skied our packs to the bottom of the run, then just hiked up and skied down another couple of times enjoying the seventy degree weather and free skiing! 

 We start off hiking in the woods, through blowdowns and then snow

Looking at Agassiz Peak and the snow left, perfect to ski!

Agassiz peak from the Saddle

San Francisco Peaks (Agassiz, Fremont, Doyle) right to left

 Whitney makes her way up the last one hundred feet to the summit of Humphreys Peak

 San Francisco Mountain Range as seen from Humphreys Peak

Humphreys summit

Hiking back across the ridge and looking back towards Humphreys Peak

Arizona Snowbowl, plenty of snow left, but melting fast!

Hiking back down into the snow then bushwhacking

Nice open woods dropped us out onto the slopes

Not enough snow to ski here but easy to hike out next to it

Hiking back to the trailhead

Whitney hikes up and skis down!

Whitney on her first run of the day in the Upper Bowl!

Me cautiously (plowing) down the Upper Bowl  

The birthday girl :) 

Whitney's second run

Skiing the Spur Catwalk Trail

 Skiing the Lower Bowl

Whitney on another run :) 

Bottom of Lower Bowl

 Me boarding through the Lower Bowl 

If you look closely at the sticker in the upper right it's from Loon Mountain New Hampshire.  No matter where you go skiing you're sure to find something from NH!

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