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 Peak(s):  Mt. Yale  -  14,196 feet
 Post Date:  08/12/2013
 Date Climbed:   08/11/2013
 Posted By:  docfrance

 AFA Group Hike Up Yale     

A large group of us (12) met in Colorado Springs at 0400 and piled into two vehicles for an early morning ride to the Denny Creek Trailhead. After a gas/pit stop in Divide, we made good time to the trailhead, arriving just before 0630 and getting on the trail at 0634. It was perfect morning with temps in the upper 40s at the base, no wind, and some high clouds. We were immediately impressed with the quality of the trail, the flora, and the amount of water from recent storms flowing in the creeks. The group stayed together well for the first 1.5 to 2 miles, but then began to string out a little once the climbing got a little more serious. The group was in good shape, though, so we weren't strung out too badly. I stayed back with a couple of the rookies, encouraging them and keeping the others generally within site. We hiked amongst other groups of 2 to 4 for most of the hike, playing accordion as each group would pause, pass, hike, pause, pass, etc. The winds stayed down and we made it to treeline before the sun came over the ridges. We were impressed by the staircase steps built into the steeper parts of the trail and the dirt portions were soft, but not muddy, from the rains. Flowers were everywhere in the tundra, including some above-the-trees Columbines. The views towards the Apostles, Harvard, Columbia, and other peaks to the north were spectacular. A couple of our younger hikers were moving very quickly and our stragglers (who were still on 3.5 hour pace to summit) decided to join up with other groups that were moving slower. I donned my optic green-yellow windbreaker and took off to catch the leaders as they gained the final ridgeline. The clouds continued to grow, but were non-convective and it was still quite early. When I reached the final ridgeline, the leaders in my group were waiting for me, and we negotiated the boulders together, losing the trail a couple of times and weaving through the rocks with another group that had two small dogs--I thought that if one of them fell into a crevasse, they might not make it out, but the dogs (and owners) did well. The summit filled pretty quickly as it seemed several of the dawn-starting groups arrived at about the same time. We enjoyed our summit sodas, took plenty of photos of ourselves and others, and made some new friends. I think this was the first 14er for four in our group, so this was a happy group.The clouds cleared for a short time, but most of the summit time was in the clouds with a cool breeze. Clouds were beginning to envelope Princeton to the south, so we headed down at about 1045. The trip down went quickly and uneventfully, as we strolled by several fat marmots sunning themselves on the rocks. We made it to the parking lot just a few minutes after 1300 and the last in the group was there by 1315, so we were packed up and gone by 1330 and back to the Springs by 1530! A great, quick day trip with awesome company! (I've decided to put all of my photos at the end here to save time. You can find a link to all 200+ plus photos that I took here at my photo website.

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My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (4)
Jay521



Congrats, USAFA!     2013-08-13 05:45:42
As a season tix holder for their football program for the last 20 years (and a supporter of their hockey team as well), I applaud USAFA for making the Yale climb! Thank you all for your service! Way to go, Marty for leading this!


LePhantom


Confirm: O2 at 100% above FL 12.5...     2013-08-13 12:09:13
Congrats on the over-flight of Ole Eli!

Once-upon-a-time (back when gold-line was still a staple of the art), I was posted to USAFA as a Navy spy -- under the rather thin disguise of teaching with the DFEE and as an instructor with the Cadet glider program. I think the disparate uniform may have been my downfall...

Within scant weeks of arriving (from aboard a sea level CVN), I was hoodwinked into completing my first Fourteener -- when my erstwhile DFEE hosts lured me into what was supposed to be a fun weekend trail run that was actually the Pikes Peak Ascent.

Perhaps as a result of surviving (but just barely) that surprise outing, I was then invited (finagled, actually) into becoming the OIC of the Cadet Mountaineering Club. However the real reason may have been that as a learned swabby, I knowed me knots -- a skill that was apparently in great demand among the Zoomies.

Although the Cadets and I completed many technical climbs and much winter mountaineering, it never crossed my mind to exact my revenge by leading the Cadets on any treks up a Fouteener. What a missed opportunity!

In deed, I am heartened to see that today's Zoomies have taken it upon themselves to correct this oversight!

BRAVO ZULU USAFA!


PS: GNBAF!

PPS: GNBA!!

PPPS: GAFBA!!!


Jay521



Bravo Zulu, LePhantom     2013-08-13 10:44:09
Love your comment. Although as a former squid myself, you also need to add GNBA to your PS as well...


LePhantom


Five-by-Five     2013-08-13 12:10:10
Jay521, Read you loud and clear. Roger on the GNBA! Thanks and Wilco...



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