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 Peak(s):  Mt. Yale  -  14,196 feet
 Post Date:  03/06/2009
 Date Climbed:   03/02/2009
 Posted By:  Easy Rider

 West Slopes, Denny Creek   

The Denny Creek trail was a packed highway, but disappeared just below treeline where I needed it most. I met a crew of three steadily punching trail on foot. This was my first time on Yale, and was unsure where to initiate the climb up to the low ridge to the right. I continued into the gentle basin, passing a camp spot dug out in the runout of a cross loaded gully. Late check ins always get the worst rooms.

The late traverse back over the treeline felt like a natural choice for dodging the more prone slopes just below, but required some time to traverse back. Everything above treeline was wind hammered, with avenues of powder disguised as strugi. I traced the best line I could to the low saddle, finding this to be still a long way down the ridge, but kept my board split and mounted it to my pack in case I was not seeing the whole story yet. Sure enough, a small bench just below the larger platform before the summit ridge offered entry to the west slopes, and a feint set of tracks led the way. The wind was heinous the rest of the way up to the summit.

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Harvard & Columbia

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I rode off the summit about noon, taking a line on the lee side of the ridge over the typically dry Silver Creek Basin. This slope was compacted hard slab, and there was not a lot of recent loading without any snow left to transport. Still I tried to stay above the rollover. The bottom of these micro slopes is studded with talus.

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Wrapping around to the bench, I took the board off to get down to the next bench where I saw the old ski tracks, but not all the way to the saddle. From there I rode down to the left off frame here, then way right off frame, then back left under a large iceflow to the forest. It was a much better run than expected since the sun took care of the crust. An awesome tree run, & cruised the trail back to the TH register by two 'o clock.

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