Mt. Harvard  
Condition Updates  
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2021-04-06, By: Buddyboy27
Info: Was only able to drive to Silver Creek Trailhead. Snow is melting fast on the road however. Skinned from truck to the summit (minus the very very top). Skied the south face starting at noon. South face needed some more time to cook actually. East facing was about done for by noon. East lines look great. No one in the Harvard Basin that day. 
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Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2021-03-20, By: astrobassman
Info: Made it to the Colorado Trail junction in my 4runner. Snow is very spring like, saw evidence of wet slides, no hard slabs though. The crux was getting up to the 13,800 ridge. I booted up it sinking to my waste. The ski out in the early afternoon was OK, would have been better if I had started a bit earlier for better snow conditions. 
Route: Frenchman Creek
Posted On: 2021-03-08, By: randallson
Info: I parked at the FS386 gate at 8,560'. The snow was nice and firm in the morning and snow coverage was nearly continuous up the road. An old skin track up the road and Frenchman Creek trail made for easy snowshoeing. There was deep unconsolidated snow just off the trench. I set up camp near 11,650'. My plan was to backpack in Saturday and climb Sunday morning, but I made excellent time on the approach that I decided to give Harvard a go Saturday afternoon. Firm snowshoeing up the creek and through the willows. I stashed snowshoes at 12,050'. Dry tundra walk up to the saddle. I crossed over and met up with the standard traverse route at 13,500'. The rocky points on the final ridge were mixed snow and rock. I put on microspikes and used my axe. I found it easiest to stay close to ridge proper. I summitted just before sunset. Sunday afternoon was hot and the snow softened quickly. Lots of postholing even in the trench. It sure felt like spring. I even saw some mosquitos! 
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Route: Frenchman creek
Posted On: 2021-03-03, By: Littlejohn
Info: Deep snow. Used skins / skis. Not suitable for snowshoeing at this time. 
Route: Via Frenchman Creek
Posted On: 2021-01-14, By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: Used snowshoes on descent to reinforce trench to treeline. It is (was) possible to boot up with minimal postholing as long as we used poles to probe for the packed-down portion of the trail through the meadows, but it was rather narrow in places. Winds were fierce as we descended in the afternoon, however, so there may be a bit to a lot of drifting. It may be possible to keep the ridge from 14,000' to the summit to Class 3 with a lot of careful routefinding, but be prepared for some brief sections of Class 4 of you stay ridge direct and for lots of snow if you stick to the sides. We avoided a steep downclimb on rocks by kicking steps into a steep snowfield on the north side of the ridge (which I thought was fun, especially as my partner had already kicked the steps in for me), and another group had apparently done the same not far from our tracks. Be prepared for a long day and a lot of false summits if you take this route - this was by far my most challenging snowflake to date! 
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Route: Frenchman Creek
Posted On: 2021-01-04, By: PeakSixTD
Info: Gate is closed about half a mile up the road from 24 making the summit a hefty 19 mile trip. There is currently a fantastic trench to treeline. It had been tracked before we lead a group of 5 through. It is now a super highway. There is some signs of natural slide activity in the basin above treeline. Steer clear of any questionable slopes. Basin is heavily windblown so there are several options to gain the ridge without subjecting yourself to much avy danger. Snow on the ridge is poor quality. We had to go up and over the rock towers to gain the summit. This was a bit tricky, but manageable with good route finding skills. 
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Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-12-27, By: angry
Info: Trench was still in for first couple miles. Beyond that, it was wind blown. Commenced trail breaking in snowshoes to ~13,500. Stashed em and booted up last 900 feet to summit. On descent, my tracks were wind blown all the way to tree line. With incoming storm, suspect any tracks above tree line nonexistent and below tree line, perhaps first couple miles will remain depending on snow totals. I would also suspect that one would no longer be able to make it all the way to N. Cottonwood Creek. 
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Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-12-26, By: jscully205
Info: Trench to tree line helped immensely trudging up in the early a.m Thanks! I reinforced with it a good skin track and some day recreational folks really stomped it in to the second bridge. Stayed on top of snow through Horn Fork and cached skis below first ridge. Found snow mostly unsupportive from the 13k plateau to summit. A ton of trap-doors, post holing, and playing hop scotch on rocks. Wouldn't be a bad idea to keep your snowshoes on the entire way. 
