Peak:  Mt. Columbia (14er)
 Route:  West Slopes
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  ezabielski
 Date of Info:  06/22/2013
 Date Posted:  06/23/2013

I don't think we encountered any snow on the route. Some places were muddy. The route up/down the West Slope is a long, steep, scree hike with poor traction in many places. If you want to follow the traverse route from Harvard, download the route pictures to your phone beforehand with the app, or print the pictures, and follow them carefully. Otherwise, just follow your nose, but you'll probably drop down pretty low (~12,500). The traverse is short mileage wise, but is mostly off trail and requires crossing boulderfields and a very steep uphill hike on the Columbia side. Do not try the traverse if there is any forcasted weather, or if clouds are forming on Harvard's summit. We took about 3 hours summit to summit. Some groups take five hours.

 Comments or Questions

deja vu...
06/24/2013 04:12
Your report brings back unpleasant memories--I dropped down too low, had to duck several storms, and took 5 hours!

Very good advice you offer!


RE: deja vu...
06/24/2013 15:27
Even though it was slow going, I enjoyed the high alpine off trail hiking. The only downer for the day really was the descent from Columbia.

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