It was our 4-th day in mountains, when my daughter Dina (who is a novice to mountains) became incapable of thinking about anything whatsoever but a SHOWER. And this was predicted by me. So here we are - Cottonwood Hot Springs!
We didn't plan to climb Mt.Yale, but when we realized that we are a few miles away from Mt.Yale's TH, we decided to go. Galit, nevertheless choose the pleasures of hot springs.
So the next morning I and Dina were at TH 6:07 a.m. The climb was rather easy, since it was our 5-th day in high altitude and it was our 3-d 14er during those days. I only would like in this report to ask a few questions (may be I am lucky and somebody reads the report and knows the answers) about astonishing views from the summit. Also I would like to mention monumental stonework on this trail. We climb Mt. Yale, feeling proud of our accomplishment, but think about the work somebody put here to make our climb so easy! THE TRAIL, I would say! Huge stones put up to give a feeling of a comfortable staircase. My respect to trail builders!
Most of the way up to the saddle at 13960, a ridge occludes the view to the North. Once you are at this saddle - a sudden North view astonishes you. But for me this view was an unexpected surprise, an amazing gift for the reason I would like to describe. Originally I planned our trip as backpacking rout: from Clear Creak Reservoir by Colorado Trail to Pine Creak Trail -> up to Missouri Basin -> up to Elk head Pass -> possible Mt. Belford -> down Missouri Gulch -> up road 390 to Mt. Huron TH ->Mt. Huron -> back to Clear Creak Reservoir by Rd 390. I cancelled this plan right after my daughters put their 5 day supplied backpacks on their shoulders and told me what they think about it. Before our trip I read "Colorado Trail" book. There was a description of a day hike to Missouri Basin. Missouri Basin was described as a great unique place, from where 4 14ers can be seen. For some reason I really wanted to see this place. My Mt. Yale surprise was that I could see from there a huge part of my plot rout, like on a plate before me. I could identify 7 14ers from this summit. I am almost sure about what I saw. But it will make me happier if somebody can also recognize and confirm.
The ridge. Once you are on top of it - you can see amazing North view
Dina was waiting for me at the saddle. It was soooo windy and chilly here.
East you can see Buena Vista below.
Very easy rock climbing, nothing to give you a rush of adrenalin.
The last flight of rocks before the summit
Dina and her proud mom on the summit at 11:10a.m.
From right to left errows mark: Mt. Oxford, Mt. Belford, Mt. Elbert far away north.
Mt. Elbert zoomed in
Mt. Elbert zoomed even more. It is right above ElkHead Pass, isn't it? Mt. Belford is on very right?
On right - Mt. Columbia, left of it - Mt. Harvard
Here are my questions. By red Errows marked from left to right: Belford, Oxford, Harvard
Here are my main questions. It is probably possible to draw the trail from Missouri Basin to Elkhead Pass on this picture.
Looking southeast - Mt. Princeton.
Dina in between Columbia on right and Harvard on left.
On our way down.
The next picture is a repetition. It is the ridge on the way to the summit. As we walked down I looked up there , on left, not where the trail was at all and I saw people climbing the ridge towards the saddle (right on the picture). It was about 1145. Later I red a report on 14ers.com by mennoguy, where an incredible rout was described; a group of people (without any trails) walked/climbed 7 summits in one day, Yale included. They reported being on Mt. Yale at noon time. I wonder if it was them that we saw. I am not sure why I am amazed by coincidences.
We were down to TH at 1:30p.m. 7 hours 20 minutes – round trip. We spent about half an hour on the summit. The weather was great all the time. Very enjoyable hike!