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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-06-17||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: 99.5% free of snow. We had a perfect day. Started at 530 and were out at 220 to the sounds of cat Stevens and peace train in the parking lot. Doesn‘t get any better!
|2014-06-16||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Open all the way. No spikes or snowshoes needed. Wind was the only constant on 6/14
|2014-06-14||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: No point in giving an elongated report, Mountain is ready to be climbed, trail 99% snow free, which can be attested to by the 64 individuals we passed on the way down after being the first to summit this morning.
|2014-06-07||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Hell of a day up on Mt. Yale due to poor planning and following others‘ confused footprints. The first report from June 7 mentioned the difficulty of finding the trail in the snow filled basin immediately below treeline. My partner and I followed footprints and two other groups that led way left and ended up hiking for two or three additional hours on scree as we attempted to gain the ridge. Otherwise the trail was great and easy to follow.
|2014-06-07||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Entire trail in good condition will only a a few snow transition sections. No snowshoes or micros needed given the previous traffic via the Southwest Slopes and followed those those steps embedded in the short deeper transitions.
|2014-06-07||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: The trail up Mt. Yale is largely free of snow with only a snow filled basin just below tree line causing any route finding problems. In that basin it is very difficult to find the trail due to postholing footprints going in all directions. I just headed straight up a steep slope and found the trail again. The upper slopes has a few snowfields that were packed solid and I just walked right across them. The final rocky ridgeline to the summit also had a few icy spots, but with care they are easy to get across. I brought both my snowshoes and microspikes and ended up not needing them for this hike. Also note that the first stream crossing was a bit tricky because of the amount of water coming down the creek. If I didn‘t have my trekking poles to help keep my balance I probably would have had gotten my boots wet. Overall it is near summer conditions on Mt. Yale and a very enjoyable hike.
|2014-05-28||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Friend and I did Yale today. Started at 5:50. Snow was hard packed on the way up except in two locations, but coming down around noon was another story! Postholed almost the entire way back except when we ‘glissaded‘. Not at all sure when, but there was an avalanche maybe a week or more ago (you could see layers of dust) and that led to extra deep postholing. First pic shows the step snow fields that required no traction devices, though later towards the saddle, they would have been quicker. Second - probably the deepest snow pack up there. Third - a pano a little below the saddle Fourth - friend ‘glissading‘, or a controlled butt slide
|2014-05-25||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: A winter climb in late May. We checked forecast for Saturday night into Sunday and foolishly thought it was probably pessimistic but none the less we were prepared for it to be full on winter climb. Slept in our truck and it rained all night long but never froze down at the trail head. By 6AM we were on the trail in sleet. Previously mentioned existing snow crossings were still there and because it had not froze were just beginning a day of post holing. Above the last creek crossing with logs (~11,200ft) the rain from last night had been snow and the boot track quickly disappeared. We followed some faint tracks and ended up left of the trail and off route before turning to the less than well populated GPS route in our receiver. Ended up back on "route" above 12,000ft where there was 6-12 inches of new wind blown snow and no longer any hint of previous boot track. Followed the GPS route from there forward but were presented with numerous significant (on all fours) post holing instances from there to the saddle. Visibility had dropped to as low as 200-300 ft at times. Summit ridge was loaded with 12-16 inches of new snow. On the descent we again got off route in the trees (trying to avoid large snow drifts) and finally popped back out at ~11,200ft. We had opted to forgo snowshoes because of rain covers we had on our packs and questioned if that would have made for easier going in all the new snow. Once the sun has had a chance to consolidate the snow, this will become more of a Spring climb quickly
|2014-05-21||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Zero sign of snow anywhere on the road up to the trailhead. I did this on the 21st and there were still some pretty deep drifts starting about a mile up the trail. The drifts got bigger and after another mile, the trail was mostly still covered. There were multiple boot packs almost all the way to the summit, with some evidence of someone occasionally postholing while wearing snowshoes. I only used ice trekkers, gaiters, poles, and an axe, which seemed more than sufficient for the ascent. It was easy enough to walk across the snow in the morning, by early afternoon the snow had softened up enough to make for a nice, easy, slightly wet, glissade down the upper slope. After descending back into the trees, I began to kick down sun wheels in some places and was glad I was off the upper slopes. I also realized how much time I had wasted 1: Waking up late and deciding to make a cup of coffee. 2: Fiddling with new gear and adjusting layers 3: being out of shape from being lazy all winter. I paid for these mistakes by postholing all the way back to the Denny Creek crossing. I didn‘t see a single soul until I got back to the parking lot. All in all, good climb. Start early.
|Relative to Zero||2014-05-23||4||2|
|2014-05-17||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Hiked the southwest slope yesterday and it was great, a little windy at the top, 30-40mph wind blowing snow. Ambient temperature at the summit was 41deg, and all the snow was melting fast. the southwest route was dry in the morning for about 3/4 of a mile then there was snow (image 1). We only needed microspikes up until about 12500, and really you probably didnt need them but we used them. After that we put on the snowshoes and ascended the slope to the ridge with them (image 2) the snow was a little deeper and the added slope made it easier to hike utilizing the crampons on the snowshoes, on the ridge to the summit only microspikes were needed. The snow in the afternoon was very wet. coming down from the ridge to tree line was a lot of sliding and falling down unless you just glisslided down. Snow depth on the slope from tree line to the ridge varied between nothing and 6 inches for the most part and was melting fast. once in treeline we were able to not use our snowshoes, we postholed a little bit and the snow in some places is still several feet thick however we were able to just walk over most of it still. A lot of the snow on the trail was melted and there were a lot of bare spots and the snow had receded probably another half mile further up the trail from where it was in the morning, it was pretty muddy but nothing to awful. Conditions at the summit were brutal, the 30-40mph winds were blowing snow so hard that unless you had all skin covered and wearing snow goggles it was unbearable, some parts i had to hike sideways to protect the little bit of my face that was unprotected from the blowing snow. The snow pack at the summit was still pretty solid despite the temperature. Image 3 is from the summit looking at the northwest ridge Image 4 is from the summit looking at the northeast ridge and columbia.
