Monday, July 9, 2007

Harvard & Columbia:The Longest Hike of my Life!

07-07-07, an epic date with an epic adventure to go along with it! Saturday morning, my friend Heather and I set out from the N. Cottonwood Trailhead with Harvard and Columbia on our minds for the day. We met at 4am and were on the trail by 4:11am. It was a little chilly, great for hiking but by the time the sun came up, we were ready to be warmed by it's rays! To the right is Mt. Columbia as seen from Harvard's summit ridge.
You can't really see the sign, but Mt. Harvard is to the we go!

We didn't take too many pictures on the way up, but here we are on the summit of Harvard. We arrived at 9:01am.

Mt. Columbia and the traverse from the Mt. Harvard summit. We actually went down in the basin on the other side of the ridge. I think the real trail was supposed to stay closer to the ridge, but we made the mistake of following the people in front of us. We ended up practically sliding down because it was so steep. There were a ton of loose rocks and at times, I thought I might end up in a rockslide! I was able to avoid some of the loose rock and ended up literally climbing down parts of it...well I always wanted to go rock climbing!

Here are a couple pics from the traverse. Truthfully, it was pretty miserable, but one of those good experiences. It really started to get scary when the storm clouds started rolling over Columbia's ridge. The only problem was that the only way back to our cars was over that ridge. We had two options, we could hang out and wait for the storm to pass, or keep going and hope for the best! As it turned out, the clouds only hovered over Columbia for about 30 minutes and then started to move South, it was great-truly the answer to prayer!

We had slowly descended the ridge of Harvard and came up across this little pasture, and with the mountains all around, it was very Sound of Music-esque.

Finally, at 4:09pm, 6 hours and 38 minutes after we left Harvard's summit, we conquered Columbia!! In the background, you can see Harvard.

This picture is from the summit of Columbia. These are the storm clouds that were only a short time before, stuck over Mt. Columbia. We even saw lightening, it was amazing! I do need to point out that we were perfectly safe though this whole adventure : )

The storm clouds were moving away, but nevertheless, we didn't stay on the summit for very long, just enough for a couple pictures, and then started the descent. After an incredibly steep descent, and a seemingly endless hike through the woods, we finally made it back to the trailhead a little after 7pm...making that an almost 15 hour day!! Aside from being a little delirious from exhaustion and hunger, we had had a great day, but we were really glad it was over! Now all that was left to do was rest up for the next day...

Yale, here I come...


Heather said...

This was definately the longest day hike I've ever done! I was so glad to see the TH!! Can't wait to do it again :)

Jane said...

I'm glad you made it safe and sound! It looks INCREDIBLE!
(oh yeah, and add my blog to your list on the sidebar!

Jennifer said...

No posts in a while -- are you taking a hike hiatus are off traveling? Hope all's well!