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Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-12-23, By: Eagle Eye
Info: I went up Mt Harvard yesterday. There were recent ski and boot tracks up until the bridge ~1.4 miles in. From there on up I needed snowshoes and the trail through the woods could often barely be detected in drifts. Edit/Question: Does anyone know when the (new-looking) sign got put up for the Mt Columbia trail fork off of this trail? The trail fork place had been the subject of talk & confusion for years. For low impact reasons that was a great idea, since there had ended up being MANY forks. 
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Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-12-05, By: bmcqueen
Info: Thanks to AustinV, there is a nice trench to the summit. Thanks Austin and nice to meet you up there! Snowshoes were necessary from about tree line to the ridge. 
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Route: Harvard and Columbia Traverse
Posted On: 2020-10-18, By: salmanalsaif
Info: Winds mostly above treeline and stronger near the summits. Had a few gusts that shoved me aside, but overall not a big problem as it was relatively warm (worse parts are in the shade). Up to Harvard and coming down from Columbia the trail is dry. However the traverse is mixed. I brought spikes but didn't use them because the snowy parts mostly felt like you just punch through them, no sure if spikes can help there. I tried to avoid the snow as much as possible, and it mostly worked. At the beginning of the traverse, I just skipped the first snow and went straight down. Next section after that was short so just walked it (one of the few where spikes can help). The next major snowy area, near the rabbit (~1 mile from Columbia), I totally screwed that up. In trying to avoid the snow ended up in extremely dangerous/unstable terrain, and still had to traverse a few snow fields. Near the Columbia summit, that snow field wasn't an issue. Avoided it as much as possible until the end, then I traversed about 30 ft on all fours. Basically, it's still very doable, just exercise good judgment. My errors ended up making it a 17 mile, 12 hr trek (and lots of scrambling, which I'm ok with). 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-18, By: Kody Aigner
Info: Straight up summer conditions. Plenty of water flowing from the trailhead to the stream that you have to cross 4 or so miles in, but that last one may be frozen in the morning. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-08, By: mtgoatmike
Info: The forest section has multiple stream and creek crossings that are flowing. The trail above treeline is completely dry. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-05, By: scrambling
Info: An update on the road to the trailhead. Good news!! The perpendicular gully washout across the road that may have presented a clearance problem for some vehicles has been filled in and smoothed out with base material and fist-sized aggregate. The same material application and grading has been applied to several other rough and rocky patches in the first half of the road (up to the Colorado Trail parking area). The last half of the road (which is not as steep) was and remains in good shape. Thus the entire road is now (IMO) quite easily traversed by a low-clearance, sedan-type vehicle. In fact, although I would not recommend it, a Mini Cooper could probably make it up to the Harvard-Columbia trailhead without much problem. Bottom line, this is a significant improvement. In other road news, the Aspen leaves are now definitely past their peak, but still quite pleasing to the eye for, probably, another week or two at least. 
Route: Harvard and Columbia Traverse
Posted On: 2020-10-02, By: hockypck13
Info: Summer conditions to Harvard. The traverse has a little bit of snow but you do not need flotation or traction at all whatsoever. MAYBE a single trekking pole but honestly you can avoid the snow or just walk over it just fine with a good hard kick. Columbia is summer conditions as well! 
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Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-24, By: gretchhhh
Info: Trail is in summer conditions. Traction was not necessary for Harvard but there was lingering snow on the traverse to Columbia 
Route: Harvard and Columbia Traverse
Posted On: 2020-09-22, By: ncxhjhgvbi
Info: Just wanted to add a bit of info on the traverse. I got about 100 yards down the ridge from Harvard and turned around. Conditions may be better further along, but up top there was a lot of uncondolidated sugar snow and I punched through a few times up to my knee between large boulders. Certainly one can stay on only rocks for awhile, but it would definitely add to the tediousness of an already tedious route. There were other steps in the snow, so it would seem it has been done before. I just didn't want to risk punching through and breaking an ankle up there...and a chicken fried steak from Jan's was calling my name... 
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Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-23, By: Alan Ellis
Info: Trail up Harvard is dry and clear. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-22, By: Alan Ellis
Info: Trail up Harvard is dry and clear. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-20, By: kristin_palumbo
Info: Fantastic day! Summer conditions. There are a couple of insignificant patches of snow along the route. Fall colors were coming in. I did not traverse to Columbia but for anyone looking for info on the traverse, from what I saw, traction would be necessary. Happy hiking! 
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