|Peak:||Mt. Columbia (14er)|
|Date of Information:||03/17/2012|
Climbingbiz and I were able to drive to within 0.4 miles of the 3 Elk Creek TH. From there we followed a pretty well defined ski track to about 11,400ish. We put on our snowshoes at about 10,000 feet and they were absolutely necessary. I did not take an ice axe or microspikes and did not regret it. The first picture is where we ditched our snowshoes at 12,000‘. The second one is taken looking along the East Ridge itself, at one of the (spirit-sapping) false summits. There certainly are patches of snow up high, some fairly extensive, but it‘s possible to navigate around them. Coming down, I was able to walk across them easily - just the right consistency (time and temperature dependent, I‘m sure). For me, it was a about an 11-hour day. I‘m guessing that Climbingbiz probably did the round trip in about 8-9.
Photos (click for slideshow):