I had been planning this trip for quite a while, as it was my last remaining "Smoot" peak. Then there were recent trip reports from the peak and one saying trail work was done....even better!
We crammed 3 people and 3 bikes in my little car and made our way to the Old Wagon Trail trailhead. We enjoyed the bike ride and made our way quickly to Monte Cristo and then onward to Poodle Dog Pass and Twin Lakes. We decided to spend the evening relaxing at the lake and to attempt the peak in the morning. I did some fishing and had fun catching lots of small fish, while some others read and swam.
We started from Twin Lakes at a reasonable time and made our way to the climbers trail up to the west ridge of Columbia. It was pretty easy to follow and we quickly found ourselves at the start of the scramble route. There was a small snow patch to cross that was easy to manage in trail runners without any sort of snow gear and then we were scrambling. After the first 3rd class step we slogged up the big talus field to the head of a gully below a cliff band where we were able to traverse to the west around a corner without having to touch the snowfield.
We then scrambled up the crux of the route, a quick 3+/4 move to get to more easy scrambling (covered in loose crap). We scrambled upward to another cliff band where we could traverse north around the summit for the final bit to the top. A great day out with great company and now I need a new arbitrary climbing goal! I still refuse to say I'm climbing the top 100, as that is all the rage these days. Maybe the 50 classic bumps between Snoqualmie Pass and Mt. Rainier.
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