Mount Columbia Climber's Log

Viewing: 1-20 of 163

charles97 - Sep 16, 2005 7:53 pm

Route Climbed: Horn Fork Basin to Columbia then Harvard Date Climbed: Sept. 6, 2005  Sucess!

A grueling 12 hour day covering 16 miles and over 6,000 feet of elevation gain. It was all worth it though because I made it to the top of both peaks in the same day. The day started with rain and sleet, but eventually became just cloudy. Very lucky that I was able to spend all day out there without the threat of storms.

Met only 2 other hikers on Columbia, and I had Harvard all to myself. I descended into the basin northeast of Columbia and then climbed up Harvard's SE ridgeline. Left trailhead at 6:30 am (late), summited Columbia around 11:30 am, left for Harvard around noon, and summited Harvard around 3:30 pm and returned to the trailhead around 6:30 pm.

Saw a whole herd of mountain goats in Horn Fork Basin above Bear Lake. At least 30 of them.


jhansen007 - Sep 8, 2005 5:59 pm

Route Climbed: Harvard/Columbia Ridge Date Climbed: Sept 4, 2005  Sucess!

Summited w/ sp'er ahansen54 and our father. Set up high camp at 11,600 in Horn Fork Basin. Summitted Harvard early in the morning -- foggy morning so not much for views. Then followed the long long ridge to Columbia. I recommend dropping all the way down to the marsh at 12,500 (Roach's book says 12,800) if loose rock isn't your thang. From there you'll be able to stroll up the grassy slopes until you hit the section of rock near the summit. The standard trail down columbia is full of scree. Surfs up dude!

Brian Kalet

Brian Kalet - Sep 6, 2005 12:53 pm

Route Climbed: East Ridge/Three Elk Creek Date Climbed: September 5, 2005  Sucess!

5.6 hours roundtrip.


ahansen54 - Sep 5, 2005 7:31 pm

Route Climbed: Harvard-Columbia Date Climbed: September 2005  Sucess!

Ended up dropping down into the basin rather than trying to find a route below the ridgeline. The trail down from Columbia was pretty hellish. Summitted with SP'er jhansen007.


ktiffany22 - Sep 4, 2005 11:54 pm

Route Climbed: Harvard and Columbia combination Date Climbed: September 3, 2005  Sucess!

After summiting Harvard, we headed DOWN 2,000 feet into the basin on the flipside of Horn Creek basin (to 12,500) then started the boulder/scree hop to the top of Columbia- lots of work, but worth it and fun:-) The climb off of Columbia was interesting- 2,500 vertical feet of scree where every step you took you "took the mountain down with you" ...seriously. A good fun day in all!


myrone - Aug 29, 2005 10:00 pm

Route Climbed: From Horn Fork Basin via Mt Harvard summit Date Climbed: Saturday August 27, 2005  Sucess!

I climbed back down from Mt Harvard summit back to tree line, found the trail and then proceeded to climb to the Mt Columbia summit while storms raged all-around yet Mt Columbia stayed clear. I reached the summit at 12:41PM stayed about 15 mins and then back down to the TH by 3:22 completing my 11 hour "marathon",. My 19th & 20th 14'ers and and awesome day. Sweet!!

Mike Mc

Mike Mc - Aug 29, 2005 12:35 am

Route Climbed: Harvard and Columbia Combination Date Climbed: July 30, 2005  Sucess!

Is there a trail between Harvard and Columbia? If there is, I sure had trouble finding it.


shanahan96 - Aug 14, 2005 4:08 pm

summer and a windy winter  Sucess!

12/22/12- winter 2012 kickoff, a rough snowshoe to treeline, then a nice cruise to 13,000'. up high the wind was pounding me all the way to the summit. 12.5 hrs RT.

7/1/03- 1st 14er! car broke down in Buena Vista the night before so we decided to climb "that mountain there". started from town at 4am, couldn't find a trailhead on foot so we decided to climb straight up the mountain. an interesting way to start nonetheless.


alpine master

alpine master - Jul 24, 2005 5:33 pm

Route Climbed: South slopes Date Climbed: Oct. 5th 2004  Sucess!

