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 Peak(s):  Mt. Harvard  -  14,420 feet
 Post Date:  09/04/2011
 Date Climbed:   09/04/2011
 Posted By:  ultrarunner74
 Mt Harvard to Columbia's & fun times x3!   

I left my house in Castle Rock at 2:00 am & made it to the trail at 4:30am. After getting my stuff together I started around 5:00am. I was not surprised the parking lot was full but was surprised everyone slept in & I only passed a couple sets of hikers. Knowing by everyones reports this could be along day. The trail is a very slow climber for the first 4 or so miles. I passed a group of 12 or so hikers going up & they where gracious enough to let me by. I made it to the summit with not much of a problem at 2:25 minutes & 6.75 miles after I started now for the fun times #1. I sat on the edge of the mountain looking for a good line to take to hike towards Columbia. I know a lot of people just bust it down into the Frenchman Creek area then make their way back up. I took the route to try & stay on top as much as possible not to loose to much altitude. I like to rock hop/jump & soon enough I was at bottom of the green covered Columbia. I just headed straight up the mountain & summited Columbia 1:45 minutes after leaving Harvard. My total time at that point was 4:10. Fun time #2 was to start which is the talus/scree slide down the side of Columbia's ridge. I once again sat down looking at a good line to take which there is only one straight down. I would recommend taking a heavy duty piece of plastic & just slide on you butt the whole way down. I took the punishment & made pretty good time & where at tree line in :30 min. I was looking at my Garmin thinking 10.75 miles & 4:40, if I could make good time running back down trail I could be under 6 hours or even 5:30! I made my way along the bottom of Columbia bushwhacking along the way just thinking that I would cross the standard route I took up at some point. Well fun times #3 was about to come alive. I bushwhacked for around 30 minutes then ran into a trail. I took the trail to the left & for some reason it didn't look familiar at all but I thought that I was hiking in the dark on the way up so it wouldn't look familiar. So after running the trail for around another 30 minutes I crossed a trail & it read Colorado Trail? I knew I didn't cross the CT anytime so I took my map out & found my mistake I took the Southeast Ridge trail & it crosses the CT. So after couple minutes I took the CT 3 miles to the County Road 350 then 1.5 miles back to my car at TH. I love the CT so the extra 3 miles on single track was welcomed but not the 1.5 miles up to dirt road with cars flying by kicking up dust but all in all it was great day. My total time ended up being 6:40 & 17.70 miles with 7200 up & 7200 down. Thanks for reading enjoy the trail.

There is "NO" finish line!



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