Mount Harvard

  • Mount Harvard
  • 4395 m.
  • Primary factor 719 m.
  • 3rd Highest in Colorado
  • Climbed August 27, 2000


How to get there: The nearby city of Buena Vista, 33 miles south of Leadville, is a natural starting point. All guidebooks tell that one should go west on the road oppsite the Pizza Hut (0.4 miles north of the trafic light). However, this road was closed when we were there. What then? It turns out that one can also go west in the main city intersection (the one with the only traffic light in town).
Route description: The route first follows the creek, mainly on the left hand side, up the valley. Just after crossing back to the right hand side of the creek, there is a trail fork where one should take the right branch, heading up to the upper basin. The trail gradually becomes less steep in this upper basin. Mt. Columbia lies to the right, while Mt. Harvard is right ahead, slightly to the left of center. The trail climbs towards the left ridge (to the left oif the summit), then angels up to the final summit block. The two mountains are connected by a fairly long and rugged ridge called Rabbit Ridge. The "rabbit" is a specific rock formation on top of this ridge, easily recognizable.
Comments: Pål Jørgen, age 11 and Jenni Søbstad (age 20) did this climb with me. It took us 4 hours from the car to the summit. We proceeded with a complete traverse of the Rabbit Ridge connecting to Mount Columbia, (see description of this traverse under Mount Columbia). Total hike was 9 hours and 20 minutes including generous resting time on Harvard, along the Rabbit Ridge, as well as on the summit of Columbia.