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 Peak(s):  Mt. Columbia  -  14,073 feet
 Post Date:  04/27/2010 Modified: 05/27/2014
 Date Climbed:   04/27/2010
 Posted By:  BillMiddlebrook

 Mt. Columbia Ski and Conditions Update      


Overview


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):
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The climb and gully used for the ski. That's quite the avy clearing at the bottom.



Climb


The forecast called for warm temps, so I skinned into Horn Fork Basin to set up a high camp.
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Thanks to cjw for the track!

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Point 12,780'

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Home for a night. I love solo snow camping!

The high camp made for an easy start this morning.
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Ascending Columbia's West Slopes route (standard)


Sunrise on Mt. Yale
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Mt. Yale

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Mt. Yale

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Perfect snow for climbing

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Looking down the ascent gully

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Approaching the summit ridge

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Hey, continuous snow to the top

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Getting closer

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And closer

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And...

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Today's summit


Harvard conditions:
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I spy ski tracks on Harvard!



Ski


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Getting continuous snow from the tippy top

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Mellow skiing

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Another look at the summit ridge

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Dropping into the southwest gully, east of the standard ascent route

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Hooray!

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Looking west across the gully

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Powder and corn.

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A look back up


To get back to my camp, I had to exit the gully and ski back to the west
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The bottom and that huge avy run-out at the base


Some parting shots:
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Another look at the standard ascent route

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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):



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 
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