Loved the views of that whole backcountry area including towards Missouri Gulch. The summit tower was impressive. The trail down was a real joy–the trail builders really outdid themselves on this one. Then quickly drove up to Mount of the Holy Cross for a sunset hike.
Started around 4:30AM. Conditions excellent up to Harvard summit. Traverse was very long as expected. 4 or 5 small snowfields along the traverse. Thunderstorms started rolling in at 11AM. Spent minimal time at Columbia summit. Light rain all the way back to trailhead. Was back around 2:40PM.
Did the approach from Frenchmen Creek TH and I will never do that again. Better to come from the Columbia side or do a traverse. Still glad to get this peak though.
Great spring ski down the south slopes
My son and I went up from John's Cabin. No trail above tree-line. Great day.
Nice day, little windy, awesome Fall colors.
A long day alone with my thoughts. 5:30 start,4:15 finish.
From the North Fork of Cottonwood Creek TH, Harvard first and then traverse to Columbia. Nice loop hike hitting these two impressive 14er's.
#1 8-11-15 W/ Brent. Did Columbia via its renowned scree climb, steeled ourselves for the intriguing romp to Harvard's teeny weeny summit and watched with trepidation as thunder rumbled from all directions and black-bellied clouds spit rain showers in wind-swept sheets. Strong winds made it feel more like October and we spent only enough time on the summit boulders to take 3 quick pictures. By then the rain was pelting us and made the descent down the summit block boulders very dicey. Saw a solitary but majestic mountain goat half way down. Our total time for the two-fer loop was 11+47.
Climbed 14,420 ft. Mount Harvard today with Kieva. We hiked in Friday night and camped at a great spot in Horn Fork Basin. We hit the trail at 6 AM Saturday and made the summit by 9:30 AM. Clouds were rolling in but the weather was otherwise good. We made it back to camp to pack out by 12:30 PM and were back at the North Cottonwood trailhead by 4 PM. Total of 14 miles and 4,600 ft. of elevation gain.
On Sat Jan 17 we hiked up from Buena Vista to Horn Fork Basin via North Cottonwood (parked around 8500 as we didn't have chains and our 4WD had trouble going up the snow). Snowshoes are a must from North Cottonwood trailhead to the base. By our campsite there was nearly 3 ft of snow. Camped around 11500. Sunday, we went up Mount Columbia via West Slopes. Traverse from Columbia to Harvard was difficult, with much snow. The trail would be very hard to follow without GPS (cairns weren't easy to spot - we saw only a couple the entire way). We got to Mount Harvard by sunset and went down via South Slopes. We went up in microspikes, but I'd probably go with crampons if I had to do it over.
Hiked up the south ridge from Horn Fork Basin. Nice and casual route.
Started at Cottonwood with Greg and Colette. Summited Columbia first and across the ridge to Harvard. Strenuous day. This combo is not to be underestimated.
Underestimated this climb from Cottonwood Creek to the top of Mt Harvard due to all the soft snow. Left the beautiful basin without snowshoes and was back down 10hrs later. Although a leg burner, still well worth the Collegiate view on top of the haystack of rocks at 14,420, actually the weather was perfect considering no wind. Traverse was right there and tempting but simply out of time due to the efficiency loss of post-holing up to our thighs!
North Cottonwood Creek Trailhead, South Slopes Route. Mother nature proved the weather models WRONG! Bluebird sky in the morning of summit day, no wind all day. Gray clouds building up were a bluff. However, the evening before gave us rain, thunder, and snow before we made camp at Horn Fork Basin near treeline. Still tons of snow, but patches started about 0.5 mile in and with warmer temps, we postholed much of the way (even well-above treeline). Rascally rabbits nibbled the handle of one of my trekking poles (before I brought it in the tent) and one of the tent stake loops (really?! Hope Big Agnes covers that under warranty). And they kept me up nearly all night with their partying. Not so cute anymore are they? - left car at 1:15 pm, found camp site by 5:15 pm. Left tent for summit 7:30 am, summited by 1:30 pm, back to camp by 5:00 pm, back to car by 8:15 pm. The snow slogs certainly complicated our adventure, but today's gorgeous weather made up for it.
Climbed Harvard and Columbia (17 miles RT) in beautiful late summer conditions - big, big day!
Harvard was a pleasure, the traverse was fun, but the "trail" coming down Columbia sucked. Worst trail I've seen on a 14er by far - I can't believe it's the standard route. There were people all over the side of the mountain looking for it, and once we did find it, it was thin and steep with bad erosion. Expect to fall on your ass half a dozen times. Honestly, do Harvard and skip Columbia unless you are determined to do all the 14ers.
Perfect day, wanted to do traverse to Columbia but the other half wasn't up to it.