After hiking the first third of the Nolan's route a few weeks ago (Fish-> Massive-> Elbert-> La Plata-> Winfield in 16 hours), we went back and hiked/ climbed the Huron, Missouri, Belford, Oxford, Harvard and Columbia.
Hopefully this will be helpful to anyone looking to link this route in the future. Gyro and I started at 4:05 am on Friday morning with a good forecast. The hike up Huron in the dark was easy, cold and crisp under a full moon. We took our time from the Winfield townsite and summitted in under two and half hours. The sun came up as we found the drainage to Cloyses Lake. The scree was frozen solid, so it was very slippery. Eventually, we made it to the avalanche gully and then the 4WD road. We popped out at exactly opposite the singletrack leading up to Missouri, which was a good sign.
Avalanche Gully off Huron
The trail up Missouri is good, but steep. We topped out on a Missouri a little after 10:00. Wishing to avoid Missouri's East Ridge that I ascended last weekend while scouting, we dropped down towards the Iowa saddle and contoured over to Elkhead Pass. Belford and Oxford went in quick succession (11:35 and 12:25), but we were starting to slow down.
Mt. Harvard from Missouri's South Ridge
Descending off Oxford, we spied a trail that contoured west above the trees. We probably should have taken the trail, but it tended "up" and we wanted to go down. We ended up bushwhacking down some cliff bands slick with pine needles. This took a lot longer than it should have if we had found a better route. We ended up on some sketchy downclimbs.
Bedrock Falls Below
Cliff Bands Covered in Pine Needles
After topping off with water at Pine Creek, we crossed Bedrock Falls, went right of some cliff bands navigating deadfall and found our lowest gear for the long slog up Harvard.
Harvard's North Slopes
We topped out on Harvard at 16:11.
Huron, Missouri, Belford and part of Oxford
Finally, we limped over to Columbia by 18:42, bombed the scree field to a good trail and made the bridge over North Cottonwood Creek (where we'll begin the next leg up Yale) after 16 1/2 hours on our feet and to our car at the NCC TH in 17 total hours.
So... 32 1/2 hours on the course with 9 down and 5 to go. I will be content with "section hiking" Nolan's as I can't conceive of the effort it would take to enchain all 14 in one outing.
PS - the trip report only allows you to enter 5 peaks, so poor Columbia is left off the entry.