Start Time: 5:45AM
Time to Summit: 4:15
Descent Time: 3:00
Total Trip Time: 7:15
Weather Cond: Partly Cloudy, Temperature - Perfect
Trail Cond: No snow, slightly muddy in some areas
Not having a climbing partner for this trip, I was pleasantly suprised to meet two fellow Texans in the parking lot, Nick and Kevin.
Nick and Kevin from Dallas This was the first time any of us had attempted Yale, and were greeted by a well-defined trail through the treeline. In fact, the trail was quite good all the way to the saddle. Unfortunately, Nick and Kevin's trip was cut short by Nick's ankle injury (not serious, but physically limiting at 13K).
Starting to break through the trees
A look back towards Cottonwood Pass
Jacob's Ladder was everywhere
Mt Princeton peeking out
Taking a break above the treeline
A Mule Deer making her escape
This trail gets steep
Hoping for a clear view on the summit
Finally on the saddle- Mace from C. Springs in background
Not sure what I was thinking at this point, but instead of taking a direct route over the rocks I veered to the left (North). Big mistake! Shorts don't work well in thigh-deep snow. Still, I worked my way back to the crest, and then followed Mace, Mike, and Jodi to the summit.
Got my wish for a clear summit view
Mike, Jodi, and Jessica's friend (sorry I didn't get your name)
Carefully following Mace through a scrambling area
Overall, this climb was a phenominal experience. Part of the enjoyment was the friends I met during the climb. A big thanks to Nick, Kevin, Mace, Mike, and Jodi for alllowing me to tag along.
I ended up leaving Buena Vista at 2:15AM the next morning to catch a flight back to DFW. At that point, all I could think about was when I was headed back to Colorado.