| My Future
Route: WestSlopes, N. Cottonwood Creek
Summit Elevation - 14,073
Elevation Gain: 4250
Trip Distance: 11.50 miles
Total Round-Trip Climb Time (including all breaks): 7:30
4WD Required: negatory, 2wd accord made it just fine
Exhaustion Factor (on scale of 1-10): 3
Scenery Factor (on scale of 1-10): 3
In the year 2037, the world was a very, very changed place. I had one single regret in my life that I just couldn’t get over. I went to my church and asked Rev. Sheen for some guidance as to how I could get over some things.
Reverend Sheen (hey, I already told you the world is a very different place in 2037) asked me, “Fleetmack, what is bothering you?” I said, “Reverend, first let me say that I loved your acting in Hot Shots and Platoon. But to turn the tables back to me, I just can’t get over my biggest regret in my life.” Rev. Sheen asked me what my biggest regret was. “On August 19, 2011, I wasted 7 hours of my life by climbing Mt. Columbia. Never, Rev. Sheen, has time been so misused. I have spent countless hours cheering for the Cyclones, Royals, and Seahawks. Sure, there were miserable years in there, but when the Royals won the World Series every year between 2015 and 2022, I was in heaven. When the Cyclones shocked the world and won the NCAA basketball tournament in 2014 under Fred Hoiberg, that paid off. And the Seahawks, well, they still suck, but at least I got some joy out of attending the Saints/Seahawks playoff game in Seattle in the 2010 season!
"But Rev. Sheen, I can’t get over how I could have been so stupid as to waste 7 hours climbing Mt. Columbia.
“You see, Reverend, I was bored. I wanted “my number” of 14ers climbed to reach 35 on this day, and my girlfriend being in Boston, it would have been kind of me to climb one she had climbed already so we have more to climb together when she returns to Colorado. I only had Mt. Sneffels and Mt. Columbia to choose from, so I chose the closer of the two.
“Reverend, the more I think about it, I wasted more than 7 hours that day, as I left my home at 3:30am to drive to the trailhead. I spent $30 topping off the tank in my new-to-me 2008 Accord (note to the reader: I still have Laetitia (my 95 accord), and she is in ICU right now with a cracked head gasket at age 288K miles. She will be placed in hospice shortly. If anyone reading this is a mechanic who wants to fix her for me, I can offer you IT services, or can trade you something to fix her for me, but I, can’t afford a $1200 repair) and I drove along I70, through Leadville, up to the Columbia/Harvard trailhead. Around 6:45am, I started hiking.”
Reverend Sheen interjected, “Fleetmack, your day actually sounds like it is going quite well! I can see how you’d be disturbed and feel like you are betraying Laetitia by driving another car, but what can you do. A cracked head gasket is costly and it doesn’t make sense to fix it on a car with 288K miles on it. She’d surely understand why you needed to take the new Accord.”
“Reverend Sheen!”, I uttered, an irritated tone to my voice, “Remember in Hot Shots when you kept sitting down on a dog? I’m sure you didn’t mean to hurt the dog, but the dog was hurt nonetheless.”
Ok, ok, ok. This is just getting f’n stupid. I have no idea where I’m going with this story, I just wanted to pump some kind of entertainment into a trip report of Mt. F’n Columbia, which is next to impossible to do. Hopefully it worked. Here is your trip report.
I climbed Mt. Columbia.
I hated it.
There were mosquitoes everywhere.
It was steep, loose, crappy rock.
I only saw one person all day and had the summit to myself (the only cool thing about this day)
There was no summit register so I couldn’t leave Altidude the PBR I hauled up that I planned on leaving him in the PVC pipe for when he was to climb it on Sunday.
I fell no fewer than 7 times on the loose scree descent
I summitted in 3:45 (arrived around 10:30)
I was on the summit for 7 minutes
It took me 3 hours to get down
I hated this mountain, it is crappy.
So crappy was this trip that I only took this picture, with a timer, as I wanted to remember none of it
Ok, I lied. I tried to take another picture to show how steep and crappy the scree descent is, but it looks like a walk in the park, the picture does it zero justice.
I leave you with two pieces of advice:
1) Bring trekking poles (I did)
2) There is only one reason to ~ever~ climb this mountain, and only one time you should ~ever~ do this. It should only be climbed if you plan on climbing every 14er. It should be 14er #57 (I count 58 14ers). Save it for second-to-last because:
a) You don’t want to do it last, because your finisher should be something enjoyable
b) You want to make certain you will get atop every 14er before you waste your time on this one
I drove into BV, went to Eddyline Brewpub, had a delicious Reuben, and drove to the Elbert trailhead to meet with Altidude, Chris, and 2 of Chris’ friends to camp for the night to do a repeat of Massive on Saturday. It rained all f’n night and I slept in the backseat of my new car instead of my wet tent.
Not that I ever did to begin with, but I will never cheer for Columbia University in sports again. I will never wear Columbia gear again. I am going on a full boycott of all things Columbia. That mountain b.l.o.w.s.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):