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.

Other Information
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