Peak(s):  Mt. Harvard  -  14,420 feet
Mt. Columbia  -  14,073 feet
Date Posted: 
Date Climbed:   08/14/2005
Author:  Schuller

With two days off of work I had to get out. I hiked up to about 11,000 and camped with with about 10 other groups. I was going to fish in Bear Lake but it is much further up than the maps suggest, so I was skunked in the creek. Anyway, Harvard is straight forward and the trail is easy to follow. I was on the summit in 2 hours. The weather was good so I made the loop over to Columbia. Getting to the Rabbit Ridge is easy and there is a faint trail. Then you have to make a decision...follow just below the ridge line to the N flank of Columbia or drop all the way down and head for the E flank. I chose the former and it was very loose and rugged. That being said, it was quite enjoyable to follow goat trails most of the way across. I would not recommend this route in a large group as you will inevitably kick loose hundreds of rocks.

If you stay further east you can avoid the loose rock and end up following mostly grassy slopes. It is longer and you drop down further. The descent from Columbia is loose, and I would not want to climb that crap. I think the best route from Horn Fork Basin up Columbia is from Harvard.

Also, on a Sunday in August I passed 17 Mountain Goats and zero people.

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