Peak(s):  Mt. Yale  -  14,196 feet
Date Posted:  08/10/2012
Date Climbed:   08/01/2012
Author:  for the love of
 Mt. Yale- Southwest Slope  

What a wonderful trip! We began by camping the night before at a campsite located about 10 minutes to the trail head. Great place to stay for $18 a night with clean bathrooms and plenty of room per campground. That night it rained a little, but luckily, it was our only rain incident. We woke up around 4:30am and started hiking probably around 5:30 after packing up our campsite and driving to the trail. Although it had been stormy a few days before, we didn't run into any unpleasant weather (such as icy wind like we faced on Quandary the week before). This was my first time doing this hike, and I really enjoyed the forested area in the beginning. It was pretty steep at parts but nothing unbearable at all. As we past treeline, I felt like I was entering some enchanted land of mountains! They surrounded us, and the trail was wind open so we could enjoy the view to the top. The ascent becomes more vertical and then there is an opening break than a boulder field to the top. I would recommend gloves since the rock is cold and it helps for grip. The top is stunning: Harvard, Columbia, Huron Peaks and other peaks can be seen from the summit. As we descended, I realized how vertical the trail actually is. It was rather hard on my knees but taking it a little slower helps. Also, I noticed Hartenstein Lake in the trees on the west side and Kroenke Lake on the north side. Around 11:30 we were back at are car, so it took us around 6 hours round trip. While we drove back to town to wash up and get some food we saw the storm clouds rolling in; we were glad to have finished just in time.

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