Mount Harvard and Mount Columbia: Part 3

(At long last: the final part to one of our 14er climbs last August. If you want to refresh your memory, here’s Part 1 and Part 2.)

When Team B (Dad, Mom, and I) reached Mt. Columbia’s ridge, it was extremely windy. So windy you had to lean forward into the wind. It took us awhile to traverse the ridge.

IMG_3364The clouds were pretty as they blew quickly over the mountain tops.

A practical hint if you’re using your iPhone for pictures on a long hike. Invest in a small, external battery charger. Here’s the link to what I have, and the black is on sale (update: blue is no longer on sale) now for only $9.99 from Amazon! I love mine (okay: I do have the pink one)! Make sure to see if your phone is compatible with this charger. The Amazon link is an affiliate one. Read our disclosure/privacy policy here.

IMG_3351After climbing over multiple false summits, we finally reached the real summit. Ahhhh. There’s really quite an amazing feeling to summit another 14er.

IMG_3372IMG_3381We took pictures, and we were also in radio contact with Team A. Sadly, with the temperatures and wind, we knew we couldn’t stay long on the summit and wait for the rest, so we began our descent.

Meanwhile, Team A was quite exhausted, but they kept pushing. They had an intense traverse, and despite obstacles, they maintained their cheerfulness.

IMG_7964IMG_7969The last summit was in sight!

IMG_7985IMG_8006IMG_8014IMG_7990IMG_8028When they reached the top, they also took pictures and were surprised to find a mountain goat enjoying the scenery too.

Team A didn’t spend long on the summit, as they knew the descent on Columbia would be hard. We were grateful for our iPhone app RunKeeper, which we had been using since the beginning of the climb. Team B had found the route difficult to find going up, and there were certain routes you did not want to take going down (like catching the gully). RunKeeper was perfect as we consulted it to make sure we had the right path going down. We also radioed to Team A to try to help them get on the right path.


It was a rough descent. Tiredness, pain, exhaustion, and slippery slopes made it difficult. You ended up sort of sliding down different sections.

IMG_3459Finally, we all met up in the forest! Praise the Lord!


It had been a long, hard, incredible day, but we made it. Well, almost. We then experienced a thunderstorm in the forest, along with lots of rain. But I think that just added to the adventure. We put our phones in waterproof compartments, dug out rain coats, and sloshed through the forest.


They could still smile for a group picture. Good job, y’all!

Climbing mountains is a beautiful analogy of our journey as Christian.

  • It’s physically hard.
    • We face challenges in life.
  • Company helps.
    • Fellowship with other believers is a great encouragement.
  • The views are gorgeous.
    • God’s blessings abundantly fill our lives.
  • Carbs, protein, water, and even electrolyte chews or drinks are a must.
    • Reading God’s Word is essential.
  • When you reach the top, you realize the climb was worth it.
    • Heaven is our final destination, and words can’t describe what it will be like!


“I press toward the mark for the prize of the
high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:14

8 thoughts on “Mount Harvard and Mount Columbia: Part 3”

  1. The photos are absolutely spectacular! I love the one with the goat. And I really love the comparison of mountain climbing to the Christian life which you did at the end. I so enjoy reading your family’s blog…thank you!

    Glad it was a blessing. Colorado mountains are beautiful! The Lord gave the analogy yesterday afternoon as I was finishing off the post.

  2. Great post Sarah!! Are ya’ll getting ready for the next trip?
    I have the pink charger. Really comes in handy.
    I love rain and don’t mind walking and playing in it. Love to go to the zoo in a mild rain.
    Beautiful pics.

    No plans right now for Colorado. Yes, that charger is such a blessing. Sometimes when you know you’ll have heavy usage, it’s easy to stick in your purse and charge your phone up.

  3. Love the picture of the mountain goat! And the ending comparison was really neat!

  4. Wonderful post, and I love the analogy you shared – – so true. Great photos, and what an accomplishment for you all – – WOW!! 🙂
    Love, Mrs. Patti

  5. Do you put your phone in airplane mode when you climb? It saves so much battery because you phone isn’t constantly searching for signal (that wears it down).

    I do not. I still like to stay in contact and be able to use my phone ;). With my extra battery, it works out great!

  6. You may have mentioned this before, but where do you find your skirts for hiking? Our family has started taking some easy hikes, but find the skirts we have are very cumbersome as they are not made for exercise. Thank you!

    The black, stretchy skirt I’m wearing I had custom made from this link. The girls have them too. I positively love both skirts I had made from her and wear them on hikes often and exercising here at home all the time. The one with the white stripe is from NewCreationApparel. Here’s the link. Mom has the gray version of the skirt, which NewCreationApparel sells. Enjoy!

  7. Thank you, Maxwell Family, for sharing about your hike! I looked back at parts 1 & 2 also. Thank you, Sarah, for the technical details of the hike, too (distance and elevation gain). My husband and I (in our late 50’s) have been enjoying couple time “bagging” 4000’ers in the White Mountains and I was wondering how they compared. Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Maxwell! That’s a good hike!!! How long did A Team and B Team take in all to complete their hikes?
    A belated comment to Michelle W. (comment on Part 1) who would like to hike the Appalachian Trail when her husband retires: daily exercise is great, but try doing some day hikes too. Walking 11 miles doesn’t compare at all to hiking 11 miles with a 4500 foot elevation gain, especially when it’s a bouldery trail. Start gradual, prepare well, research well, and then try the Franconia Ridge loop (8.9 miles, 3900 feet, including a small section of the Appalachian Trail). It will probably confirm your desire to do the whole Appalachian Trail, and if it doesn’t – you’ll still have experienced a **gorgeous** hike, though not as technically challenging as those of the Maxwells! (Scree – yuck!) Happy hiking!

    Congratulations on your hikes!

    Team A took 12.25 hours to complete the 15.75 mile climb. Team B was probably 9 hours for the one 14er.

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