Double Summit of Mt. Harvard & Columbia


We had limited time and a decent hike in the Sawatch Range that we wanted to complete. All of us worked until 5:30 on Fridays, and we needed to be back in Golden by 3 on Saturday afternoon for a prior commitment. So, me and two other friends left our place in Golden at 9pm and pulled into the trailhead in the dark around 11 that night.


Our plan was to hike through the night as long as our bodies would allow. With a little help from the whiskey and classic trail conversation about the meaning of life, we managed to cover about 4 miles in just a few hours, landing us right at the base of Mt. Harvard. We slept for a few hours between 2:30 and 6:45am, then took another half hour to get out of our sleeping bags before we left camp around 7:15 and headed towards the summit.

We made the push up Mt. Harvard in good time, but Columbia took us a bit longer than we had hoped. Rather than walking along the jagged ridgeline that connects Mt. Harvard to Mt. Columbia, we lost all our vert hiking back down and around.


We made a good final push and summited Mt. Columbia, but spent little time at the top due to our time crunch. We hiked straight down the backside of Columbia, rushing the final few miles back to the car. We gave our high fives and drove back to Golden where we arrived with time to spare.

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Words & photos by Josh Conroy
Location: Buena Vista, Collegiate Peaks, Sawatch Mountains
RIMBY Adventure: Double summit of Mt. Harvard and Mt. Columbia
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