Mount Harvard

Date to Climb: July 19, 2009

Date Climbed: July 29, 2009

Elevation: 14,420

Range: Sawatch

Latitude: 38.92430, Longitude: -106.32080

Route: South Slopes ll, Class 2

Mount Columbia

Date to Climb: July 19, 2009

Date Climbed: July 29, 2009

Elevation: 14,073

Range: Sawatch

Latitude: 38.90340, Longitude: -106.29740

Route: Descend West Slopes ll, Class2

Round-Trip Mileage: 13.5 (for combo)

Pre-Climb Comments

We did this duo last summer. Harvard was a great peak. Columbia on the other hand, is one of those peaks that it is difficult to say something good about it. We are hoping we have enough strength for another duo.

Post-Climb Comments

After finally doing laundry and taking a shower in Buena Vista, we headed to the trailhead. The road was passable and the Element made it with little complaining. At the trailhead we sorted laundry, ate, and got ready for the next day. We packed lots of food.

Early to bed, we were walking before daylight. Amy started that morning strong and got stronger as the day progressed. I was walking okay, but I could not sprint with her.

We enjoyed this hike last year and enjoyed it again. It stays gentle until it increases the angle a bit going to the ridge. The trail was so well built, that it made the walking easier.

Harvard Basin

Looking at Yale

From the ridge we traversed the slopes just below the crest toward the summit. Though I was not feeling great, we still made good time. Walking down the ridge toward Peak 13,516 we talked to a climber that we had met on Culebra and then again on Pyramid. It was nice to see him again. At the time names did not seem important, but now it would be nice to know his name (and his wife.)

Harvard Summit Ridge

The Summit Ridge Going East

Traversing way down into the valley to the east we started climbing Columbia. It had been cloudy all day, but now it was starting to look bad. Amy hurried to the top as I struggled to keep her in sight.

Columbia Summit

Columbia Summit

On the summit there were four guys from California, one of which had actually attended Columbia, hence their choice of peaks. One of the guys had attended camp nearby and climbed a few of the mountains and talked his buddies into vacationing with him and enjoying some of that 14,000 foot air. They did seem like they were having a good time.

The descent was not as bad as last year. Recent rains consolidated the dirt and made the slopes more durable and less dusty. We carefully picked the best paths and made good time. Hail caught up with us though and pelted us good before we could make the trees.

Columbia Slopes

Descending Columbia’s Slopes

The rain and hail eased up and we scurried along back to the car. Our plan was to head to Leadville and spend the night in town. Showers two nights in a row would not hurt us.

Harvard is a great climb and Columbia was not as bad as we remembered it being.

52 peaks climbed, 2 to go.

Mount Harvard - July 29, 2009 summit check

Mount Columbia - July 29, 2009 summit check