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Harv/Colu Combo Route added

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Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:13 pm

Finally added the Harvard/Columbia traverse route to the 14ers.com Online Guidebook. Not sure why it took me so long to get that one out there??

Harvard and Columbia Routes

Interactive Route Map
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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby 14erFred » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:42 pm

Bill:

Thanks for adding the beta for this classic traverse! Given the route's popularity, your ascent description, map, and photos will benefit a lot of folks and are bound to enhance safety and efficiency on the H-C traverse. The on-line guidebook is an awesome resource -- thanks for all your efforts on it. Any other "missing" route descriptions that you're working on?
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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby Monster5 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:45 pm

When I saw your name in the register this morning, I was bummed that I didn't climb a day earlier. Now I'm bummed that I didn't climb a day later and follow the route description! I tried to save time/energy in a few spots and always found myself back on or near this route after long (detouring along the eastern grassy slopes up Columbia) or sketchy (downclimbing an escape notch out of the loose gulley) "shortcuts."

Thanks for all the work you put into the descriptions!
"The road to alpine climbing is pocked and poorly marked, ending at an unexpectedly closed gate 5 miles from the trailhead." - MP user Beckerich

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby tommyboy360 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:29 pm

Most traverses are discussed with pros and cons in support of either direction. However, I’ve not seen any discussion or TR’s in regards to making the traverse from Columbia to Harvard. What are the disadvantages of reversing the traverse route (Columbia to Harvard)?

I'm thinking it would be a good alternative to first hike up Columbia’s southwest slope to avoid having it for the final descent of the traverse?
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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby Monster5 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:59 pm

tommyboy360 wrote: What are the disadvantages of reversing the traverse route (Columbia to Harvard)?


I think the disadvantage IS having to claw up Columbia's steep and loose standard route. Ascending Harvard is cake (relatively). Plus, ascending Columbia first will require you to ascend the higher peak at the end of the day and give you a longer descent.
"The road to alpine climbing is pocked and poorly marked, ending at an unexpectedly closed gate 5 miles from the trailhead." - MP user Beckerich

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby mattpayne11 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:02 pm

Monster5 wrote:
tommyboy360 wrote: What are the disadvantages of reversing the traverse route (Columbia to Harvard)?


I think the disadvantage IS having to claw up Columbia's steep and loose standard route. Ascending Harvard is cake (relatively). Plus, ascending Columbia first will require you to ascend the higher peak at the end of the day and give you a longer descent.


Exactly. Columbia's standard trail is absolutely dreadful. AWFUL.

This traverse is a long, long day. Glad to see it is up here now! I need to re-do my TR from my experience and add it to my site. The route has a lot of options and it does seem it would be easy to get off-route or drop too low/go too high. I think my group did it just right. I'll go see Bill's description, but I bet it is spot on.

Edit- Yep! He describes it exactly as we did it, except we stayed left instead of going right up the ridge of Columbia, mostly because of snow conditions we encountered in May.

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby birdsall » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:05 pm

excellent news, thanks.

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby JA_son27 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:42 pm

This was one of the longest days I've had, all I can say is this is a BEASTLY route. Thanks for the added route Bill!
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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby mattpayne11 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:23 am

JA_son27 wrote:This was one of the longest days I've had, all I can say is this is a BEASTLY route. Thanks for the added route Bill!


Quoted for truth!

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby nomadelmundo » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:59 am

awesome! thanks! would this be a great route on for a nice autumn day like in Oct/Nov?
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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby mattpayne11 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:24 am

nomadelmundo wrote:awesome! thanks! would this be a great route on for a nice autumn day like in Oct/Nov?


In Oct/Nov you need to be mindful of snow for sure. Check the conditions. The route is very long. The traverse over is not really technically difficult; however, snow may slow your day. I did it in May and it was great. There was snow up Harvard in spots and across to Columbia. We crossed several snow-fields which made for good climbing, but in Oct/Nov the snow may be softer, so YMMV.

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby tommyboy360 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:02 am

Dropped in on this line going SWITCH ROUTE. I have no idea how it feels going REGS but "Columbia-2-Harvard" was sweet. I'll post a TR within the next few days.

HIGHER EDUCATION! Graduated Sawatch via Harvard. got my undergrad at Columbia and my masters at Harvard. It was an easy downhill after graduating top of the class from the collegiate peaks.

* Climb UP the nasty Columbia loose gully in the morning with fresh legs. Yep, put the headphones on and got my INDUSTIRAL CHUGAA-CHUGAA climb on with some “Pretty Hate Machine” blaring.
* Down climb the undulating traverse talus with a full line of visibility of the route and major route marks.
* Great views of Frenchman Creek with no need to start from the less than scenic eastern slopes.
* Take an EASY class 1 hike up the grassy east slope of Harvard. You actually find a great trail all the way to the top of Harvard after regaining the ridge.
* Down climb the great standard route Harvard trail with rock steps and a great marked trail.
* Save the highest peak and best views for last.
* Great views hiking out of Horn Fork Basin.
* Skip having to stare down at your feet as you slip down Columbia's loose gully at the end of a long day. I spent my easy and gentle down climb staring at Bear Lake, Mt. Yale and Mt. Princeton.

Done with the Sawatch. Started off with Mt. of the Holy Cross which was easily my Sawatch favorite. Finished with Harvard / Horn Fork basin, which was easily my second favorite.

RETHINK your route options on the Harvard/Columbia combo!!

Bills states in his traverse route guide; “If you like talus, this route is for you.” Channel your TALUS MONKEY and consider going FAKIE and down climbing this beast of a talus traverse.
“It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

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