Very high winds at the summit but a good day overall, went down the south slope back to the main trail which made the decent quite interesting to avoid the storm rolling in.
Very steep and loose!
Wife, dog and I. Traversed from Harvard and threw in UN 13,374.
Neared the top as a storm moved in, and three guys bounded off down the west slopes. Felt the hair on my head stand up and the rocks around me started buzzing, so I hit the ground. Seconds later a huge boom overhead, and I knew I had time to run to the top and without waiting I was headed down after those three guys. Never stopped to look back, and happy to be back alive. There's excitement well worth the price in pushing to the limits.
Hope to never have to go through that descent again!
Climbed from the NE then bagged UN 13374 on the way back. Aside from the horrific mosquitoes in the forests near the creek, this was quite a pleasant way to climb Columbia. My Sawatch 14er finisher!
Good climb - nasty descent.
This was my third time climbing Columbia. We did it via the SE ridge. The weather didn't look good enough to go for Harvard. We descended Three Elk Creek. We saw half of a baby deer. We figure a mountain lion was near by.
This was my first time climbing Columbia. I climbed Harvard first, and then did the traverse.
Great day with nice views of the Sawatch.
Our second attempt on Columbia, we had gotten snowed off the first time. We climbed from Frenchman's Creek, a great alternative to the main route. We didn't see anyone until near the summit. It was definitely a rocky climb.
3rd time's the charm. After being turned away by and EARLY morning storm, and then a sick partner, I finnaly got her done. I saw 18 Mountain Goats on the summit!
A really rough trail from Harvard as well as the descent. Not to mention the clouds started rolling in at 1000. The high point was 17 mountain goats with their bright white coats.
A trip report on 14ers.com recently referred to Columbia as an "evil mountain" that "sucks beyond belief." How very true! While Harvard is tall and beautiful, Columbia is basically a mound of talus and scree. Still, it is checked off and I don't have to go back! Climbing this hill makes me really look forward to going to the Crestones next week.
We stayed high on the traverse, keeping the climb at sustained exposed 4th class with a 2-3 5th class moves sprinked in. Rock was a bit loose, but a very enjoyable climb. Back at the car at 12:35. Descent off Columbia was not bad at all, especially after the traverse.
A very long day! Got caught on the traverse by some storms which didn't help, but we got both peaks!
The climb up Harvard was quite scenic and very enjoyable on a great trail. The descent below the saddle (12,700') with Columbia was pretty good but the low point and the first part of the ascent up to Columbia was pretty rough with lots of boulders, medium snow fields, lots of zig zagging, etc. If I had to do this again I would go even lower to avoid this mess. A minor system with thunder just to the east resulted in us spending just a minute or so on the summit of Columbia. We even had a little snow for about 30 minutes. The descent down Columbia was pretty rough but I didn't think it was as bad as advertised as long as you find the loose trail and don't go down the scree. Overall a long but scenic day!
Did the "traverse" from Harvard, leaving the ridge well before the Rabbits. A very long day, didn't reach Columbia's summit until after 4 pm. Cold and windy by then. Still, a great combo. 14er #26 for trishapajean.