|Peak:||Mt. Harvard (14er)|
|Route:||Harvard and Columbia Traverse|
|Date of Information:||07/10/2011|
Did Harvard first then Columbia. There was still a large snow field on the slope leading up to the summit. Halfway through you have a choice: continue on the bootpacked snow or start scrambling on the rocks. I did choice #2 without any problems. The one major stream crossing was pretty dicey; it was running high without an obvious crossing point. Also, the trail was really muddy.
The trip over to Columbia was exhausting. There were still about 3-4 significant snow fields on the back side. The snow was still solid even around 11ish. It was possible to drop down and avoid most of the snow, but it would require a good amount of regaining elevation. I decided to walk on all the snow fields with just my boots. A good amount of scrambling was also required to reach Columbia.
The way down Columbia had a lot of loose rocks/talus. Somehow I did lose the trail after treeline, after glissading down a short patch of snow. When I pulled out my GPS, I realized I deviated from the path by a good distance in such a short time. Make sure to keep a eye out for the trail near treeline, because I was following the cairns.
Start from the TH: 5 a.m.
Harvard summit: 9 a.m.
Columbia summit: 11:30 a.m.
End: 2 p.m.
This was a long and exhausting hike. Make sure to start super early, because I probably got lucky with the weather. When I was close to reaching Columbia, there was significant cloud cover and getting worst.
Up next, Antero tomorrow. Not toobad to finish the Sawatch Range in two weeks (- Holy Cross).