Peak(s):  Mt. Yale  -  14,196 feet
Date Posted:  05/29/2011
Modified:  06/02/2011
Date Climbed:   05/28/2011
Author:  jmcgirr47
 Slogging up Yale - standard route  

Long day on Yale. 11 hours up & back... The trail and mountain are doable - just expect a slog. (at least 5 folks summitted this day)

Lesson 1 - if post holing with boots is not fun, post holing with snow shoes is even less fun!
Lesson 2 - if there is snow, go early and go cold.

Weather - very good. Partly cloudy, but strong wind from west. (No precip all day!)
Left trailhead at 7pm - to the summit at 1:30 - back to car at 6pm. (Granted we are slow (and good be in better shape!), but still - it was tough.)

Thick and mushy snow and combined with windy condition.

From trail head - the trail was dry (for those planning to, there's lots of room to camp.) We put on snow shoes well before the creek crossing, and since we had them it that was probably too late. (Two other hikers were snowshoe-less, so it's not necessary.)

Soon before Tree Line, we hiked / scrambled up a smaller hill which was very tough, but harbinger of things to come. Out of tree line we got hit with mighty wind - fortunately was at our backs. From there, searching for a trail or way to the top, we followed tracks in snow that went right.

We came very close to turning around below "the grassy shoulder" - we had had a tough hike to that point, and couldn't see summitt yet - but chose one more push, straight up....ended up persevering along same path - straight up. Twas a balance of snow, bouldering, and scree. Reaching the ridge was a relief! Wierldy, the wind died down at the summit.

The descent took 4 hours. Glissading was tough due to mushy snow. We veere - too far to the right of the tracks / trail which was tough to correct - be sure to stay on your line!

All in all - a nice mountain, but a tough day to hike it.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Michael York

05/30/2011 01:28
on making the summit! pix?! will be heading up yale in a week or two, thanks for the info.


05/30/2011 04:55
I had the same experience last week. Snow was mashed potatoes nearly the whole way. Congrats on your summit. I'm sure it required much patience and dedication.


If Nothing Else...
05/30/2011 16:35
I'm glad you guys broke trail for us. :-) We're heading up there this coming weekend. We were planning to start not later than 6 am, which sounds like it's a good idea!

Greatly appreciate all the good Beta, and congrats on making it up a tough climb. I've been in your (snow) shoes before!


scouting report
05/30/2011 18:23
Thanks for the scouting report. Was going to do it 5/29, but plans changed. Hope to do it next weekend. Would you suggest no on the snowshoes and just bring microspikes?

Congrats on making it to the top.


snowshoes vs microspikes
05/30/2011 18:37
I'd suggest both - my hiking partner wore microspikes for the summit, while i had just hiking boots. We were both fine. I'd still take snowshoes... if it's colder weather (harder snow) I think you'll be great w/them.

good luck.


good job
05/31/2011 00:34
I did it on 5/29 going down was like desending 2500 feet in sugar

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