Peak(s):  Mt. Yale  -  14,196 feet
Date Posted:  07/24/2006
Date Climbed:   07/23/2006
Author:  mwhitelock

 Mt. Yale!!  

Hi All:

I‘m new and this is my first report, so bare with me! I hiked Mt. Yale yesterday. Truthfully I got a later start than I had hoped for,, but ocming from Gunnison, I decided to take Cottonwood pass from Taylor resevoir and Almont.

I got started on the trail at around 10:00am, which had me fearful I would get into thunderstorm activity by the time I made summit. I am a certified wx observer by the NWS, but that doesn‘t really mean much! Whenever I hike though, I always pay attention to the weather, because up there it can change in 15 minutes quite literally, and being above timberline during lightning activity, as we have seen in the past week (4-5 hikers struck), is not a place you want to be.

Mt. Yale, the first 1.25 to the trailhead or turn off was quite enjoyable. Lots of activity for a Sunday, including horseback riders. I wish I had brought bug spray! but as log as you keep moving they‘ll leave you alone!

After the turn off things reman pleasant for about a mile, and then the ascent begins. Its a great hike, but there are a few sections that are kinda steep. After timberline, the trail continues in such manner, but the last 1000 or so feet up to the summit, is not a place you want to get caught in a thunderstorm or lightning, going up and down is rather limited by the terrain, and it‘s hard to move fast safely if you had to. The view from the summit, though makes this hike absolutely worth it. Clearly you can see many of the other collegiates, and to the East, Buena Vista below! I would recommend a jacket, I saw many without, and winds above timberline cooled things down significantly!

I hiked Mt. Shavano last weekend, and even though this one isn‘t as long (distance) wise, it felt a little more intense on the actual ascent, perhaps though it was my rate of climb. I wanted to get up before weather became an issue so I kind of had it wide open. It took me just over 2 1/2 hours to make it from my truck to the summit, but I heard many others proud that they made it in just under four hours! It‘s a great hike!

Anyhow thats my take on it.


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