Well, just a few peaks left in the Sawatch range, then everything else is gonna cost a crap ton in gas money. But it's worth it.
Yale, what a freaking awesome peak. Super views, nice long flat warm up section, leg killer steep that goes on for awhile, and a little fun scramble just before the summit. It took a little longer than expected and the forecast called for rain, but there was none. We left our place at 4 am and started hiking just before 6. The early trail was wide and very flat for quite some time. Most of it looked like this.
The trail was easy to follow the entire way to the summit. Here is a stream crossing somewhere along the earlier part of the hike.
It had rained all night and was overcast when we arrived at the trailhead. I'm not sure if that's why these trees are green. Does wetness cause greenness? Is that even a word? Doubt it. But they were pretty neat looking.
green wet aspens
The turn for Yale eventually came and would be a hard one to miss. The trail then turned from a wet dirt highway to a more normal trail until after tree line.
The trail did still take a while to start going up, it was really nice and we even walked through a short stretch of Asia.
bamboo rainforest, CO
The flatness eventually came to an end. The trail turns quite steep as it began to switchback toward the direction UP.
steep area to gain treeline
Right at treeline, we came to a pleasant flat area. It was so pretty, views went on forever. Everyone takes pictures of the trail here. As did I. In every trip report it looks so serene. No one tells you that it only lasts about 200 yards, then it is a steep dirt road, then step loose dirt switchbacks all the way to the saddle NEVER letting up. But again, such a rad mountain...Loved it!
last flat for a long time
me photo takin'
dead tree area
So then the steepness began. This is my wife drinking my water. She's okay.
It started as a wide gravel road thing. If felt like waking on uphill baseball field for some time. Then it was a rocky baseball field trail. Like this.
Again, the views on this mountain were awesome. Here you can see another collegiate peak Princeton. Then you can see that lame community college peak called "Antero".
14ers to the south
There were quite a bit of flowers and such on this hike as well. This is called "something".
The next trail segment switchbacks up to the saddle. There was a trail crew up there working on a different segment of trail. You can tell they have been working in this area recently too. A lot off the switchbacks were very eroded and loose.
switchbacks to saddle
From the saddle you get a nice bit of fun scrambling to gain the summit.
leaving saddle towards summit
We were to the top from the saddle in no time. Here is Ben making his last couple steps to the top.
ben and ridge from saddle to summit
And of couse the summit shot. We got me, Ben (brother-in-law), Emily (sister), Daisy (my dog), Julie (the old ball and chain), and Nicole (sister's pal)
group summit shot
Oh yes, the wife and I also just found something out. See on the registry there. It says something exciting!
Julie and our exciting news!
Getting awkward for 14ers.com
We ate lunch on top, and took our time down. The weather that was suppose to come never did. We did have some clouds roll on top of us while on the summit. Nothing bad. Another good time out there, another one off the list!
a tired pup