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Yale via Denny Creek TH in Winter?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Yale via Denny Creek TH in Winter?

Postby Svenski Norski » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:34 pm

Does anyone have any ideas about the avvy safety, or lack of, by this route? I may go up to treeline soon to scope it out...

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Re: Yale via Denny Creek TH in Winter?

Postby SilverLynx » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:31 pm

I was just talking to someone about this. I was informed that the safer way to go is Avalanche Gulch. Denny Creek has at least one avy slope on the route. Okay so SurfNTurf told me this.
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Re: Yale via Denny Creek TH in Winter?

Postby Monster5 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:07 pm

I agree with above that Avalanche Gulch is safer and one must cross the very terminus of one runout zone as well as a a fairly low hazard path via Denny.

However, if the road is open, the avy danger on the rebuilt standard route is easy to avoid/assess and generally pretty safe this time of year. Also makes for a quicker route, sans trench poach.

I would not recommend short-cutting the section around treeline where the trail continues north through trees next to a smaller drainage (slog) prior to heading south. Short-cutting this section in the tree-less area (old trail/road in a slide path) would put you in avy terrain. The small drainage can also slide with significant accumulation. The rib above treeline is wind blown to the blocky talus summit push.

Basically, follow the new route mapped on this site. Naturally, use your own map reading and your own assessments and all that good stuff. An experienced party with good avy observation skills should be able to do this route, or near to it, safely in all but extreme conditions.

I also think the south ridge via Mascot would be fine. One questionable slope around treeline on Mascot. Bit of a narcissistic leg burner route though.
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Re: Yale via Denny Creek TH in Winter?

Postby jakefox » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:26 pm

I've also heard that avalanche gulch is the way to go in winter. I bailed on the Denny Creek approach last January due to some sketch slide potential just below treelineā€¦
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Re: Yale via Denny Creek TH in Winter?

Postby forbins_mtn » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:13 pm

Avalanche gulch is definitely the way to go. It's on my list for this winter and have been staring at it for a while. Hit me up if you think about bagging come January

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Re: Yale via Denny Creek TH in Winter?

Postby Dex » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:35 pm

Are you guys telling me I've been taking the dangerous route for the past 4 years in March?

I do Denny Creek - the summer trail, new route, and try to stay as close to it as possible in case of an accident - I do it alone.

Last year I sent a couple of guy that way - after I stamped out the trail.

The dicey area is after you gain the hikers ridge, then go under the trees again and then come out to a steep area of about 50-75yds until you go under the trees again. Other then that I can't think of a dangerous area. Well maybe after you come out from the trees for the final time - maybe another 40 yds.
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Re: Yale via Denny Creek TH in Winter?

Postby Svenski Norski » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:32 pm

Thanks for all the beta-
I'm likin' this Avalanche gulch idea, now that I see the map. I guess the name threw me.
Saves a couple miles of icy road, too.
Got some unfinished business with Simmons Peak (12,050') and then I might head up.
Happy trails-
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Re: Yale via Denny Creek TH in Winter?

Postby Exiled Michigander » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:48 pm

Avalanche Gulch is avvy-savvy? I've never considered that route for winter. Don't some pretty massive cornices build up between Yale and Mascot? Anyway, that's an interesting winter route I hadn't heard of before.

You could also consider the east ridge. I always assumed that was the safest winter route on Yale, and it's a lot of fun.

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Re: Yale via Denny Creek TH in Winter?

Postby rijaca » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:17 pm

Exiled Michigander wrote:Avalanche Gulch is avvy-savvy? I've never considered that route for winter. Don't some pretty massive cornices build up between Yale and Mascot? Anyway, that's an interesting winter route I hadn't heard of before.

You could also consider the east ridge. I always assumed that was the safest winter route on Yale, and it's a lot of fun.


I think all the previous references to the Avalanche Gulch route actually mean the east ridge route using the Avalanche Gulch TH.
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Re: Yale via Denny Creek TH in Winter?

Postby Exiled Michigander » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:31 pm

rijaca wrote:
Exiled Michigander wrote:Avalanche Gulch is avvy-savvy? I've never considered that route for winter. Don't some pretty massive cornices build up between Yale and Mascot? Anyway, that's an interesting winter route I hadn't heard of before.

You could also consider the east ridge. I always assumed that was the safest winter route on Yale, and it's a lot of fun.


I think all the previous references to the Avalanche Gulch route actually mean the east ridge route using the Avalanche Gulch TH.


Ahhhh, that makes sense!

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