Peak:  Mt. Columbia (14er)
 Route:  3 Elk
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  janetlightburn
 Date of Info:  03/11/2012
 Date Posted:  03/14/2012

With 2wd the last .8 miles of the road to the 3 Elk TH was not passable, which made my day a 12 mile close to a 12 mile day instead of a 10 mile day. Minimal snow to the 3 Elk turn off but after the next mile the snow got much deeper. No human tracks to follow but luckily there was an elk track to follow, where the snow was a little less loose than what was outside the elk track. Seems the elk knew where he was going because the track lead almost to treeline. After treeline there was windblown snow and tundra along Columbia's east ridge, and tons of false summits. It took me 4.5 hours to the summit. During the early morning ascent, the snow between 11500 and 12000 was frozen, but it got pretty soft on the way down and I probably should have stayed further north on the ridge to decrease the avalanche danger. Down safely though.

 Comments or Questions

Snowshoe track
09/28/2012 21:03
Is it safe to assume that you were using snowshoes and that you followed the same path up and down, at least to treeline? Was there any need of snowshoes beyond treeline? Microspikes? Thanks for your report.


Columbia snowshoes
03/16/2012 13:30
Snowshoes very necessary for the 2 miles below treeline. Snowshoes were not needed above treeline. Crampons and ice ax not necessary. An early start would be good to avoid sloppy snow.


09/28/2012 21:03
Roger that. Thanks, Janet. By the way, was parking an issue?


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