Mt. Yale  
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2017-03-12  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2017-03-12, By: Stratosfearsome
Info: Denny Creek at 9,900 is a breeze to get to for any vehicle. Solid trench in place to tree-line. Brought snow-shoes but never put them on. (I'm not a fan, but it's training weight, right?) Quite a bit of snow up above the trees. Winds 30mph above 13k, and 40+ above 13,600ft. Bulletproof snow field up to the ridge from 13,500ish to 14k. Plan accordingly. Cloudy and low visibility but only a minimal dusting of new snow. Fun but for the wind. 
2017-02-17  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2017-02-18, By: picknick46
Info: Great day overall. Lower section to mile 1.25 has a nicely established snow trail packed down by snowshoes and x country skiers. From this mile marker there is snowshoe tracks to treeline from myself and @rwschaffer (btw thanks for your post @rwschaffer , it gave me some good reference points) from a couple days before me. Basically anytime there is a fork stay on the right and it will take you to treeline through the forest. Strongly recommend snowshoes and poles for lower sections to mid slope. Once you get to treeline then you have choices to make on how to get to the ridge. The trail is unrecognizable due to snow coverage. I get the impression the normal trail is at the northwest end of the ridge. I made my own trail on the snow to the ridge but it was a LOT of work in the talus and boulders and took me a lot longer than I thought it would through this section. I was exhausted by the time I got over the false peaks and summited Mt Yale but the views were outstanding! Great day overall but the mountain made me work for it 😀 
2017-02-15  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2017-02-16, By: RWSchaffer
Info: I found excellent trench to the turnoff for the Mount Yale trail; the Mount Yale trail was untracked. My tracks generally follow the Mount Yale trail for about a half a mile, at which point I crossed the creek and cruised deep snow in largely open terrain on the east side of the creek. This took me to upper Delaney Gulch, well above the usual summer trail. From here I did an ascending traverse around Point 13605, crossing mostly low-angled slopes with thin coverage on my way to the ridge. I descended the slopes that host the summer trail. Snow here is thicker and steeper. With the exception of one large cairn, all evidence of the summer trail above timberline has been obliterated. Ordinarily, one would expect to see sections of trail on wind-swept slopes, but I saw nothing, leading me at times to wonder if I was on the proper ridge. This makes the summit ridge a time consuming challenge as it is buried under a thick layer of soft snow. The absence of trail lead me to stick to the ridge crest and its large snow-covered rocks. I do not envy anyone who tackles the East Ridge in current conditions. Floatation was mandatory. Traction was useful in only a few places, and there crampons would be the equipment of choice; the south-facing slopes just below the ridge consist of a thin layer of fresh snow over a slick, bulletproof base. Having only spikes, I made do with steps chopped with my ice axe. 
2017-02-11  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2017-02-13, By: TheItinerantTwo
Info: Road all clear to avalanche gulch TH. Parking lot plowed. Broke trail snowshoeing up to tree line at the ridge where it turns left. Switched to crampons along ridge. Snow compact and in great condition on ridge. Storm rolled in with snow and hi wind so we turned back at 13,300 ft. Glad we did since weather continued to worsen. Overall, long day, no summit but great adventure. 
2016-12-30  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-12-31, By: jhalstead99
Info: County Rd 306 totally dry and good to go for 2WD vehicles. Sheriff's office says it's plowed to Denny Creek TH. Left Avalanche TH at 4am. Started on spikes and switched to shoes when I hit powder, following a very faint, ghostly track. Lost it sometime before sunrise and just stayed on a northern heading, breaking trail on a sort of wonky but fun route up the valley rim to the East Ridge just west of the saddle where the summer route comes out. However, the route finding and trail breaking took me 5 hours to gain the ridge, and wore me out pretty good which caught up to me later. Not much snow or on the ridge. I used microspikes all the way (I don't mind beating them up on the rocks but I saw people in just boots). Some big wind gusts made the ascent difficult (glad I had full face coverage) but it calmed down before I topped out at 1:15pm, totally gassed. A quick descent, following the summer route this time, and I was back at the TH just after a pretty sunset. This kicked my butt. That ridge just seems to go on and on and is pretty unforgiving. Not a route for the faint of heart or beginners, but a great climb! 
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2016-12-25  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-12-27, By: Eagle Eye
Info: Thank you Eli. I also attempted Mt Yale via the East Ridge route, on Dec 25th. On the 24th I hiked a short distance up to see how it looked. It snowed several inches during the night. On the 25th I started about 4 am w/ micro spikes, switched to snowshoes about halfway & stopped just short of the ridge in the big Bristlecone Pine area. The wind really picked up as the day went on. Eli's tracks from the 23rd were filling in and disappearing as I went up, and in many places my early morning ascent tracks were barely visible descending. These tracks are right on the summer trail from start to stop. 
