Did this one several years ago. Tried for Harvard on this trip but was denied via lightning.
*cough, cough* Great way to spend a sick day. Thought about heading over to Harvard but the weather was kinda sketchy.
My wife, Marella, and I encountered *very* little snow on the way up Horn Fork Basin. Camped near the fork heading up to Columbia, beautiful warm June night. Hike up and down was a bit tedious and snow free. All in all a good day in the high country.
I was the only sole on the peak the entire day that I could tell? It was a challenging day as much snow remained in Horn Fork Basin, the trail kind of dissappeared and I found myself bushwacking to the summit. Lost the snow overed trail on the descent and spent an hour & a half offtrail ("LOST") in H.ForkBasin. A GREAT ballbust..
Gotta love CO and days when you can climb two peaks.
My Sawatch finisher! hiked up the East Ridge via Three Elk Creek and traversed around and down the Southeast Ridge. Nice circle tour, but a strenuous "early" season hike, over 4800' of vertical takes its toll when you haven't been climbing with regularity!
We survived a major thunderstorm on route from Harvard to Columbia. Made the summit of Columbia as well after all. What a day! I didn't enjoy the descent off Columbia. The route was just so loose. The rest of the hike was great. Our photos are here: Mount Harvard and Mount Columbia as a day hike
lots of sidehilling as I got off route. Did Harvard seperately
Hailstorm began just after leaving summit so took shelter. Eventually decided not to wait for it to quit which was just as well as it was still hailing back at parking lot.
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!