Climbed in combo with Harvard.

alpine master

alpine master - Jul 24, 2005 5:20 pm

Route Climbed: East ridge Date Climbed: Oct. 9th 2003  Sucess!

Cool back country hike.


jnoffsinger - Jul 17, 2005 11:11 pm

Route Climbed: North Cottonwood Trailhead Date Climbed: June 21, 2005  Sucess!

Couldn't find trail up to South ridge. Blazed trail through scrub brush from Horn Fork Basin. Steep ascent, but found grassy slopes to be forgiving. Used hiking sticks for the first time. They were great. Reached the summit of 14er number 9 on my list for a brief moment before the storms arrived.


doumall - Jul 13, 2005 3:09 pm

Route Climbed: Traverse via Harvard Date Climbed: July, 21 2004  Sucess!

26th 14er!


mdavenport2 - Jul 11, 2005 6:55 pm

Route Climbed: Frenchman Creek Date Climbed: July 10, 2005  Sucess!

Perfect day, great solitude on the Frenchman Creek route. Shared the summit with 5 others. This is a very nice route with little scree.

Foxy Long Bottoms

Foxy Long Bottoms - Jun 27, 2005 11:07 am

Route Climbed: Horn Fork w/descent on West Face Snow Fields Date Climbed: 6/26/05  Sucess!

Nice hike. Lots of wind. No one else on the summit. ahhhhhh!


eggheadsherpa - Jun 9, 2005 1:46 am

Route Climbed: Three Elk Creek TH Date Climbed: 08/09/03  Sucess!

Long hike from Three Elk Creek TH, lost the trail shortly after leaving the car. Pretty desolated trail...didn't see anyone except at the summit.

Old Ickabod

Old Ickabod - Mar 28, 2005 8:50 pm

Route Climbed: Harvard and Columbia Traverse Date Climbed: July 2003  Sucess!

I was able to summit both of these peaks in a day. The hike toward bear lake was gorgeous and I did see a bearprint on the trail. A nice hike to the summit of Harvard. The traverse to Columbia is much farther than it looks. However, it is a lot of fun! The scrambling up to Columbia's Summit was boulder-riffic!


ColoradoScott - Feb 4, 2005 11:54 am

Route Climbed: West Slopes Date Climbed: September 14, 1985  Sucess!

It is a beautiful trail hike into Horn Fork Basin; well worth it for the fun, even without the climb. After reaching timberline in the basin we angled up to the northeast, encountering much scree on this route. Two steps forward, one step back. It felt like 6,000 ft elevation gain, probably because it was. Once the south ridge is attained, it's a simple hike to the true summit. This was another memorable climb from the standpoint of seeing no one else all day. Try that on a nice weekend now! I guess there will still be solitude on 13ers though...alas.


Natasha - Oct 14, 2004 11:18 pm

Route Climbed: Harvard-Columbia via Hornfork Basin Date Climbed: July 4, 2004  Sucess!

Had a great day, first time spending this much time on a class 3 was tough, but we really enjoyed it. The scree coming down from Columbia leaves MUCH to be desired and seemed endless. Some unsolicited advice, bring ankle gaitors. Surprisingly, we didn't run into that many people doing Harvard, especially for a holiday weekend. We didn't see anyone on Columbia...very peaceful.


mr_g - Oct 12, 2004 8:52 am

Route Climbed: West Slopes Date Climbed: June 23, 2001  Sucess!

A short climb, relatively speaking, although it was steep until we reached the ridge. Trekking poles came in handy for this one.


jrf - Sep 13, 2004 8:16 pm

Route Climbed: East Slopes / Three Elk Creek Date Climbed: September 11, 2004  Sucess!

After what I've heard about the standard route I decided to give this route a shot. This route is long and feels even longer once you get down. The bonus is that this hike is gorgeous and you likely won't see anyone else until the summit.

The false summits on the ridge get kind of depressing but if you tough it out you'll get there. You can't even see the actual summit until about 10 feet from it.

The skeleton forest to get up to the ridge crest is awesome.

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