Mt. Yale  
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2015-06-08  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-06-08, By: Fr3ako
Info: Perfect weather, no wind at all. Only one up there. Dry 1.75 mile from trailhead then snow patches below treeline making difficult to follow the trail. Postholing was minimal, snow is hard most of the time. Snow coverage becoming more homogeneous above treeline, spikes or crampons recommended as it‘s very steep and snow is hard. Becoming softer on summit and on the lower part of the slope on my down. Upper part of slope was still like cement on my way down. Snowshoes unnecessary. Little postholing below tree line, snow is so soft that you could basically walk through the snow patches without being stuck. Soil is loose too if you can‘t get on the trail so be extra cautious, rocks were falling at each step, glad nobody was below. 
2015-06-01  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-06-02, By: Misi197
Info: Got a 5:30 a.m. start from Denny Creek. Picked up the first few patches of snow after the Brown‘s Pass turnoff. In the meadows after the log bridge crossing at 11,200 the trail becomes hard to follow. Some have snowshoed straight across the meadow and up Yale from this point. I followed the Delaney Gulch stream (take a hard left at the bridge and hug the stream) and was able to find the trail again after the 2nd meadow. It was a combination of snow and dirt with a few crotch deep post holes. The switchbacks are all snow free as you make the push to treeline. Once above the treeline it was snowshoes to the summit, passing a few snow slides, including a decent size one of about 70 yards. After a 10:00 summit the trip down was fine at first and became very mushy about half way between the summit and treeline. I glissaded the first part and then slogged the rest. Under the treeline it was pretty significant postholing and some wet, slushy conditions until back on the snowless path. I took spikes, but never put them on. 
2015-05-30  Route: East Ridge, Descending South to Mascot Peak
Posted On: 2015-06-07, By: WillRobnett
Info: Snow line started at 11,000 ft on route. If you climb the ridge parallel to the route (climbers left) then you‘ll avoid snow up to 11,600. We had firm snow once we got up to 12,000 feet on the east ridge with freezing overnight temps. Snow coverage continued to the summit from there with a few dry spots. Hard pack on angled slope was at the upper east ridge. Ice axe and helmet should be on everyone‘s gear checklist this time of year! Descending Yale to the south to get Mascot Peak was very low avy risk/consequence. Windward side of Mascot had coverage with rocks exposed. Leeward was corniced and loaded slope. We followed the east ridge of Mascot to get to treeline and connected with the East Ridge Route. We found significant wet slide potential at treeline in the afternoon when we were there unusually late, 2PM. 
2015-05-26  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-05-28, By: Zmacchi
Info: Climbed Brown‘s Pass to the West but didn‘t attempt to summit Yale. Trail mostly clear with intermittent, passable snow patches not requiring flotation. Easily accessible to Yale/Brown‘s Pass/Hartenstein Lake fork despite the muck. Flotation was absolutely necessary at about 11,000 feet on Brown‘s Pass trail. I‘d expect Yale is very similar at that altitude. 
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2015-05-12  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-05-18, By: WillRobnett
Info: Dry trail up to some where near 10,400. Boot pack ends at this area as tracks are quickly hidden. Deep snow covers the standard route quickly above the 10,400 area. Just below treeline on the this route you will find loaded and quickly melting slopes. Above 13,000 feet the standard route was heavily covered with snow. In the middle of the steep (as listed in the route description) was a foot+ of fresh snow loosely covering crust layer. Storms have continued since. 
2015-05-02  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-05-02, By: asarsam
Info: No snow for the first mile and about 1000 ft of gain. Then patches of thin snow till about 11,000 ft (used microspikes). Then used snowshoes to gain the ridge through ankle/shin deep snow. Switched back to spikes on the ridge (I would highly recommend crampons though) till the summit. 
2015-04-11  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-04-12, By: tree_beard
Info: Tried to skin up and ski down... not enough snow. Long slog on dirt up to saddle and into bowl. Finally skinned and traversed the bowl, ascending the final 1600‘ up two connecting couliours because the bowl on the skiers right (north) did not have enough snow to skin into and ascend bowl to ridge. Descent was sastrugi back down the couliours and required constant billygoat off and on with the skis or davenporting ski lines over fallen trees and across dirt/pine needles... and hoofin the final 2 miles on dirt back to the car. Paired with a friend who ascended/descended the east ridge using boots and beat us back to the car by almost 2 hrs, he used snow shoes on descent once in trees, but barely required them. We used skis, skins, crampons and shoes...too much weight and spent much of the day walking in ski boots or hiking shoes. as for now, my opinioN Is that this mountain exhibits very late spring or even summer conditions and it‘s a much easier day to just hike it via boots and snow shoes… it is supposed to get hammered with snow again, but until just go hike it and leave all the extra winter weight in the car. 
2015-04-09  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-04-09, By: Markwise
Info: We had a great hike on Yale today. The previous day‘s conditions reports were very helpful. We followed the forecast closely and it called for below freezing temps from 10k up to the summit before noon so we opted to not take snowshoes. Good decision. From the trailhead to at least treeline the "trench" is well compacted and no snowshoes were needed, even as we descended in slightly softer, and muddy, conditions at 1 and 2pm. We had heard of a braided snow trail in a meadow area and I have highlighted the "meadow" we observed with some trail braids on the map I uploaded. We veered left at the first split and nearly got lost until we noticed tracks heading uphill. That‘s what you want. On the ascent we followed the good trench to where it left treeline and then there was no clear trail. We mostly made our own trail and ascended to the bottom of the main gully below the summit ridge. Here we headed for the left side and eventually found the summer switchbacks. A great idea. Summit ridge was fun, look for the big cairns. Snow didn‘t really affect this area much. Lots of cool looking hoarfrost on the rocks. On the descent we did our best to follow the summer trail as much as possible. For the most part we did this. KEY NOTE: Around 11,900 as it starts to enter the trees the trail was buried under deep snow and tracks were sparse. As we began to traverse to the west thinking we were following the buried summer trail we encountered deep and unconsolidated snow. Postholed up to the waist for more time than we would like. I‘ve highlighted the entire messy area we encountered in yellow on my map. We wished we had descended the route we ascended. Once we gained the main trench below treeline it was pretty much smooth sailing on the way out. Beware the area highlighted in yellow on my map! Otherwise, it was an awesome day. 
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2015-04-05  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-04-05, By: Daniel Joder
Info: Thanks, annamigl for the intel! I read it just before leaving the house last night. Anyway...microspikes are the ticket. The trail through the forest is well packed and melting out in the lower reaches. The treeline area might be the most "fun" part as there are several paths to choose from. At the first major decision point, best to go right and it‘ll turn into a deeper trench and follow the summer trail up some switchbacks. In my case, I went left, went farther up the valley, and when I emerged from the trees, I ended up continuing left, then ascending the slope to the left of the drainage that is left of the summer trail. Then I angled up and right for a good while to reconnect with the switchbacks just below the summit ridge. It worked just fine--plenty of hard snow patches to walk across in your spikes, or soft tundra to aerate, and maybe a bit of scree and boulders. I was back at the trailhead by 9:35a.m. (watched moonset/sunrise at summit) so the snow was perfect for me. If you go later or temps rise, you might want flotation--especially in that treeline area...although it seems to be getting traffic and thus more packed (11 total on trail today). 
2015-04-04  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-04-05, By: Corey17
Info: Climbed Mt. Yale on Saturday, 4/4/15 via Colorado Trail and East Ridge. Trail was completely dry up the first hillside, and dry up to about 10,500 ft. From there to treeline, the snow coverage is solid, with only a few bare spots. Deep enough to make it a post-holing nightmare if the weather is warm. The trail/trench petered out around 11,000 ft, blazed our own trail up to the saddle. From the saddle up the ridge is a mix of exposed rocks, snowy boulder fields, and wind swept snow ridges. Traction is a must, ice axes made us feel safer, and snowshoes made going down less of that post-holing nightmare. 
2015-04-04  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-04-04, By: annamigl
Info: The trail is still pretty much covered with snow- spent the day route finding. Didn‘t use snowshoes as the snow was still solid and frozen from the previous nights cooler temperatures. A lot of snow still on the trail! Not going to be pretty here the next warm spell! The ridge up to the summit personally is in great condition. Do take note that there is a fork in the boot packed trail (in a meadow-type area). We took the right trail (footprints) and ended up heading straight up. It was a great challenge and actually quite fun. But stay left to avoid hiking straight up. 
2015-03-31  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-03-31, By: finnicky7
Info: Started around 730am and snow was still very firm, and only use micro-spikes to avoid slipping. Snow was so firm in never post holed until the first steep steps around 2mi. Unfortunately, the firm snow was too hard to in the first small couloir for my spikes. So, i stepped to side and found the main trail. The snow continued to hold all the way to the summit. Now the decent was a totally different story! It was a mess as soon as I glissaded of the top section, from that point on it was a post hole fest!!! The snow was SO soft my snowshoes/giant post hole makers were just as bad till I got off the last step down and into the second wood area, then it was fine, but lots of cursing ensued prior to that. My suggestion is keep and eye on WX, because if it stays warm it going to get uglier. 
2015-03-28  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-03-28, By: MountainHiker
Info: Snow was mostly firm in the morning. Did not take snow shoes. Did not use traction on the way up. The track braids in the steep area just below treeline. Some braids are sort of on the trail. The valley below this steep area has the deepest snow and some willows. We did some post holing in this area on the way down - just enough to be annoying. After all the braids come together the trench is better. The trail below this area is more consolidated. Closer to the trailhead the snow is patchy and not deep. Recommend poles. I had a Whippet, but didn‘t use my axe. There were a couple spots you might like an axe on a different day. Used MicroSpikes coming down the summit ridge. The track is more to the top of the ridge than the summer trail, so there‘s a couple exposed spots. Above treeline and below the summit ridge is a mix of bare areas and snow, but not deep. 
2015-03-21  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-03-22, By: BagginPeaks
Info: Bluebird day on Yale (Sat. 21st). Road was dry all the way to the TH and it looked like Cottonwood Pass was open now. Started at 8AM from the parking lot, trail through the forest was hard pack and even icy in spots, though did not use traction all day (but one group used crampons and one group used spikes). I felt good boot packing with my tekking poles even up the steep gully, once on the ridge I swapped one pole for my axe. Scrambling on the ridge with snow was fun and was definitely an exiting finish to gain the summit! Was worried about snow conditions in the afternoon, but I left the summit at noon and was back to my truck at 1:40PM and the snow was solid the entire trip down. Don‘t count on it if you wait longer than that though, maybe others who were there later in the afternoon can commit on stability. 
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2015-03-14  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-03-16, By: T2000Haynes
Info: Hopped up to Mt. Yale Saturday and was rewarded with some pretty incredible weather. The snow is softening a lot on the trail, I used my little spikes for about 2 miles before throwing on my snowshoes. Pretty nice trench all the way, above treeline was a bit challenging. I would guess by now, with nice and warm weather on Sunday, that the route would be more clear. Perhaps slightly muddy? Took about ~6 hrs and 30 min RT. Great day all in all. Olly-the-wonderpup contiues to add to his legacy. 
2015-02-07  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-02-09, By: jwgrosser
Info: There was a great bootpack all the way through the trees. After leaving the trees and starting up the slope, snow has covered a short section of the standard route/trail. Instead of fighting the sugar snow, everyone was electing to head up a steeper, but less snow covered, slope and "cut the corner" of the route. This section is right about treeline. Enough people followed my tracks later in the day that there is a trench at the moment. After the short detour the trail is easy to pick back up and is largely clear of snow to the top. There are some small sections of snow, but they are easily avoided or managed without much trouble. I put on snowshoes for the short section around treeline mentioned above but even they were not much help in that snow. Traction of sorts recommended for most of the route (I had microspikes and they worked perfect). The spikes helped with traction on the rock/ice/snow mix up top and helped navigate some of the ice forming in the bootpack from recent melt/freeze cycles. Wind was the major obstacle on Saturday but was still manageable. All in all a beautiful day in the mountains! 
2015-01-29  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2015-01-29, By: blindmule
Info: Good boot track from the Denny Creek TH all the way to treeline. Above treeline you can dodge most snowcover if you want to. Some of the windblown snowpatches up higher (just below the saddle) are super hard packed but climbable in microspikes. Snowshoes not taken, or needed. Wore microspikes from the TH all the way to the summit with the exception of about 700‘ between 12,500 and 13,200‘. The most difficult sections were going up the headwall to the saddle (the switchback trail on this upper section comes and goes with snowcover). and two steep sections that were below treeline. 
2015-01-25  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-01-26, By: highplaces
Info: Well consolidated track from the TH to the ridge. I wore microspikes car to car. Snowshoes would have been reasonable up to the ridge, no need for them beyond that. Mix of bare ground and snow from ridge to summit. 
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2015-01-18  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-01-23, By: Hoocharoni
Info: Snowshoed up to the base of the East Ridge (~11,800) with no issues. Whoever came before us (the 1/9 crew) did all the hard work of breaking trail. Their trench was filled in but we had a nice ice hard surface to walk across the most part. Actually didn‘t even need snowshoes until about half way up. If you camp right in the clearing there was enough tree protection that our tents took on little to nothing of what sounded like brutal wind speeds all night. The ridge proper is so wind blown it isn‘t holding much snow right now except near the top. I left my snowshoes at camp, didn‘t need them for any section higher up. Battled wind speeds of 20-40 mph depending on the section of the ridge, but that was expected. So far seems like a mild winter in that neck of the woods. 
2015-01-09  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-01-10, By: seano732
Info: We climbed the East Ridge of Mt. Yale on Friday, January 9th. We left Albuquerque on Thursday morning and got to the Avalanche Gulch TH around noon. It took us 4 1/2 hrs to get to the saddle @ around 11,700 ft. We laid a good trench all the way, but got slightly off route towards the end and wandered around probably more than necessary. There is one funky section right after the switchbacks, where the trail makes a hard turn to the west, where you will definitely want traction, as you‘re traversing a steep, frozen snow drift with fall potential. Left high camp at 0630, summited at 1030, back to camp at 1330, packed up and back to the truck at 1700. The ridge itself is kind of a choose your own adventure, with the south side holding wind blasted snow, and the north side being loose, sometime snow covered talus (generally). Be extra cautious on the descent, as a fall pretty much anywhere on the ridge proper would be no bueno. Winds were absolutely brutal above 13K..... Happy to answer any questions anyone might have. Be safe. Peace. 
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