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 Peak(s):  Mt. Yale  -  14,196 feet
 Post Date:  07/14/2010
 Date Climbed:   07/11/2010
 Posted By:  Butters003

 Mount Yale from Avalanche   

Left Manitou Springs at 0330 for Buena Vista on Hwy24. Met mom and hit Avalanche Gulch Trailhead at 615am. Shed layers fast. Clear skies at first. Trail was pretty level for the first few miles. Note: trail will come to an open hill after roughly a couple miles or so.
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Amazing flowers everywhere! Avalanche Trail picks up to the left in this clearing. If you are decending than you missed it. Sorry ahead of time for your frustration at your fourteener book! Followed this trail after backtracking a bit.
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As with other groups, the trail became obscure as the West ridge came into site. Crazy scrambling to negotiate around several peaks along the west ridge, searching desperately for fragments of the "actual" trail or anything resembling a decent rock cairn. 1130 on the north side of ridge scrambling with afternoons threatening our sumit chance.
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Summited 11:50 and shared our bewilderment as to where the actual trail was with a couple. Due to threatening rain we ate our ritual chocolate, a bar, took a quick summit picture, and decided to follow the shorter/well traveled Denny Creek Trail instead of retrace our broken ascent route back down the west ridge.
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Passed trail crews working on establishing a main trail in light of dozens of "social trails." Rained on the way down through treeline. Rewarded by shorter distance of Denny Trail, as well as a gorgeous decent through aspen trees as sunlight filtered through. Got to trailhead, and decided to walk the 2.5 miles along the road back to Avalanche Trailhead. Recommend you hitch a ride at the trailhead. Not much shoulder room on the road. Note: several campings spots along this road. Arrived at our cars at 1600. Feet killed from no rest time at summit. Starving too! All round the terrain change was nice, trails were dry, vegetation and scenery was awesome!
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