Mount Columbia Trip Report (#9802)
- Signed By: Tom & Becky Bird
- Date submitted: June 11, 2002
Another unconventional route for us. Came in from the Three Elk Creek trailhead (easy to miss acess road). Did this as a loop day hike. Hiked south and across the creek and then headed west on good trail. Crossed over the Colorado trail, past Harvard lakes, and up to tree line at 11,300 ft. Never seen so much Elk scat. Then off-trail and angling N up moderately steep grassy slopes then rocks to Columbias long east ridge at about 12,500 ft. At ridge hooked'em W over three false peaks and then on to final boulder scramble up the last bit to Columbia's summit. Columbia is an airy, rocky perch (one of my favorite "sitting and looking" peaks of the 15 done). Great view off shear west face down to Bear lake and over to Harvards south face. Also great views of Yale and Princeton to south. Saw a herd of 13 mountain goats just below the peak on the NE flanks. Decended "around the horn" hiking the long arching SE ridge (walked up on one Bighorn Sheep) and then dropped N back into the east basin we originally hike up (and climbed out of) and back on original trail back to trailhead. Great non-technical hike with plenty of time spent on ridge lines. A lot to see using this route.