|2014-05-04||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Trail can be reached with 2WD. No snow conditions existed on road. Boots on the ground at 5:30. Snow conditions stable. Boot pack through trees. Route finding fairly simple by following boot pack. Hard pack steep sections - traction very helpful. Snowshoes not necessary on ascent. Steady, strong winds on final ascent. Appreciated traction and poles to provide 3rd point of contact in really windy, ridge crest, final approach section. Recommend finding trail to work way down after you have come off the peak. Another hiker turned down before trail and got stuck in steep slippery conditions. Snow softened in afternoon sun. Frequent post holing. Flotation is helpful - but not mandatory - in afternoon. Glissading is possible in sections. Beautiful hike. Beautiful day. Beautiful views.
|2014-05-03||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Cottonwood pass is clear to the trail head. Still a considerable amount of snow on the trail. I used spikes on the way up, and threw my snow shoes on during the descent after I started post holing to the waist. The trail is a bit difficult to follow in areas with a lot of accumulation, partly because there are lots of footpaths and ski tracks that split off in these places. It was a gorgeous day, warm temperatures and minimal wind.
|2014-05-03||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Trail is snow packed from about a mile on, I did it at sunrise (32f at the car at quarter to five am, camelback hose froze at treeline) and didn‘t need snowshoes- traction would have been nice. Any later in the day would be a post-hole fest without flotation. Trail disappears below the summit ridge and a steep boot pack ensues. Easy route finding. Watch out for trolls on the second bridge.
|2014-04-20||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Climbed Mt. Yale today from Denny Creek. Carried, but did not use snowshoes (although they would have probably helped on the decent below treeline). Used Microspikes from TH to summit and back. Trail is mostly snow covered above and below treeline. The final summit ridge rocks are not snowcovered. TH condition was perfect. This was my first 14er outside of the ideal July-September season, but the climb went about as expected. Some sort of traction device is a must.
|2014-04-12||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Started from Denny Creek Trailhead at 5:00 AM. Snow was firm from the trailhead to snow line. Used ski boots the entire time - never had a need to switch from skins. From tree line to ~13,300 feet it is a mix of snow, dirt, and rocks. Crampons may be very helpful in some spots although I did not use them. From 13,300 up the steep face to the ridge line crampons are needed with a mix of snow and rocks for some interesting billygoating. Once on the ridge, crampons are no longer needed as you are on rock 90% of the time. There is snow at the summit going towards the north, where you can wrap around to the south-east. You will have to take your skis on and off several times. You will also be required to skin/hike to get back into the correct drainage to get back to the trail. Note: To anyone that thinks the drainage to the skiers left of the main trail will be a successful ski out - it is not. Don‘t ask how I know. :-) Pictures from summit attached.
|2014-03-24||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Climbed to treeline on Monday, 3/24. Used microspikes up to the Yale turnoff. We postholed a bit after that, so we put on snowshoes and used them all the way up to treeline. The rest of the route looked pretty wind scoured and safe. We turned around due to wind and time of day.
|2014-03-15||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Climbed Mt. Yale on Saturday, MAR 15. Road clear to the Denny Creek TH. There is a packed snowshoe trail to the sign for the Mt. Yale turnoff (microspikes helpful in the early morning when it is frozen). There is a decent trail from the sign to treeline - not as packed down as the first part of the trail, but good enough that I kept my snowshoes on my pack and just used microspikes. The wind obliterated any trail above treeline, but the snow was not deep enough to use snowshoes, just an occasional posthole. Picture of the upper slopes attached.
|2014-01-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: There is a solid trench in from the previous weekend all the way to the ridge, making this a much easier day. We did not put on snowshoes until just below the ridge. The ridge itself can be kept at class 2+ with optional scrambling opportunities and was drier than expected. Microspikes/crampons are overkill for most people right now. This route is typically a huge day in winter with 5K‘ of vertical, but it is very reasonable right now. Message me if interested in pics.
|2013-12-28||Route: East Ridge
Info: Conditions update for Denny Creek route the day before tipped the scale for Avalanche Gulch route for our attempt. Were very pleased to discover a well established trench to the saddle, which our sizable group greatly enhanced. Many thanks to Jim/Yikes and whoever came before us for establishing a trench. Mellow terrain to the saddle, no snow instabilities encountered en route. Started late, departed TH @8 am, but made great time. The ridge is long, with many false summits. The group of three (out of about 10) ended up summitting for RT of 9.5 hrs. Go get it!
|2013-12-27||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Attempted Mt Yale from Denny Creek Today. Road was open to Denny Creek (getting lots on snowmobile use beyond the Denny Creek TH). Had called Chaffee County Sheriff dispatch to confirm the road was open to Denny Creek. Beautiful day just no joy as far as the summit. My son and I slept in our 4Runner and stared at 7:30AM (yeah I know it was late). Solid snowshoe trail to "Mt Yale->" signage. Beyond that there was a old evidence of snowshoe travel to ~11,200 ft. Beyond that we encountered thigh deep snowshoeing on steep terrain (no fun). Turned around at 11,600 ft when we saw no end to the misery and heard two close succession "whomping" indications while still well within in the trees. My suggestions: 1) use skis 2) start earlier 3) have more than two to break trail All in all, a truly wonderful day to be in the mountains. Colordaomojo