2016-12-23  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-12-23, By: Eli Boardman
Info: Started up the trail a little after 4:00 a.m. and followed a rough snowshoe track to 10,600 feet. After that, I broke trail through 3+ feet of virgin snow to the base of the east ridge at 12,000 feet. (2+ feet of older snow that was still pretty loose and 1 foot of powder from last night.) Endless Sawatch sugar, and very slow going. I turned around at the ridge (reached it about 9:00 a.m.) because the upper mountain was enveloped in a blizzard at the time. Conditions cleared a little as I hiked back out, so I now regret not continuing (after all, I did have plenty of gear for it, I just felt like the effort would be wasted if there weren't any views). Whoever goes up there next has a nice snowshoe trench to treeline. If you follow my tracks the whole way, you'll end up one bump over from the Colorado Trail pass, so it might be best to stay a little left of my track for the last quarter mile. 
2016-11-19  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-20, By: lzr0009
Info: Snow is present, but it's either an inch or two deep, or its a short enough stretch that the 4-5 inches don't matter. Did not require traction, and there was no snow along the ridge to the summit. 
2016-11-19  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-19, By: MC.Ikema
Info: A few sections of ankle deep snow. Traction was taken but not used. 
2016-11-16  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-16, By: Ptglhs
Info: Route is in good condition. There is almost no snow at all. There were a couple of slick spots above 14,000ft but no traction was required. 
2016-11-10  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-10, By: grahampa
Info: beautiful day for hiking. trail was completely dry until west ridge at 13,900 ft. traction was unnecessary. 9/10 times would recommend this hike to friends, 10/10 would recommend for other hikers before the snow flies! enjoy it while you can! 
2016-11-06  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-09, By: Maverick6981
Info: Low winds (10 mph and under) all day. No snow until we reached the saddle. Not sure if it was a necessity but we used microspikes as a precaution. Clouds began rolling in halfway up the switchbacks making. We were not able to see anything on the summit due to the clouds but it was still a great day. Would recommend you bring traction at least. 
2016-11-05  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-05, By: LucrativeClimber
Info: Today there was about 2-3 inches of snowfall above 12,000 feet on Mt. Yale. Normal but warmer gear was fine. Microspikes were not needed to scramble on the summit ridge from the saddle but good traction was necessary. The ridge probably had about 3-4 inches of solid snow in areas making it slippery but didn't cause an issue if you were careful. Good conditions over the next couple days will probably melt some of this snow. All in all, Mount Yale was in good shape even after today's snow storm. 
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2016-10-14  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-10-15, By: gswalden
Info: Some snow on the switchbacks above treeline but not enough that we needed microspikes for the ascent or descent. 
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2016-09-25  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-09-26, By: jfm3
Info: The weather was perfect today. No wind and no clouds from early in the morning until I was off the mountain around 3 pm. There was some snow lingering on the upper switchbacks from ~13,600 to 13,900 feet. The final 300 feet up the blocky talus section was in and out of snow. Some areas, especially those in the shade, had about 1/2 an inch of snow or frost on the rock. Other areas were in the sun and dry. Surrounding Sawatch peaks looked to be dry as well, especially the Horn Fork & Missouri Gulch mountains. Antero and Princeton had some snow on the north-facing slopes. All in all a great fall day! 
2016-09-04  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-09-06, By: Patrick R
Info: Clear and dry all the way. No snow patches left anywhere in this area. Temp was just above freezing at summit, plus wind chill. overnight temps near trailhead were very mild. Nearly all wildflowers are gone. Aspens are just barely beginning to turn. 
2016-09-04  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-09-06, By: pcj127
Info: Ascent from Avalanche Gulch, started a bit later than desired ~0545. Trail in good condition, no snow throughout. Extra layers at the saddle, but good weather. Spectacular route with many pikas, marmots, and even some ptarmigans. 10+hrs but this was our first 14er. 
2016-08-29  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-08-31, By: peter14er
Info: Beautiful hike, started at 5:10AM summited at 10:00, back to trailhead at 2:00. Light snow for last 1,000 feet. Unfortunately only 50 yards of visibility up there. Great trail.... 
2016-08-24  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-08-24, By: vusteph
Info: Snowy up top. There was a path along the ridge but it might be gone because it was snowing when I left the summit. 
2016-07-09  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-07-10, By: Cory Reynolds
Info: Started at 5:40, summit at 10:00, back to the parking lot by 1:50. Very clear day with a few nonthreatening scattered clouds towards the afternoon. Fairly windy and chilly on the ridge, I needed to layer up for it. The summit was beautiful, allowing me to remove layers. Encountered no snow along the way so it was easy hiking. The creek crossings were easily manageable as the water level wasn't too high. It was warm and fairly humid getting back into the pines in the afternoon. The columbines were in bloom as well as a plethora of other wildflowers. Now's a great time to do some photography. 

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