Peak:  Mt. Yale (14er)
 Route:  Southwest Slopes
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  LizWeiss
 Date of Info:  05/04/2013
 Date Posted:  05/05/2013

It looks like the area wasn‘t really affected by the snow last week. The trail from Denny Creek is pretty packed down and there isn‘t too much snow for the first 1.5 miles to the split for Brown‘s Pass. We ditched our snowshoes after the split, which wasn‘t the smartest decision as the snow was ALOT softer on the way down! We lost the actual trail at about 2 miles in (right after you hike through the meadowy areas), but followed the path from previous hikers last week (thank you very much!) We pretty much climbed straight up the side of the hill until we hit treeline. Microspikes were not really needed and the snow was hard enough for us not to posthole on the way up. The snow was pretty patchy after treeline, so we were actually able to follow the trail for awhile, but you could totally just hike through the snow. As we approached the ridge to the summit we ran into the only other hiker on the mountain all day, and he told us to stay to the right of the ridge, which was super helpful as this was our first time on Yale. There is a decent amount of snow on the final ridge, but we found our way through the rocks pretty easily and made it to the summit as it started snowing. The way down was a blast as we were able to butt-slide over the patches of snow we had hiked up, the sun came out and it warmed up alot! (typical Colorado high country weather) On the way down the snow was alot softer than it was a few hours ago, and we cursed ourselves for leaving our snowshoes so close to the trailhead as we were postholing in some hip deep snow. Overall it was a long and incredibly fun day on the mountain. I hope our tracks will help others out who decide to hike Yale in the upcoming week! Unless it snows again......

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

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