Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Hallie_Schield
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Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by Hallie_Schield » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:06 pm

Hello! My friend and I are planning a big 14ers weekend over Labor Day and may or may not have a cattle dog with us. I want to be prepared with as much information as possible before we do this and my biggest concern is the traverse between Harvard and Columbia. I'd love to hear opinions on if this is doable with a dog or not. He is a cattle dog that has been on many hiking and backpacking adventures. Any advice?
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Re: Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by CaptCO » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:08 pm

Doable maybe, would I advice it.. hell no
I also don’t know your dog but that’s not really a good dog hike
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Re: Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by teamdonkey » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:53 pm

slight hijack - any general beta on the traverse? The route description doesn't look terrible but I keep hearing people speaking of it in ominous tones (like Cpt's comment above). Is it just slow and tedious?
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Re: Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by Ptglhs » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:56 pm

If you can break it up into two days, camp in the horn Fork Basin, and bring dog booties you'll probably be okay. It's a lot of time on rock and Talus for dog pads.
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Re: Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by climbingcue » Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:45 pm

I did it two weeks ago and there were a number of dogs doing it. None of them looked like they were having fun. If you like your dog don’t bring them on this traverse. Doing just Columbia or just Harvard will be fine with a dog. Don’t do the traverse with a dog.
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Re: Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by IHikeLikeAGirl » Wed Aug 19, 2020 3:02 pm

climbingcue wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:45 pm
I did it two weeks ago and there were a number of dogs doing it. None of them looked like they were having fun. If you like your dog don’t bring them on this traverse. Doing just Columbia or just Harvard will be fine with a dog. Don’t do the traverse with a dog.
+1

Have done this traverse twice and each time witnessed the same thing. Saw a few dogs, not one of them looked happy.
LOTS of boulder hopping and talus, "doable" (for a strong mountain dog), just NOT fun and lots of potential to tear a pad or have sore paws.

I would imagine that your canine friend would much prefer to have 2 glorious days of hiking with you, in lieu of 1 such as the H/C traverse.

Please don't take the dog on this....
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Re: Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by Lioness » Wed Aug 19, 2020 3:10 pm

Columbia is not interesting. Skip it.
Do Harvard then go to Missouri.
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Re: Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by dcruz654 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:04 pm

IMO if you have to ask, the answer is no. Not trying to sound rude, but the route description on this site has ample pictures and info on the terrain.

That being said me and a buddy went up with my 80# malamute (who has tons of above treeline hiking experience and very tough pads). We knew what we were getting into. It is a long day, and it is a LOT of talus/rocks for their paws. Take booties, plenty of water, and be prepared to make the call to not do the traverse based on how the dog is doing. Your dog will more likely have a better time hiking it over two days.
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Re: Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by Jorts » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:33 pm

teamdonkey wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:53 pm
slight hijack - any general beta on the traverse? The route description doesn't look terrible but I keep hearing people speaking of it in ominous tones (like Cpt's comment above). Is it just slow and tedious?
I did it earlier this year. It can be done in 3rd class+. Route finding is the most difficult part. I used both east and west bypasses for the 5th class hurdles.

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Re: Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by nmjameswilson » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:05 pm

I saw a dog when I did it last month ... he was whining a lot and got lost for awhile. The owners had to keep giving him encouragement to keep going.

He made it but it looked like the dog hated it. I would not subject my dog to that but it is possible yours will make it as others have,
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Re: Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by ker0uac » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:58 pm

Bear in mind that dogs sweat through their paws, so booties can dangerously increase the risk of heat stroke
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Re: Harvard/Columbia Traverse with Dog?

Post by SpringsDuke » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:16 pm

Check out my trip report. I had a blast with this lab named DIA who is an absolute beast of a mountain dog especially for a small black lab. That dog enjoyed every minute with us. It took us much longer with the dog as my trip report highlights. Funny thing is I remember I would look behind me to be sure the dog was following me closely and staying on my route. Every time I looked behind me the dog was so close she was under my legs basically moving lock step with me the whole time. So close I couldn't see her when I looked around but moving so smoothly I couldnt feel her there either, but she was under my feet following me the whole way until it was clear enough for her to find her own path then she got ahead of us as you can see in some photos. Fun day! I went back and pulled two other photos of DIA from that day. Super cool dog. My next dog I plan on getting soon will be named Maroon for my favorite 14er.
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