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 Peak:  Mt. Yale (14er)
 Route:  Southwest Slopes
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  Ianfinity
 Date of Information:  10/13/2013
 Date Posted:  10/15/2013
 Report

The trail was excellent and easy to follow for the first two miles, with little to no snow until after the stream crossings. There was snow covering the trail at a crucial juncture between 11,200 -11,300. For someone not familiar with this trail, this could be problematic. The route description states: "Shortly after some small meadows, the trail climbs steeply up a hillside. From 11,300' to 11,900', hike north and east through the forest on a great trail." At this point, the trail disappeared into snow. When you are in the clearing, with a wide gully in front of you, and woods behind and to your right, the trail dips down to your right to cross the gully at its narrowest section, before the gully heads out of the trees. If there is snow covering, take great care here - do not, as we and several other groups did - continue up the gully and/or the rock field. The route description fails to mention that the trail turns sharply right and briefly downhill to cross the gully before it starts to climb steeply up the hillside. At this point, the trees are still thick and snow is likely to stick around. Once you start the steep climb the trail is very good and easy to follow, even with the snow.


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