From Jeff Smoot: Columbia Peak, another of the major summits of the Monte Cristo region, is one of the best climbs of the group and involves a reasonable approach with a fun, varied 800-foot summit scramble up the west spur. Columbia Peak is a good early summer climb because snow slopes can be ascended much of the way. It's a good late season climb too, with a good trail approach, a short ridge scramble, and a steep, enjoyable final scramble up snowfields and a long, rock gully to the summit. The best time to climb Columbia is after snow has melted off the summit area; when snow lingers on the upper ledge traverse, the route is too risky for mere scrambling, although a reasonable alternative route exists.
As with many Monte Cristo peaks, the highly recommended mountain bike approach saves you an 8 mile slog on the approach road.