| Party time, Harvard-style
Following a brutal day on Mt. of the Holy Cross the day before, Lon and I joined friends to attempt a summit on Harvard on August 1. We were tired from the long trek on Holy Cross, and started the Saturday morning out a bit late (in fact later than I've ever started a 14er). Our trailhead departure was 7:45 a.m. – I was just beside myself with the thought that we wouldn't beat the afternoon storms, and I tried to make up a little time at the start of the hike because the slope up to Horn Fork Basin is reasonably mild.
First big stream crossing - trail goes from the left side of the stream over to the right
We made it through the trees in good time and by the time we reached the basin, it was quite warm already.
First view of Mt. Harvard from Horn Fork Basin - barely visible over to the right.
There wasn't a cloud in the sky at that point. Lon struck out ahead of our group and joined some other people. I didn't see him again until he reached the summit, but we kept in touch via the walkie-talkie. He was having a great time, and I wanted to give him a little freedom to grow and do this one on his own without the constant mom encouragement and warnings ever present on most of the 14ers we've done.
Lon with the group up ahead.
I didn't take too many pictures on the way up because I was trying to keep the stops to a minimum. Luckily we steadily worked our way up the mountain, passing others who started much earlier.
Rabbit ears on the Rabbit Ridge between Havard and Columbia.
We made the summit in about 4 hours. It was party time, Harvard-style at the top.
Even dogs were making the small scramble to the top.
Lonnie reached the summit about 30 minutes before me but had not started his lunch yet. Everyone was friendly and talkative. I met a couple of the guys who hiked with Lonnie and talked with them for a while.
Jay -- the guy Lonnie hiked with most of the day.
The day was so beautiful. It was fun taking pictures of the marmots, who were just about as friendly as the people. We took some summit shots, ate lunch, and sat on the summit for nearly 2 hours before heading down.
Summit shots and some of our company.
Got any more of those cookies??
Lon started down with us, but ended up moving so fast that he lost us before long. I kept in touch via the walkie-talkies for a while, but eventually, they weren't working too well (I think the batteries were getting low). The long trek back through the trees was made longer because I think I was worried a bit about Lonnie getting back to the car and having no way to get in.
Once I got to the trailhead and the car, I saw Lonnie crashed out behind it with his jacket over his head. He had reached the car about an hour before me, and just decided to take a nap – boy, that kid can sleep anywhere when he is tired.
Cheers to a great day and a really fun summit!!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):