Perfect day, great solitude on the Frenchman Creek route. Shared the summit with 5 others. This is a very nice route with little scree.
Nice hike. Lots of wind. No one else on the summit. ahhhhhh!
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.
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!
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.
Had a great day, first time spending this much time on a class 3 section...it 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.
A short climb, relatively speaking, although it was steep until we reached the ridge. Trekking poles came in handy for this one.
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.
Great day, blue skies and a wonderful and easy climb with good friends. took us 9 hours car to car and we took our time, and also enjoyed the summit for about 30mins.
After searching around for trails that looked like they may head to the summit I found what was most likely an animal trail. It went straight up the large scree gully on the west slope. I stuck to the larger rocks as much as possible and made the summit in good time.
Climbed with Dad the first time, Aaron and Luke the second time. Got wet both times. Descended in the dark and the rain the first time, after wasting precious time off route. Encoutered the buzzing of electricity in the air near the summit, following hail on Harvard.
Columbia is one of the easier of the Sawatch, and in many respects one of the most rewarding. I climbed it by myself, on a beautiful day, and was quite taken with the terrain gradually unfolding during the trek upward. For some reason, maybe the gentle tundra leading up to the summit, maybe the lack of any kind of "extreme" steepness on the route, or possibly just the nice weather, the word that kept running through my mind then, and--years later--now, is "gentle." I think Columbia a quite personable, gentle mountain. (Beautiful view of Harvard, too, and--if one so chooses--the traverse between.) On this almost perfect day Columbia combined all the elements to offer one of the best of reasons we go into the mountains. I like it's personality!
Then, a unique thing happened on the way down: there was a pack of coyotes in the brush on the other side of the canyon, and when they all started yapping and howling at once, the noise by itself would have been impressive, but that, coupled with the echoing across the canyon, gave an impression of a substantial number of the critters on the loose. Never saw hide nor hair of even a single coyote, but their caterwauling and carrying on gave me goose bumps, it did--just the mountains and the sound of animals gleefully doing their thing. A very nice day!
i didn't think this was nearly as bad a route as its reputation. had to run for it, though, as clouds were rolling. camped in horn fork basin.
This is my least favorite route on a 14er. A trip report is available here.
Climbed Harvard and decided the connecting ridge looked unpleasant to traverse solo, so I decided to descend into the Three Elk Creek drainage. This made for a long day (7000+ vertical feet) - bring lots of water.
Alan Ellis, had an idea of having the first annual SP campout at the Twin Lakes CG. I decided to go and nine of the Sp members went to it including me. It was a lot of fun and I met some excellent people. The group was going to hike Elbert and Massive during the event, but I have already done both of them and passed on Elbert for Columbia and La Plata for Massive. I attempted this peak last year and didn’t make it due to my dog, Amanda. So I knew the route and the steepness involved on getting to the top. After hiking up the very steep 1,800 foot slope I reached the ridge at 13,600 feet. From here it was a fun ridge walk to the summit. Columbia has surprisingly good views from its summit, some of the best of the Sawatch Range, although I never want to do it again from this route.
I have trouble saying I made this summits as I neared the final 20 feet a lightining bolt cracked to the west. I ran downhill with my dog Sopris. I don't know if I can take credit fo summiting. I was aweful close. Whatever the case I will probably go back to linger where I had previously ran away.
A perfect fall day. I don't remeber the loose talus that other log entries discuss. Seems to me like it was mostly a nice tundra walk, with many rocks to step on, leave no trace. But don't rely on my memory! We did not do Harvard that day.
Ugh!! Climbed this in conjunction with Harvard the "Hard Way". Left N. Cottonwood TH at 3:30am. Due to the weather I did not do the traverse after Harvard, instead I returned to 11600ft in Horn Fork and climbed Columbia's West Slopes. This added over 3 miles and 1100ft to the normal link-up. I thought is would be fun to continue straight up which was a big mistake. I found myself and rotten 3rd and 4th class rock near the ridge. Winds were gusting to 60mph making the ridge traverse to the summit tough. Made it back to the car at 11:15am.