Mount Harvard 14,420′ South Slopes 3/26/2011

Well I got the call from Danny for something big. He wanted to do a 14er and he wanted it to be a tough day. Thinking back to the failures of my backcountry skiing, Mt Harvard has always delivered an ass kicking. I’ve failed twice trying to get this peak done. Now it’s finally off my list and I don’t have to go back anymore. It almost wasn’t though. We took 2 sleds for our group of 3 up to the trailhead. Danny rode solo and me and Nate tandemed up the road. It made short work of the 3 miles of road but it’s still a fair amount of work. As we were gearing up for the skin in Nate realized that his binding was broken. Off he went back to the truck to get another pair of skis. When he arrived we geared up quick and hit the trail at the brunch hour of 8:40am. We went as fast as we could, working our way up a nice track left by someone that obviously got an early start. It was a beautiful day and we were making great time. This being the 1st big trip of the Spring season the conditioning just wasn’t there though. As soon as we hit 13500 everything started to slow down. The weather got overcast and the winds really picked up. We were going really slow, but we kept pushing onward. Finally at the summit block I ended up being the only one to bring my skis up for a summit ski. The bouldering was fun with the skis on my back. Quickly I switched over and made for lower elevations. I skied and skiwalked down the ridge on the north side and found an entry back to south side. I took the skis off for about 60 feet and then skied the rest of the way. It was too late and we were too far in to mess with making a mistake. We worked out way down to the saddle and got really nice creamy pow for about 1500 vert. Memorable turns for sure. We were able to ski a ton of the trail and then had to don head lamps for the very last part near the bridge. 11:40 round trip Summer Trailhead to the Summer Trailhead.

It was great getting out with you guys again and it was even better getting this monkey off my back. Enjoy the pics.

At the summer trailhead
Tryin to keep the skins in place on Nate's alternate skis
Columbia's Southwest Gully. Stacked
Finally getting some nice views
Silver Creek Bowl on Mt Yale
West Face of Columbia isn't in this year
Heading up the hump
Booting up the hump
Other fun options in the neighborhood
Looking at the up and the down
On top
My right hand is on the summit
Heading for the ridge
Danny enjoying the pow
Great snow for a 14er
Nate enjoying his Lotuses
Nate likes pow
Such nice snow
Now lets get outta here

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