Peak(s):  Mt. Yale  -  14,196 feet
Date Posted:  05/05/2012
Date Climbed:   05/04/2012
Author:  grey_wulff1
 Yale - East Ridge  

My first trip official trip report so here goes:

Climbed Yale from East Ridge with one other person. Decided to do it in a loop and descend Denny Creek Trail. Parked a vehicle at that DCTH and started up the Avalanche Trail at 6:30 a.m. The trail was snow free until nearing the top in the trees, where the Colorado Trail starts descending to the north. Many snow drifts in that fairly large clearing at the top. When you reach that clearing take a 90 degree left through trees and shortly you break out of the trees and can see the ridge before you. There is a faint trail for much of the way with a good amount of scrambling in other places but still the way to the summit is obvious.

The is a great route as there are many cliffs and rock formations to navigate around. We went up and over some of them and some we skirted around. You could increase the climbing level to class 3 if you decide to climb over the rock formations. There was really only one loose area which wasn't overly steep and with care we picked our way from just below one of the cliffs on the left side, back up to the ridge. It is obvious what side to go around when approaching any of these rock cliffs. Most of the time to the left is best but a couple of them, the right side is better, again its obvious. Be prepared for false summit upon false summit.

There were several snow fields on the ridge with mainly crunchy snow with little ice. Microspikes were awesome and recommended for those areas. We made the summit at 11 a.m. with not another person in sight and spent around 45 minutes on top. The wind was actually more gusty on the way up, and the wind wasn't bad on the summit. Sunny and not a cloud in the sky.

We started down the Denny Creek trail side and I would warn anyone doing the loop as we did to walk the ridge all the way down to meet the DCT. We made the mistake of following what looked like a trail and dropped off of the left/south side of Yale and quickly found ourselves in a steep and VERY loose gully. My partner started down the loose gully carefully.I ended up climbing straight back up to the ridge and walking it down like we should have initially and had no problems. I met my partner halfway down the ridge on the trail as she was able to exit the gully and traverse to the right over to me.

The Denny Creek trail was mostly free of snow until treeline, with still alot of snow entering trees. We lost the trail several times, while postholing through large drifts up to our thighs. This continued for quite awhile until down off the initial hillside. We made it back to vehicle at 2:45 p.m. and would have been around 2 p.m. if not for losing trail issues. This was a good climb and I would recommend ascending the East Ridge. It is longer but in my opinion it's a much better climb than from the Denny Creek. Doing it in a loop was enjoyable.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

What not to do.
05/05/2012 15:06
Image #9 shows area NOT to descend below summit. This is the part where we got off trail and exited summit too early. Steep, loose and sketchy. Photo taken from Denny Creek Trail.


05/05/2012 15:56
Great first trip report!

It looks amazing out there. I've been DYING to go, but I'm a broke college student, so I'm waiting for snowless conditions.

Great pictures, great report, and a great time spent in the mountains. Sounds successful to me


Good job!
05/05/2012 19:40
Yeah, the East route is the best way since the sun is to your back, and doing a loop is always nice! It's a fun ridge! Nice report!


well done
05/06/2012 03:28
wonderful pictures. gets me excited about the summer season.

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