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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-10-22||Route: South Slopes
Info: As viewed from Columbia and Frenchman's Creek: dry, no significant snow patches or spots that could not be avoided
|2016-10-22||Route: Harvard and Columbia Traverse
Info: As viewed from Columbia and Frenchman's Creek: dry, no significant snow patches or spots that could not be avoided There were hikers on traverse as well.
|2016-10-08||Route: South Slopes
Info: Road to the TH is clear, one or two muddy spots. Trail is mostly clear, although snow is present along the way. 6 inches the deepest in about half a dozen small drifts. Should be mostly packed from about 20 people who were hiking on the 8th.
|2016-09-28||Route: South Slopes
Info: We decided on the spur of the moment, and at last minute, to hike Mt. Harvard on Tuesday. Hiked in part way Tuesday evening and camped. The weather on Wednesday, Sept. 29, was perfect -- blue skies, sunshine, and very little wind until we reached the summit. No snow on the mountain, dry trail, but cold in the morning. The puddles and rivulets of water in the trail were frozen until we were well into the sun.
|2016-09-25||Route: Harvard and Columbia Traverse
Info: Small amount of snow starting at tree line. Peaks dusted with granular snow, which does not affect traction. Heavy frost on rocks makes movement slow across the traverse. Allow extra time for snow/ice but micro spikes not needed. Heavy gloves recommended.
|2016-09-18||Route: South Slopes
Info: Route was totally dry all the way to the top. Pretty windy at the summit, but great view of the changing aspens.
|2016-09-10||Route: South Slopes
Info: Trail was totally dry all the way to the summit. Some cold wind at the top.
|2016-09-04||Route: From Pine Creek
Info: bushwhacked up the south ridge. pretty much everywhere the vegigtation was wet and muddy. about 13,800ft it started to rain and snow making the bouldering very slick and dangerouse. the wind was also picking up and it was bitter cold. past few days there has been some light snow in the peak but besides that its pretty clear. no point where we had to use our snow spikes.
|2016-08-31||Route: Harvard and Columbia Traverse
Info: After a brief wintermission, Harvard and Columbia are pretty close to back to summer conditions. A touch of snow up high on each, but nothing that made us even consider getting the spikes out of the packs today. Traverse is pretty much dry. We did the lower, less technical and less time consuming version and still took us 3:24 from Columbia summit to Harvard summit.
|2016-08-29||Route: South Slopes
Info: Arrived at the summit of Mount Harvard just after 8am. It was bitter cold and the wind was picking up, but we were able to see all the mountaintops as far as the eyes could see. However, within 5 minutes, the snow/graupel started blowing and falling. We quickly started heading down. Within 10 minutes, we could no longer see any mountaintops. All the snow was sticking to the ground and rocks making things very slick. The weather report that morning predicted precipitation closer to 11am, so this was definitely a surprise. But I suppose one of the best lessons to be learned is that there should be no surprises in the mountains, simply prepare for all contingencies.
|2016-07-15||Route: Harvard and Columbia Traverse
Info: Traverse down Harvard toward Columbia gets semi-technical. Would recommend staying low until reaching the saddle right before the ascent up Columbia. Rock is very loose and my group wished we had brought helmets for this portion. Another tricky section of this trail is down Columbia via the West Slopes. Descent is very steep with lots of loose gravel from about 13,500' to 12,500' if I had to guess. Additionally, there is a portion where it looked like the trail had been washed out by a rock slide. We tried to do some make-shift switch backs, which worked out relatively well. Leave lots of extra time if you plan to do the combo. From the top of Harvard to tree-line of Columbia took us almost 5 hours, due to these short but difficult sections.
|2016-07-09||Route: Harvard and Columbia Traverse
Info: Prime conditions for the traverse at all levels. The Rabbit Ears are dry (did not climb them). The high bench around 13000ft is snow free as are the lower talus fields at 12600ft and the meadow in upper Frenchman Creek is full, so muddy. Good water flows coming off both Harvard's SE face and Columbia's N face if you need to refill water and in the meadow of course. Flowers are popping on the SE face of Harvard its a great time to be up there. We descended the NE slope down to Pine Creek. Easy tundra, snow free, but a bit muddy and wet. Tons of water flowing on that side as well so easy refills if needed. Fording Pine Creek was fairly easy as water levels have dropped a fair bit, only shin deep below Bedrock Falls. Pine Creek trail is in great shape, but a long way out.
