Yale’s Quiet Neighbors
Mount Yale 14,196
“Mascot Peak” 13,435
Turner Peak 13,233
19 miles 7400 ft.
Participants: Myself and Matt (mlayman09)
My friends Tyler and Ben had completed a similar traverse about a year ago, with an excellent forecast I decided to give this traverse a go.
Matt and I left from Cottonwood Pass at 5:45 and quickly climbed Unnamed 12581 summiting at 6:00. Because of the long day our summit stays were short. The ridge to Turner is fairly straightforward and easy except for one class 3 headwall which can be bypassed on loose rock. Turner Peak has some annoying false summits but nothing too difficult. We summited at 6:45.
Turner Peak from 12581 notice the small cliff
climbing the cliffs
Matt summiting Turnerr
The traverse to Unnamed 12956 looks like it might have some spicy sections, it does not, we bypassed a small ridge bump on the north slopes before making the traverse to 12956. There is one major false summit before the actual summit. The descent off of 12956 provides the most interesting terrain. It starts off easy then all of the sudden you run into a cliff on the ridge. It can be bypassed on the north side with fun solid class 3 scrambling. The class 3 lasts for about a quarter mile before the mellow terrain resumes.
Typical terrain for the day
Looking back at Turner
Solid class 3
One major ridge bump stands in the way of Brown’s Pass, it is easy to climb over. This point is one contour short of a soft ranking. At Brown’s Pass we followed the new Kroenke Lake trail. It made the ascent quite nice to soft ranked 12780. The Birthday Peak group looks very close. Maybe some other day. 12955 is a quick walk from 12780. The summit area is pretty cool.
Now for the most grueling part of the day, Mount Yale. We followed the ridge down to a small cornice where we followed the class 2+ rock down to more grassy slopes. I’m sure a class 2 way could be found, but the 2+ way was more solid. The ascent of Yale was long and brutal, as expected. We were greeted with varied terrain before meeting up with the trail. At 12:00 we summited Yale. Six peaks down, one to go.
Class 2+ descent
“Mascot” is a sub-summit to Yale, it is barely ranked, but because of my 13er obsession I had to climb it. There is a climbers trail which descends about 600 feet down the ridge before it disappears. From there it was steep gravel and grass to the saddle, where it was a quick climb to the summit. The reascent of Yale was not fun, but it went quickly. We were descending the Mount Yale at 2:00. It started to snow on us for 5 minutes before the sun came out again. Near the end of the trail we met up with Matt’s friends who would shuttle us back to Cottonwood Pass.
The dreaded reascent
This was a fun hike which took 10.5 hours. Only try this with perfect weather. If I were to ever do this hike again I would climb the Birthday group and descend from Browns Pass. I would climb Yale separately. I really doubt I will ever climb “Mascot” again.