Hum 4

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Three years later, we finally find a way up Hum 4.

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In 2015, John and I attempted to traverse the entire Hum Ridge, starting at Duck Lake TH and finishing at the Split Creek TH. On that day, we ran out of water after completing Humdinger, Hum 1, Hum 2, and Hum 3. Then we dropped off the ridge and had an 'epic' down the North Fork of Lick Creek. For all the gory details, read the Hum Ridge trip report.

A couple months later we thought we might be able to complete the ridge by starting from the bottom. That day we got Hum 5, but the late hour and perceived difficulty of Hum 4 from there turned us around. At least we didn't have to thrash through the North Fork again. Still a great outing, and we were learning more about the ridge. Also see the Hum 5 trip report.

So after being rejected twice on sportier attempts, today we were going for the kill. We went straight up from Lick Creek road.

I had heard of folks going to Ho Lake this way, so knew that ridge access was possible. Just go straight up for 2500 vertical feet.

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But in the morning dew (after yesterday afternoon's rain), the first hundred feet wasn't especially pleasant.

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But it wasn't much longer and we were in the chute. As in avalanche chute.

Fortunately, no snow today. And the snow, when it slides, cleans out all the deadfall and most of the brush.

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This place is somewhat scenic.

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At around the 7000' level, the gully splits. We followed the right-hand, smaller one for a bit longer, then started an uphill traverse of the hillside. The hillside has multiple gullies, as you might imagine, and each was edged with rocks or cliffs providing some challenge.

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The trees didn't help with the route finding.

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After multiple gullies and ribs, we finally could sort of see our objective. The summit is near the left skyline, and our target for the traverse had been the less-steep area around the rock on the right skyline, which I had dubbed "the nipple" (see the map below).

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Some rocks in the way.

After that, there is a small flat. Looks like a great place to camp!

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Then more steep hillside. That's Hum 3, which we climbed on our first attempt, in the background. Trailhead

When we got to the summit ridge, there was a white rock that sort of looked like a cairn. While I would not be surprised if others have been up here, it was still sort of an affront.

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But when we got to the top, no cairn. Just a white rock.

That's Hum 5 behind us. Sort of shows how steep this country is. Our summit today was about 3300' of gain in just over 2 miles.

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And if you were over there on Hum 5, this is what you would see looking at where we were standing today (taken in 2015). Due to the fact that this is a ridge, the highest point (on the right) looks lower but is just farther away. Trailhead
Looking south into the Prince Creek area. Trailhead
Looking west at Hum 3. Trailhead
West-northwest at Humdinger and Rain. Trailhead

Then it was time to get off. We agreed to continue our explore and try to find a way back to the top of the gully we had been in initially. So we angled down the ridge between Hum 3 and Hum 4, eventually finding a good northerly escape near the saddle.

From there, we followed an absolutely amazing game trail right along the upper cliffs of the ridge.
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The game trailed eventually spilled us out onto the mellower terrain of Hum 3's northern ridge. Trailhead
We had been here before during our first try at Hum Ridge. That's Hum 4 on the right. Trailhead
As we circumnavigated Hum 3's ridge, we got our first glimpse of Ho Lake. We discussed going to the lake before continuing, but John was under some time constraints. So we instead did a dropping contour to hiker's left down a very steep hillside. Trailhead
After dropping down to get under a talus slide, we had a short climb to get to our saddle. Again, we crossed our previous track on Hum Ridge. That's Hum 2 there. Trailhead
And then, with a little trepidation, we crept out into the top of our gully. Hmmm.... Trailhead
After a few initial boulders, we were able to thread a path through and down that was mostly on dirt. Yay! Trailhead

And then it was down, down down.

Nothing to look at here.

Down, down, some more.

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And finally, there's the car.

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Map

 

 

One sad note: along the way we picked up three beer cans and one soda bottle. What the hell, people !?!

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