Peak(s):  Mt. Columbia  -  14,073 feet
Date Posted:  08/19/2012
Date Climbed:   08/15/2012
Author:  SingleSpeed
 An Ivy League Education  

I thought I would give a quick trip report on Harvard and Columbia since I had not seen one posted recently, and there were a couple of questions that I had as I was preparing for these 2 peaks. To see a full trip report check out my blog entry at:


First off, all the downed tress have been cleared from the North Cottonwood trailhead all the way to Horn Fork Basin. Thanks Forest Service. The turn off for the trail to Columbia's summit is rather indisinct, as it was not signed. It really is the only trail that branches to the right off of the main trail and can be found just before leaving the trees.

One area that you want to try to avoid is the lose gully that drops you down off the ridge to lower ground (shown in pciture # 15 under the Harvard Columbia traverse description - the red dots). We ended up in here my mistake and regretted it. The entire gully wanted to slide. I had to be careful to never be directly above my partner while in the entire gully, least I send a barage of lose rock down on him. If you do find yourself in this gully, my best advice is to stay as far left, along the edge of the gully as you can. The rock appeared to be more stable, and less lose.

As to the question of which peak to climb first, Harvard or Columbia, my vote goes with Harvard. As far as getting down before afternoon storms I think this is the better choice. I think the traverse between the two peaks is much quicker if you start higher at Harvard and then descend towards Columbia. Also I think going up Columbiafirst would be a real bear (though we did meet 2 groups that took this route). The trail up Columbia is lose. I think it would be like taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back to go up that way.

This turned out to be my favortie trip of the year so far. The traverse between the two peaks was a lot of fun.

 Comments or Questions

08/20/2012 13:12
It may be my computer, but I'm having trouble getting your link to work. Anyhow, nice work on the traverse. I found it to be quite unpleasant myself but I'm glad to see you enjoyed it.

Just a quick question - is your peak list real? Just impressive that you've hit the Sawatch so many times.


nice job
08/20/2012 16:35
Thanks for the trip report I'm planning on doing these with my son in 2 weeks.


08/20/2012 16:36
RJansen when you click on the link it puts an extra http in there so just take out the extra one and the link works


Peak List
12/07/2012 21:07
RJansen77 - I wish I was that good. The number is the order in which I climbed peaks. I am happy to get up them once at this time. Maybe when my son is older I will go back and start racking up the repeats.


09/24/2012 15:44
Your current ”peak count” puts you in Gladbach territory:

If you click on the hyperlink of each peak you can enter any details you'd like including the route taken, climb date, and the order in which you climbed peak X.

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