Long, satisfying, beautiful climb. Didn't go over to Columbia because of snow. Next time.
I decided to make a winter ascent of Mount Harvard and Columbia with the 14ers.com group. It was the end of the winter season and I really needed to get another 14er in. I got a later start than I wanted and most people were already gone when I reached the trailhead, but two others were there trying to drive the road in the snow. We both tried to drive farther, but I got pretty stuck.
After digging out and packing up I headed up the mountain. Because of the late start I was moving very quickly (for me at least) and arrived at camp at about 11,400 feet in 2.5 hours. I had a nice chat with everyone before heading to bed.
It was a very long night and I didn’t get much sleep at all. I thought about (especially) my wife and kids a lot throughout the night and it was hard to sleep. The moon was bright and beautiful during the night.
My heart just wasn’t into the climb in the morning and I had a lot on my mind. We had a large group, but I kept mostly to myself and I was dragging pretty slow. The views of the surrounding crags were beautiful and the weather was pretty good, but it was a bit breezy (and a bit cool in the wind).
It was a long, but not difficult climb and I reached the top alone. Everyone else had either headed back down or left late and was still coming up. I took some photos and ate on top (it was fairly chilly) before heading back down. I expected to have a pretty good glissade on the way down, but the snow wasn’t as good as I expected and the glissades were pretty mediocre at best.
After arriving at camp I contemplated whether or not to spend the night. On one hand I didn’t want to have to come back and finish Mt. Columbia, but on the other hand, I really missed my wife. Sunday is the day that I usually cook her breakfast in bed and I knew I would feel sad if I missed it. I had called her from the top and she told me to have a good time and to not worry about her, but I still missed her much.
I stayed and talked with the group about various things just over an hour before deciding to head back down. After packing up camp, it was already 6:09 PM, so I headed down the mountain quickly and after getting off track once (false trail) I reached the vehicle at about 8:20 PM. It was a long drive home and I finally walked in the door at 1 AM.
Did my first repeat 14er exactly a year after the first summit. The trail was really wet and muddy around timberline; I used a snow bridge to cross the swollen creek then went slightly off trail a few times to avoid large snow fields below the summit. It was a 7.5 hr. roundtrip from North Cottonwood creek trailhead.
We went on a day with 50% percip looking to do both Harvard and Columbia. We made it to Harvard - no problem, but we go lost on the way to Columbia (we stayed high on the ridge instead of hiking below it and ended up on some class 4 stuff) and once we realized our mistake it started raining and we B-lined it down. We'll have to do Columbia another day...
Failed attempt on a pretty good day, albeit pretty windy. Tried to sneak in another peak before the change from Winter to Spring, but it wasn't in the cards. Had a great time with a lot of folks from 14ers.com though.
Climbed with Fletch and Stephanie and about 15 other 14er.com members as part of a winter gathering. As Steph said, windy at the top with just enough ice on the rocks to make things interesting.
Surprisingly hard in winter...not a 'gimmie' as I initially thought.
A little windy near the summit. Fun day with lots of people from 14ers.com.
shoulda brought more water
Climbed Mount Harvard and Mount Columbia from North Cottonwood Trailhead after a beautiful camp at 11,440 feet in Horn Fork Basin.
Hiked Harvard then traversed over to Columbia.
Threaded the needle during a succession of passing thunderstorms. Harvard had a beautiful trail and interesting scrambling sequence to the summit. Loved it!
Beautiful hike. Made the trip with HM and Hootie. Sucking wind a little after going from sea level to 14k in less than a day. All in all a great hike with fantastic views.
This is one of the most beautiful fourteener hikes. Views of Columbia, Yale, and Princeton on the way up. It seems like more effort should be required to reach the 4th-highest peak in the Lower 48. Climbed Columbia the previous day.
Climbed Mount Harvard from Horn Fork Basin. It was windy at the top, but there was not a single cloud in the sky. not a one, the whole day.
Started out as a beautiful day, but when we summited we heard the first booms of thunder then it started to snow. Overall a wonderful hike, fantastic views and sharing it with two good friends.
The tundra is a b**** in the dark. Sunrise summit and on to Columbia!
A fine day
Climbed Harvard then Columbia via rabbitear ridge with friend Dustin. Started at 3:30 am and finished about 2:00 pm. Long day had some rain towards the end.
Summitted first that day in 4.5 hrs from Cottonwood, but headed down quickly due to early storm clouds forming, made it back just in time before the lightning. Third peak in as many days after having done Massive and Huron.