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.
|Driving Distance from Portland||225 miles|
|Driving Time from Portland||5 hours|
|Expected Duration||Car to car in two or more days|
|Relevant Books||Cascade Alpine Guide: Stevens Pass to Rainy Pass by Fred Beckey Climbing Washington's Mountains by Jeff Smoot|
|Relevant Maps||USGS 7 minute series, Monte Cristo, and Blanca Lake; Hiker’s/Climber’s Map of Monte Cristo area, published by the Mountaineers, Green Trails # 111 (Sloan Peak), 143 (Monte Cristo) Google map|