Peak(s):  Mt. Columbia  -  14,073 feet
Post Date:  07/28/2008
Date Climbed:   07/27/2008
Posted By:  Tman

 Mt. Columbia - SE Ridge   

We climbed Mt. Harvard last year and didn't do the Harvard/Columbia combo so we returned this year to do Columbia. Since we had already gone up the standard route on Harvard we decided to do the much less travelled SE ridge of Columbia.

We camped at the trailhead and started up at 5:21 am. Here is proof we were on the trail before dawn


One small hint - there is no cairn marking your exit from the Colorado trail. As soon as the trail starts north take off to your left and you will find meandering trails up. I'm always looking for dead trees to frame what I'm shooting. Just my luck - a dead tree to frame Mt. Yale


What I liked about this trail is the interesting diverse landscape. Here is an example. Kind of looks like another planet


It's always nice to see wildlife. Here is a mama ptarmigan and she had about 5 chicks in tow.


Here is our first real chance to see the summit. My first response was, "Oh, so we have to go a very circuitous route to get there". I guess that would be better than downclimbing 1,000 feet and going straight for the summit.


The token summit shot.


Here is a shot of the SE ridge after we had headed back down a bit.

We decided to go down the west slopes. Although our car was at a different trailhead it's nice to have a 19 year old who is a distance runner to run back to get the car and bring it back. I was very glad we did the climb up the SE ridge as climbing this scree did not look like much fun.


When I saw this plant I was thinking, "I thought sure I saw you in The Little Shop of Horrors"


It was certainly a long hike out of there, just like last year, but at least we got a little different scenery on the way down. And, oh yes, to see my son at the trailhead with our car was a most welcome sight.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Dawn ain‘t sunrise     07/29/2008 21:05
Just one minor point...Your photo shows that you were on the trail before sunrise (good for you!), but light had clearly already come to the sky, which is what dawn means. That aside, thanks for posting this; some of my family members may want to consider this route instead of the demanding H/C duo.

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