|2016-07-07||Route: South Slopes
Info: Summer conditions, some mud on the trail. I did not get over to Columbia so I don't know how the traverse is.
|2016-07-04||Route: Harvard and Columbia Traverse
Info: This was my fourth 14er on the fourth of July. We began the hike early, and reached the summit of Harvard easily. The conditions were great. The traverse was not pleasant nor well marked if there was any trail. We did see a cool mountain goat shedding and some beautiful wildflowers. My golden had four bloody paws from the talus traverse, some very loose rock, poles are your friend and enemy! The talus filled traverse took way longer than we planned for, and as a result clouds were rolling in. By the time we reached the summit of Columbia, it was hailing. Thankfully no lighting, but it did rain a little, which may the sharp descent intense. Overall conditions- great, Harvard- great, Columbia from this route and the descent, meh, 1 and done.
|2016-06-26||Route: Harvard and Columbia Traverse
Info: The summer season is definitely here. Expect crowded parking lots at the easy to reach/popular trailheads. Harvard is in great shape and so is Columbia. There are still a few snow patches to cross on the traverse, but if you go early they are rock hard and post-holing is not an issue. From the trailhead it took 3hr28min to summit Harvard, the summit of Columbia was reached at 5hr48min and the total round trip time was 7hr47min. No need for spikes to cross the snow. Beautiful day out there today. Start early and be prepared for a long day. The hike down Columbia is terrible with all the loose rock/gravel so take your time. Lots of people camping in the basin and the parking lot was full so if you are looking for solitude go during the week to avoid the weekend crowds.
|2016-06-25||Route: South Slopes
Info: I agree with the previous post. Trailhead was very crowded. Trail up Harvard and through the basin is amazing. The trail coming down Columbia is just awful and everyone around us including ourselves slipped and fell a few times each. Take your time and space out for loose rocks. Traverse is mostly clear of snow but it was very difficult for us to follow the "trail". We left the Harvard summit at around 9:30 and made it to the Columbia summit around 12:30 so it definitely took longer than expected. We spent about 20-30 min with another group trying to pick the best route up. We decided to stay mid point on 13,516 while the other group descended further to the grassy/marshy area. Their route was easier if you dont like talus and a few snow crossings but it added probably 400-500' elevation to their ascent of Columbia. Our route was slightly faster than theirs but like I said previously we did walk through a few small snow sections following some previous footsteps. My last picture shows the route we took. One other very important note: we did see a "small" bear in the grassy area about 200 or so yards away from the group below. He was running away from the group and they couldn't see him but it is worth noting that we saw him from higher up. Sorry no pictures.
|2016-06-25||Route: South Slopes
Info: Trail run leaving North Cottonwood just after 7AM. Hit the summit in 2hr30m with running most of the trail up to 12500'; it gets steep and I get weak after that. Car-to-car in 4hr15m. Most hikers reported about double both times. Only minor sections of run-off on the trail and one very short and very simple snowfield to cross. Overall the trail is in excellent condition. Almost no bugs to speak of. Weather started significant development by 11:30AM, but blew through without much incident quite quickly. Remember: get down by noon. Trailhead was almost completely full at 7AM, but plenty of parking at the lower lot. Plenty of people camping at or just above tree line, but still some good open spaces.
|2016-06-25||Route: South Slopes
Info: Beautiful hike. This was my first 14er. Conditions on the trail were awesome. A few muddy places and two snow crossings but nothing to worry about or to stop anyone from hiking this peak. If I were to give any advice, of course, I am a novice hiker, but continue to start early to beat the thunderstorms and as it gets more crowded be careful on the last stretch were you have to climb a few big rocks.
|2016-06-21||Route: South Slopes
Info: Harvard is nearly bone dry. Or, at least, there's really only one patch of snow in the basin directly below the summit that slightly impedes your route once or twice. You can plow right through it (they're pretty soft even at 7:00am) or rock-hop next to it - they're not a big deal and nothing that should stop you from attempting Harvard. The trail is smooth sailing 98% of the time. Lace up only boots and enjoy a summer trail. Left TH at 3:50am. Summitted 7:40am. Chilled at the summit for a bit and back to the truck by 10:50am. Strong day. My picture from yesterday's report is basically the same thing, if you're looking for pics.
|2016-06-20||Route: South Slopes
Info: A buddy is on top of Yale at this exact moment and just sent me this picture of Harvard/Columbia. I want to climb it tomorrow and have been reading the post-holing horror stories below - so I asked for the pic. Looks like the heat wave over the weekend really toned down the route, a LOT: