Peak:  Mt. Yale (14er)
 Route:  Southwest Slopes
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  fakejox
 Date of Info:  01/29/2013
 Date Posted:  01/30/2013

Road slippery, but clear all the way to Denny Creek trailhead. Recommend 4WD. Broke trail to Hartenstein Lake/Yale fork in no more than 10 in of snow. After fork, we crossed two creeks and entered a clearing: in this clearing we were breaking through knee to thigh deep powder. We veered left up Delaney Gulch before beginning our ascent up the southwest slopes of Yale. At about 11,800' (still below treeline), we encountered two open areas with high avalanche risk. For the first, we hugged the trees and cautiously broke through thigh deep powder on a slope that probably maxed out at 40 degrees. The second slope turned us around. The snow was waist deep and the grade steepened. Due to the unstable base layer underneath the recent accumulation, we determined it was not worth the risk. If you see our trench, I would recommend looking for a route up to timberline to the south of ours. To the south, there was a bit of a gully with good tree coverage, so I think you might have more luck gaining treeline from there. (Note: image 1 is a picture of the clearing before Delaney Gulch. image 2 is a picture of the first sketch slope. images 3 and 4 are pictures of the second slope that turned us back.

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3Image #4

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