Peak:  Mt. Yale (14er)
 Route:  Southwest Slopes
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  shearmodulus
 Date of Info:  01/12/2013
 Date Posted:  01/13/2013

Cold, cold, cold!

The trailhead temps said "-10" when I started at 5:45. I think it dropped considerably sometime around 7:30 because I went from warm and toasty in gloves and a softshell jacket to "holy crap, where's my hardshell and mittens??" The cold actually stopped me in my tracks, it was that big of a switch. It was a balmy -6 when I made it back around 5:30 that evening.

Oh, and the trail is hardpacked snow along 90% of the below tree level portions of the trail. I followed the trench, but it deviated before making the jump to 12,000 feet and I ended up climbing a steep hillside to try to get some elevation and try to locate the trail again.

Above 12,000 it's windblown, and still passable with spikes in most places. There are a few troughs in the terrain that have collected waist deep snow, but these can be avoided. Summit was mostly windblown or clear. No issues on the final scramble.

Note - I'm not sure where the trail disappeared off to around 12,000 feet. The route that I took coming back trying to follow the official route (and then failing at that, miserably) went through some heinously deep powder, and (since I'm a dork) I hadn't adjusted my MSR snowshoe bindings to account for my Spantiks' increased size and I ended up sucking it up postholing, or "wading through snow" trying to find the trail coming back into the Denny's Creek valley.

I would post pictures but it was so cold my camera didn't want to work properly. Spantiks worked beautifully. In my blood-sugar deprived mind, I came up with the word for them: "Span-tastic." :-p

 Comments or Questions

01/13/2013 21:52
For those interested in my poor route-finding skills:

And to the two guys who followed me down - sorry!

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