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Harv/Colu Combo Route added

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby slaggbottom » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:49 am

I did this traverse last year in early fall, Sept 19th, after it snowed the night before. Made for pretty scenery, especially with the aspen still orange in the valleys.
http://matt.tracz.org/2009/09_19/index.html
My Trip Reports: http://matt.tracz.org

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby jstouder » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:11 pm

Bill,

Thank-you for posting this. I was going to do this traverse last year and since no route was posted in the online guidebook I spent weeks pouring over Trip Reports, Roach's book, basically anything else I could find to get a good idea of what to expect. I do have a couple questions.

Did you confer with CFI with regards to the traverse route? I'm not speculating or insinuating anything, just curious as to the level of collaboration now that this site plays such a vital role in the planning of many hikers (and obviously you sit on the board of CFI).

Why regain the ridge on the last leg up Columbia? In almost every Trip Report during my research last year hikers usually meandered up the broad north face. I'm assuming its to limit the impact on tundra but was curious.

Thanks if you get time to respond, if not, I'll be on Ouray Monday and Princeton Wednesday. Don't be a stranger. :)
Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:29 pm

1) I don't confer with the CFI on most routes unless there's a previous concern, official land closures, upcoming trail work to be performed or route changes have been made and they want to get the info out to the public.

2) Regaining the ridge reduces impact and I think it's easier. It also provides an obvious, direct line to the summit.
"There's no recess and no rules in the school of life" - D. Mustaine

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby jstouder » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:37 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:1) I don't confer with the CFI on most routes unless there's a previous concern, official land closures, upcoming trail work to be performed or route changes have been made and they want to get the info out to the public.

2) Regaining the ridge reduces impact and I think it's easier. It also provides an obvious, direct line to the summit.

Excellent. Thanks for answering. The route description and pictures are fantastic btw.

Last year I combined all the trip reports from this site and others for our traverse and was still worried about finding the route, especially when heading off of Harvard's summit. You covered that aspect very well and I'm sure it will be very appreciated by the community.
Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby sundevilmarsh » Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:15 pm

Awesome. I could have used this in July when I wandered all over between the two summits. When you drop from Harvard you don't necessarily see the line to go up Columbia. This gives some guidance for next time. Thanks. Now about that scree......

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby tommyboy360 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:35 pm

interstate wrote:From the N. Cottonwood Creek trailhead: On the Harv/Colu Combo which is the the better way doing the loop harv. first or colu.?


Most guides and TR's suggest Harvard first. I guess Harvard to Columbia is the "standard" based on the out and back approach. HOWEVER, I just went Columbia to Harvard, which I strongly believe eliminates most of the difficulties of the Harvard to Columbia direction.

I really believe Columbia to Harvard is an ideal direction, unless you hate the idea of climbing up the loose gully of Columbia's west slope. I'm working on a new TR that I hope to post soon. Here's a few of my initial observations of the traverse.


BENEFITS of COLUMBIA 2 HARVARD
* Climb UP the nasty Columbia loose gully in the morning with fresh legs.
* Down climb Columbia's northern slopes of undulating talus with great visibility of the route. Less guess work and route finding mistakes.
* 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 standard route of Harvard with an easy descent and great marked trail.
* Skip having to slip-step down Columbia's loose gully at the end of a long day.
* Save the highest peak (Harvard) and best views for last.
* Great views hiking out of Horn Fork Basin.
“It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby dustj » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:43 pm

There's another way to do it too. Forget Horn Fork and climb Columbia from Frenchman Creek, come down and traverse under the rabbit, gain a gully on the ridge after said rabbit, ridge the rest of the way to Harvard, and then out Frenchman Creek. And there it is with no west slope on Columbia needed.
A voice is calling, "clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness"
-Isaiah 40:3

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby tommyboy360 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:08 pm

dustj wrote:There's another way to do it too. Forget Horn Fork and climb Columbia from Frenchman Creek, come down and traverse under the rabbit, gain a gully on the ridge after said rabbit, ridge the rest of the way to Harvard, and then out Frenchman Creek. And there it is with no west slope on Columbia needed.


I was 50/50 with starting from Frenchman Creek or N. Cottonwood. I chose N. Cottonwood since I knew what to expect in terms of the road to the trailhead and the total mileage / elevation gain of the traverse route. I also knew there would be a solid trail through Horn Fork basin and no bush-whacking involved.

Horn Fork basin is an area not to skip. However, you get great views overlooking the HF basin on the ridge leading up to Harvard. Horn Fork Basin was one of the sweetest basins I had a chance to visit during my 14er tour of the Sawatch.

Anyone doing these 2 peaks in separate hikes should consider taking the standard route for Harvard via N. Cottonwood AND going Frenchman Creek for Columbia. The climb up Columbia’s west slope via N. Cottonwood was not that bad but I see the suck in having to go both UP and DOWN it.
“It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby dustj » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:02 am

Yeah, I agree. I've done it both ways, from N. Cottonwood as individual hikes and as the duo from Frenchman Creek. I was just giving people another alternative since everybody was complaining about the route on Columbia.
A voice is calling, "clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness"
-Isaiah 40:3

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Re: Harv/Colu Combo Route added

Postby tinman » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:11 pm

I see that the Harvard Trail just NE of Columbia also states Jeep. Does anyone know if this is still a jeep trail of just used to be. I'm wondering if I am able to drive in to the Frenchman marsh area from the East. ( Some friends have a cabin in the area so I do have access. )

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