Peak(s):  Mt. Harvard  -  14,420 feet
Post Date:  12/16/2010
Date Climbed:   12/14/2010
Posted By:  JMB

 Mt Harvard - S Ridge   

Date of Climb : 12/13-14/10
Peaks Climbed :
1) Mt Harvard – 14420’, Chaffee CoHP
Distance : 16 miles
Elev Gain : 5000’
Time : 16 hrs, Mon 10:00am – 4:00pm, Tue 6:00am – 12:30pm, 1:45pm - 5:15pm
Ascent Party : John B. & Dave S.

We were able to drive past both Colorado Trail THs, up to ~9600’. Packed up our gear and headed up the remaining 0.7 miles of road by ~10am. I decided to haul a sled on this trip for the practice & experimentation.

10:40a – Summer TH 9860’

10:48a – Dave crossing the 1st N Cottonwood Creek bridge

12:01p – lunch break at the 2nd bridge, 10340’

3:22p – our 1st view of Mt Harvard, and PT 13580 & pt 13598 from 11580’

4:46p – Mt Harvard at sunset, view from camp at 11700’

4:51p – PT 12776 & Birthday Pk behind

5:29p – Dave’s supersized GoLite tent & std winter camping rituals

We were up & about by 5:15a eating a quick cold breakfast, ready to go by 6a.

7:12a –Mt Harvard lit up at sunrise

7:54a – cresting the East ridge of pt 13598 & approaching 13000’, oh so close & yet so far, the wind was gusting upslope as we climbed it

8:08a – at 13200’ we could begin to see a safe route up the rest of the way, break at cairn in flat area, then weave our way up the subtle rocky rib, Std route would go left up the snow covered rib, sunny & calm here

NE face of pt 13598

9:45a – wind gusting as we approached the final portion of Harvard’s S ridge, we stashed our snowshoes at ~13600’

10:04a – view of Horn Fork basin from summit of Harvard, climbed up big rocks & thru snow, definitely Class 3, but straight-fwd

Dave & I enjoying the summit at 14420’

10:09a – Dave heading down

10:13a – rocks leading to the summit were a bit slippery

10:17a – for me, indeed an extra special day

11:03a – finding our way back to our snowshoes

NE face of pt 13598, fair amount of snow on E face of S ridge, view here makes it look steeper

We avoided Std route up snow rib

11:15a – safely back, view of our tracks

11:25a – followed cairns back to E ridge since our tracks were already blown over here

11:57a – view of 11700’ camp from 12370’

12:07p – view of our tracks up to E ridge

12:51p – celebrating the achievement

1:57p – sled worked well downhill in flat track

2:19p - Dave helps prevent sled from running into my heels

2:24p – sure did leave a nice track for next climbing party

Back at road by sunset & car before needing headlamps! Felt like a tough trip even though perfect winter conditions!

Grn/ylw: approach to/from camp, red: summit route, pink: std route

Our summit track relative to std route

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Good Report!     12/16/2010 15:09
Good report and very helpful for current conditions, and lots of great photos! Thanks for posting.

Hey, that's not Dave ”Quaggy” is it?


Great     12/16/2010 15:58
Great climb, great report, and great condition photos. Congrats on that 100th high-point too.


Happy 50th B-day!!     12/16/2010 16:23
I'm only months away..I hope to have as much fun.

Beautiful sunrise/sunset photos!

You really didn't say how you LIKED the sled. Are you practicing for an expedition or just tying it out? If you are testing it for Colorado (no need to fly it on a plane), search ”Pulk” on this site. You will find designs where your partner doesn't have to hold it back for you.




Thanks for sled tip     12/16/2010 16:56
I used my sled on Antero in Mar & worked well given the long road haul. However, descent was torture. Been meaning to get some stiff poles. That video, , is fantastic info. Thanks for tip. I just keep using this when I can for getting the hang of it. Denali is the ultimate goal! I think it's great for CO, especially when going solo and you want to haul some extra gear just to be safe.


Great report!!     12/16/2010 16:52
It's very interesting to see a route I've only taken (and probably only will take) during the summer months. Great shots too! A fabulous way to celebrate turning 50! Sigh! Wish I were that young again!


wonderful report     12/18/2010 22:03
I did a couple 14ers a couple weeks ago...your report makes me wish I was back in CO to do some more!


Nice!     12/20/2010 01:20
good one, thanks!

Duffus Kentucky Climber

Beautiful TR     12/20/2010 19:18
We had more snow on the summit than you did, climbing it in Sept of '09, but we were glad everything had melted by the time we headed down. You guys did a lot of work!


Looks like a great time!     12/22/2010 02:30
Congrats on the Dec. summit on your birthday. Great pics and report. Enjoyed reading every word. Just wondering though how heavy was the sled?
Thanks again for the report and pics.


Sled use in CO     12/22/2010 10:31
I did not weigh my pack or sled this time, but I usually carry ~50 lbs in winter, and I typically use the sled to carry extra gear for safety or testing it. So I probably had a nice split of ~30/30 lbs. The biggest issue I always face when attempting to haul a sled is whether the approach has snow all the way vs. some road sections with dirt & rocks. Antero via Baldwin Gulch was very nice. I think I'll try the San Juans where long road closures make this idea work well, once I modify the sled for stiff poles.


Great and congratulations     06/02/2011 14:57
Great report. Looked like a sweet trip. Congratulations on being able to celebrate your 50th in such style and getting your 100th! Is that an Old Chub you're enjoying back at camp?


Oskar Blues     01/14/2011 17:13
Old Chub indeed!

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