Peak(s):  Mt. Harvard  -  14,424 feet
Mt. Columbia  -  14,075 feet
Date Posted:  06/24/2005
Date Climbed:   06/17/2005
Author:  Ildiko Devai
 Harvard Columbia combo   

We did both Mt Harvard and Mt Columbia 18 June. We did it from North Cottonwood trailhead. We hit the trail on 17 Jun, Friday evening, and hiked in about 2.5 miles to camp out. We set up camp right by the river. We got up early Saturday morning and hit the trail around 7 am. It was easy to follow until treeline, but then the trail kept disappearing into the snowfields. We had to cross quite a few snowfields, but early in the morning they were still frozen enough to walk on top of the snow. We reached the peak of Mt Harvard around 11 am and hang out there for almost an hour. There was a group of guys from St Louis, drove in to CO the night before, who were climbing Harvard too. They all made it to the top, huffin and puffin. As we were sitting up there talking, one of them opened a bag of beef jerky and a marmot was acting like a dog trying to get a bite. I have never seen marmots get so close to humans. They were a foot away from us. Someone must have obviously fed them in the past. As I was talking on my cell phone while on the top (great reception) I felt someone pulling on my rainjacket. I looked over there and I saw a marmot hooking his teeth into the bottom of my jacket and pulling it. I pulled back and stumped my feet on the rock next to him, and it ran away. Funny, but the rainjacket I was wearing was made by Marmot. Now I have a hole on the bottom; the marmots seal of approval. ;-) It took us 3.5 hours to get over to Mt Columbia. The traverse according to the Roach book is only 2.2 miles, but it sure felt like a lot longer. The trail again disappeared into the snow. We had to cross many snowfields or go around them. We also had to loose a lot more elevation then we wouldve liked to. We probably had to drop down to about 12,800 feet from 14, 420, and then climb back up to over 14, 000. It was exhausting! Coming down from Columbia was pretty difficult. The trail is extremely steep and thers a lot of loose rock. Some parts we skied downhill in the rock/dirt mix.

If you wanna see some pics of our hike follow this link:


"Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who alone works wonders.
And blessed be His glorious name forever;
And may the whole earth be filled with His glory"
(Psalm 72:18-19, NASB)

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