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Mt. Yale  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-05-21  Southwest Slopes  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    Edit Delete 
2014-05-17  Southwest Slopes  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. Jmbiller   2014-05-18 4  2    Edit Delete 
2014-05-04  Southwest Slopes  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. ebonem   2014-05-05  0  1 1  Edit Delete 
2014-05-03  Southwest Slopes  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. Lithic   2014-05-05 1     Edit Delete 
2014-05-03  Southwest Slopes  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. LBDQ   2014-05-03 2  3    Edit Delete 
2014-04-20  Southwest Slopes  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. jdenavit   2014-04-20  0  4 2  Edit Delete 
2014-04-12  Southwest Slopes  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. hberry   2014-04-14 3  2    Edit Delete 
2014-03-24  Southwest Slopes  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. aweygandt   2014-03-26  0     Edit Delete 
2014-03-15  Southwest Slopes  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. KTC88   2014-03-16 1     Edit Delete 
2014-01-25  East Ridge  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. Kevin Baker   2014-01-27  0     Edit Delete 
2013-12-28  East Ridge  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! nkan02   2013-12-28 4  4    Edit Delete 
2013-12-27  Southwest Slopes  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 coloradomojo   2013-12-27 2     Edit Delete 
2013-11-19  Southwest Slopes  Decided to give Yale (SW Slopes) a try between storms. They definitely got 12-18" from the storm of 11/16. Wave clouds in the AM correctly indicated that it would be windy above tree line. Nice snowshoe trench to 10,700. Two or three person boot pack to 11,300‘ and just my lonely single footprints to treeline. Avalanche danger below treeline seemed low due to warm temps and wet snowpack. Windy and scoured above treeline and no avalanche danger at all to the peak if you stay near standard route. Screaming winds along the summit ridge. Some light snow showers later in the day. Carried but didn‘t use flotation, microspikes, or ax. WeatherMan   2013-11-20 4     Edit Delete 
2013-11-09  Southwest Slopes  Trail is in great condition. There have been enough people hiking this trail since the last report that there is a clear and definite trail to follow the entire way. Snow is not deep in any area, but microspikes will definitely make this hike more enjoyable. Conditions were great, couldn‘t have asked for a better day! Much of the trail in the trees looked like photo 1. It does get a little thicker by maybe 2 inches more towards the treeline. Photo 2 is midway up between the treeline and the summit looking towards the Three Apostles Photo 3 is looking up towards the summit of Mount Yale Photo 4 is on the summit looking towards the direction i came from. The rocky area to the summit is light on snow and easy to do. 4 LO   2013-11-10 4     Edit Delete 
2013-11-07  Southwest Slopes  Trail is in good shape and easily followable up to ~11,600‘. From there the trail gets confusing and hard to find. About ~100‘ after the fallen tree (easily recognizable) look for steps that are coming down from the mountain on the right side of the trail. We went straight (like everyone else) and lost the trail. We came down the mountain on the trail, hence the down mountain foot prints showing you the real trail. We just went straight up until we hit the trail using GPS. Above 11,600‘ you will want micro spikes. The snow is not deep, but it is slippery. Most of the snow was melting today. Once above 12,000‘, the trail is easily discernible. Snow shoes not required. mrschaible   2013-11-07  0  1    Edit Delete 
2013-10-26  Southwest Slopes  Nearly summer conditions with a dusting of snow. A bit of fresh snow on summit slopes and ridge, but it is tracked and packed. Doable in trail runners and short gaiters. Microspikes nice near treeline and summit ridge. Fast flowing, steripen‘able water 2.5 miles in from TH... could go really light. GeorgeB   2013-10-26 1     Edit Delete 
2013-10-24  Southwest Slopes  11,500 to tree line the melting snow was slick. Maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 mile in length requires traction. BostonBD   2013-10-24  0  2    Edit Delete 
2013-10-13  Southwest Slopes  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. Ianfinity   2013-10-15  0     Edit Delete 
2013-10-05  East Ridge  First time summiting Yale from this TH! There was a very light dusting of snow on the CO trail from Avalanche TH up to 11,900 feet (opening in the trail where you turn left and start to head up the ridge to Mt. Yale). The snow got a bit deeper at the split but we were able to follow footprints from other hikers towards the ridge. Not too much snow on the first part of the ridge but as we got farther along the ridge the snow got deeper. It was pretty difficult to follow the correct/safest route to the summit due to the snow covered cairns. After a decent amount of time spent route finding and figuring out which boulders and rocks would not slide out from beneath us, we made it to the top! We descended via Denny Creek trail since we felt it unsafe to descend on such loose terrain, and we hitched a ride back to Avalanche TH. Not much snow on the Denny Creek side, at least not enough to loose the trail or need traction of any kind. I think that if the temperatures remain warm and it doesn‘t snow again any time soon the snow on each side would be non-existent. As for the snow on the East Ridge, I‘m not too sure...Great and exciting day on the east ridge! LizWeiss   2013-10-07  0     Edit Delete 
2013-09-29  Southwest Slopes  Climbed the standard route today from Denny Creek. The snow is mostly all gone, there are a few patches around 13,000 ft. but the trail is in great shape! Looks like a lot of the surrounding peaks have more snow than Yale. Very windy up there today, probably gusting to 40 or 45 mph. lajohn   2013-09-29 2     Edit Delete 

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