This was a solo trip so I don't have any ski action shots, but hopefully someone will find the descent gully interesting. I've also included some shots of Mt. Harvard that show current snow conditions.
Route: West Slopes (climb), southwest gully (ski)
Date: 4/26 and 4/27/2010
Skiers: Me, myself and I
Updated Trailhead Info: North Cottonwood Creek
Elevation Gain: 4,500'
RT Mileage: 13 miles
Topo of the route (blue=hike, red=ski):
The climb and gully used for the ski. That's quite the avy clearing at the bottom.
The forecast called for warm temps, so I skinned into Horn Fork Basin to set up a high camp.
Thanks to cjw for the track!
Home for a night. I love solo snow camping!
The high camp made for an easy start this morning.
Ascending Columbia's West Slopes route (standard)
Sunrise on Mt. Yale
Perfect snow for climbing
Looking down the ascent gully
Approaching the summit ridge
Hey, continuous snow to the top
I spy ski tracks on Harvard!
Getting continuous snow from the tippy top
Another look at the summit ridge
Dropping into the southwest gully, east of the standard ascent route
Looking west across the gully
Powder and corn.
A look back up
To get back to my camp, I had to exit the gully and ski back to the west
The bottom and that huge avy run-out at the base
Some parting shots:
Another look at the standard ascent route
A broad view of Columbia, although the SW gully is not visible
Here's a summer pic showing the SW gully (center of photo, with sliver of snow near top):