Climbed Harvard and Columbia together in one day (then camped below treeline). Harvard was fun - Columbia, not so much. 3 hours to summit Harvard, 5 hours to get from Harvard to Columbia. My advice: do this one separately!
A gorgeous day where we climbed the ridge and were suspended above the clouds. Didn't see a soul all day on a 14er on Labor Day Weekend?!?!?! Unheard of.
Hoo Boy. Lots of character-building on this one. The weather was lousy pretty much all day long, and I was not prepared for it. We had a few episodes of steady rain on the way up, but then a storm rolled in as we were coming down. The wind really picked up, and we had some pelletized snow. That was not pleasant at all. There were a few crashes of very loud thunder as well. The sky did clear up as we arrived back at treeline.
14er #5; same day as Harvard. Tried the connecting ridge, but had to bail into Frenchman Creek drainage. Summitted from the NE about 6 pm. My first twofer.
Loose tedious traverse b/c I stuck w/ middle of the slopes which was not much fun. Descent from Columbia on steep rotten trail not much fun either.
Did the double but it was tough. Absolutely ran out of steam.
Camped in Horn Fork. Bad mosquitos. Summited Harvard the following morning in under 3 hours. Followed the entire ridge over to Columbia. Rapped once down 30 feet or so of some real exposed technical stuff. Went unroped over 3rd, 4th and some low 5th the rest of the way. Didn't get to climb the rabbit :(
Ascending the west slopes of Columbia will go down as probably my most unpleasant experience in the mountains to date.
Very hot and clear day. Great views all around, tricky and interesting connecting ridge. Mosquitoes weren't afraid to tag along for the ride below tree line to and from camp at North Cottonwood TH.
Tip for heading South on the connecting ridge: the trail hugs the ridge and heads for the sketchy towers called the Rabbits. If you don't want to do them, leave the ridge early. There is a long slash of a ridge heading down into Frenchman Creek basin, and it will block your way, offering you unpleasant rocky footing and steep, loose scree. You can't see this ridge from the Harvard side till you're on it. If you want to avoid it, head down the grassy slopes, which will feel early.
This double is a long hard hike, especially doing Harvard first. The descent from Columbia is a down climb on braided trails of skree. If I ever do this again it will be an ascent of Columbia and a descent on the "stairs" from Harvard. Someone has done some "serious" work on the Harvard trail. It's great!
A lot of snow still on the upper slopes below the ridge. Downclimbing this mountain sucks. Lots of loose scree. Found a snow chute to glissade though, which was nice. Would recommend this when its still somewhat snow covered to avoid the scree. 14er #20.
One of my first 14'er climbs, Loved every minute of it.
Did the traverse from Harvard. The descent route was nothing more than a scree chute with an 1800 vertical foot drop that ended in a boulder and talus field. Lovely.
Struggled through much snow below treeline in my terrible snowshoes. Quite the talus slog to this summit, but since it was early season I had the mountain to myself. Great views of still snowy peaks before all the melt-off of summer. This was special too, because it was my last Sawatch 14er.
Harvard - piece of cake. Class 3-4 ridge traverse, took a while but fun, Chad LOVED it. Columbia - gave it all I had to get up it after the ridge...descent - a screeful mess in the rain! (My only savior was a stack of cookies I had saved from lunch) This area is really pretty, but this one is on the "never again" list.
Round tripped Harvard & Columbia via Horn Fork basin in about 8 hours. That connecting ridge is interesting.
I camped overnight with the sister & husband and girlfriend at some good spots across the creek. The next morning, I was the only one to bother to summit. Everyone went up to the lake and I bushwacked up a rockfall and cut to gain the east ridge and an easy walk to the summit.
A great day. I was the only one up there!
This traverse took a while, probably because we made such an effort to stay as high as we could on the ridge. It seems that easier passage could be found if one drops a bit lower than suggested in the guide books. In July, we found boulders and snow slowing us a bit near our low point. Also, if traversing high as we did, I would be consious of rock fall. That ridge looks loose.
The mountain of rolling ridges surrounded by rolling ridges and valleys yet connected to Harvard by a serrated edge. Pseudo storms rolled in on Columbia and I decided to descend. Of course by treeline they'd cleared. The real climbers would've turned around and climbed back over to Harvard. Alas, I chose a creekside nap.