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 Peak(s):  Mt. Yale  -  14,196 feet
 Post Date:  11/08/2009
 Date Climbed:   11/07/2009
 Posted By:  sunny1

 Yale - Denny Creek   

Date: Saturday, November 7, 2009
Climbers: sunny1 and Joel
Route: Denny Creek (standard)
Total Mileage: 9.5 (scenic detours - route finding difficulties)
Total Elevation Gain: 4770 feet
Total time: 10 hours


Disclaimer: This is my first TR (style and photography may be rough!)
Thanks for reading

The day started with an 0300 alarm. I was out the door at 0330, happy to drive my car this time instead of a full size 4WD truck - paved access was really appealing this time.
Google maps estimated 3 hrs and 12 mins to the Denny Creek TH from my house. Not remembering it only takes me 2 hrs to get to Buena Vista, I planned on that estimate, wanting to start early, knowing the snow would add time to my hike.
Note to self (repeat lesson): those estimates can be generous!
We arrived at the TH at 5:50 a.m., we were the only ones there.
Decided to eat a relaxed breakfast, enjoy the sunrise, gear up and head out.

It's a beautiful morning to arrive by CAR: We quickly had a friend in the Stellar Jay behind my car, looking for peanuts
Image

We hit the trail at 6:30 a.m., it was a balmy 38 degrees.
The first 2 miles were a very pleasant stroll through beautiful forest under bright blue skies. Snow crystals sparkled in the sun (I call those God's diamonds). Ah, yes, 'tis a privelege to live in Colorado!
There were already tracks in the snow, which was no more than 6 inches deep.

Sunny1 crossing the Delaney Gulch stream:
Image

Mt Yale through the Aspens:
Image

Joel making good progress (note the bare south facing slope):
Image

Joel had a GPS with him. We had only gained approx 1000 ft of elevation in the first 2 miles - out of 4300 ft total! We still had 3300 ft of elevation gain in under 2 miles! That's STEEP!

We began having route finding trouble with the snow cover after the first 2 miles, close to treeline. There were no more footprints or tracks. Joel had loaded Bill's GPS waypoints into his GPS (a big thank you, Bill!) The GPS is quicker than my map and compass skills. It's time to embrace modern technology! (and a HUGE thank you to Joel!)

Lost it here:
Image

There's the trail!
Image


We would lose and rediscover the trail. Sometimes losing the trail minimized postholing - the snow at the deepest was probably 2.5 feet, but losing the trail increased the steepness and directness of ascent.
The postholing was intermittent as snow cover was patchy. Snowshoes would not have worked well, unless you have the patience to remove them on areas of dry terrain and then put them back on, and repeat... We wore boots and gaiters, used no other traction devices. Had Yaktrax with us, but didn't find the need to put them on.

The final steep slope up to the saddle was the most arduous and slowest between the postholing and steepness. The breeze was the strongest here, also. Swayed me a few times, but nothing strong enough to knock me over.
We saw 2 guys coming up behind us who turned out to be Ricky and Steve. They thanked us for breaking trail, really appreciated hearing that, guys! It was a real "grunt"!

Mt Princeton from the steep slope to the saddle:
Image

Made it to the saddle and got a look at the first false summit. The scrambling began here - mostly very easy, but did require use of hands and feet for me.

Joel at the saddle:
Image

Summit (yay!!). It was 40 degrees up here and the winds were minimal. Hard to believe in November.

sunny1 on the summit:
Image

Mt Harvard and Columbia to the north:
Image

Mt Princeton to the SE:
Image

Can someone confirm these are the Three Apostles and/or Ice Mtn to the NW of Yale?
Image

The afternoon descent was much more pleasant. It was fun to plunge-step down the steep slope. We made much better time. Feeling great now with more oxygen, I broke out into a vigorous chorus of "You say goodbye, and I say hello" by the Beatles in special dedication to Mt Yale: (remember Joel and I are the only ones on the mountain by this point)

You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go, go, go
Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello

I say high, you say low
You say why, and I say I don't know
Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello

Why, why, why, why, why, why
Do you say good bye
Goodbye, bye, bye, bye, bye

Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye I say hello
Hello

Hela, heba helloa
Hela, heba helloa

Goodbye, Mt Yale:
Image

It was a great day in the mountains!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
CO Native


Three Apostles     2011-02-04 17:22:16
Yes those are the Three Apostles and Ice Mountain is the middle of the Three Apostles.


rijaca


Thanks for the TR!     2009-11-09 09:07:41
Starting at 0750 has some benefits! Steve and I appreciated the trailbreaking! What a gorgeous day!

My photo of the Three Apostles...


sunny1


Thanks     2010-11-30 10:28:49
CO Native: for the positive ID.

rijaca: nice to meet you. Thanks for the comments. Where are you hiking next? I'll start right behind you next time! Right after that next snowstorm dumps 2 feet Nice pic of the Apostles, such beauty...
Too bad you missed the spirited chorus.


jf32


Nice!     2009-11-09 13:08:52
Looks like a great day on Yale.


centrifuge


dig the report     2009-11-09 15:47:19
and the great photos! Looks like a beautiful day up there

After reading this, I now have that song stuck in my head...


JA_son27


Nice work!     2009-11-09 16:39:25
Sweet 1st TR Sunny! I couldn‘t believe how relentless the trail was above treeline, my memory of that hike is fading slighlty but I remember distinctly the absence of switchbacks above treeline!


sunny1


Thanks!     2010-11-30 10:28:49
For reading this and the comments, John, Centrifuge and Jason!

Jason, on the map there are some switchbacks on the slope to the saddle. We hauled straight up, no switchbacks! (there's no emoticon for drippin' sweat, pooped out hiker face!)


unclegar


Nice 1st TR     2009-11-21 21:22:22
I really thought Yale was a beautiful hike. The steepness still stands out in my memory too. I also used the 14ers gps track on my last hike and it really does help when the trail is gone!


sunny1


Thanks     2009-11-23 20:39:13
Unclegar, for the comments!
Your avatar has taken on a very wintery chill!



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