Well, I must have a real problem, because I did this peak again today. This time under really high winds, probably 50+ MPH gusts. Still, I think I'm glad I did it.
Its definetly spring on the mountain, as the snow is melting fast, and of course those ferocious winds are back (I thought it was bad on Elden yesterday). Visibility is way down, too. I couldn't even see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and the Mingus Mt/ Verde Valley area was out, too. Mormon Mt was really hazy, and Hutch just south of it was nowhere to be seen either. Looking west, I was reminded of monsoon season. It seemed like the haze was thick enough to spawn thunder storms. Not yet though, the dew point was in the single digits today.
I came up my tried and true route: I followed the trail to the Dutchman, went up that to the bomber wreck, and then followed the south side of Allison Clay to the summit ridge. Its actually a lot harder without the snow (above treeline), and the snow that remains is really soft and kinda a pain to walk on. Going down was more of one long slide and glisade than a controlled descent. I found snowshoes are more of a liability than an asset. I could have used crampons, but my snowshoes are too big to move over the melting and pocketed snow to be of any real value. I carried mine for 90% of the trip.
We haven't had snow since February, and the snow on the Peaks is melting fast. I would recommend people who want summer conditions hold off until Memorial day Weekend. I think most of the snow will be a memory by that point. I know I don't plan to hike Humphrey again until Memorial Day, at the earliest. Its funny, I love winter climbing (best visibility), and I like summer and fall, too. Somehow, I found today that spring climbing leaves much to be desired. Actually, other than being able to say I did it with the winds and the deep soft snow, I plan to avoid the mountain when its like it was today.