| Mt. Yale - Denny Creek
After the turnaround on Columbia on Saturday, I had concerns that we'd encounter similar conditions on Yale on Sunday. Spent the night at the Denny Creek trailhead and started off at 4:00 am under clear, starry skies. No snow at the start, just a few bits of icy trail here and there, easy walking and soon the sun was hitting the tops of the peaks.
As we went higher, the snow started and there was a well defined track with some fresh snow in it. We left the trees a bit after 6:30. It was chilly, around 18 degrees and crystal clear blue skies.
At treeline there was no longer a track. Snow depth averaged at about calf height with some knee high sections. My partner (britdog) broke trail the whole way up the mountain – awesome job and much appreciated by me and the group of 2 behind us. We put on microspikes just beyond treeline and switched to crampons on the steeper slope after encountering shallow icy patches.
Saw a mountain goat breaking his own trail heading east on Yale.
Continued to work our way up, near the steepest part (13,000), the winds died down and it was quite warm.
Finally hit the ridge and began the walk out to the summit. The ridge was a combination of all snow and rock/snow sections.
Hit the summit just before 11:00 and were rewarded with these views.
Looking down at our route up.
It had taken longer than anticipated to get to the top, it was getting late and warm, so we only stayed a few minutes and then headed down.
Once below the steepest part, we took a break and ate and drank and enjoyed this perfect weather day and incredible views.
The trail passes below this overhanging cornice. We moved past quickly in the morning and even faster in the warm afternoon.
On the way out it was warm and the snow was slushy, wet and slippery. But, there was no postholing - much nicer than Humboldt last week. Back at the car at 3:00, 7 hours up, 3 hours down. Great day with spectacular weather and views.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):