Click to Expand
|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-01-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: There is a solid trench in from the previous weekend all the way to the ridge, making this a much easier day. We did not put on snowshoes until just below the ridge. The ridge itself can be kept at class 2+ with optional scrambling opportunities and was drier than expected. Microspikes/crampons are overkill for most people right now. This route is typically a huge day in winter with 5K‘ of vertical, but it is very reasonable right now. Message me if interested in pics.
|2013-12-28||Route: East Ridge
Info: Conditions update for Denny Creek route the day before tipped the scale for Avalanche Gulch route for our attempt. Were very pleased to discover a well established trench to the saddle, which our sizable group greatly enhanced. Many thanks to Jim/Yikes and whoever came before us for establishing a trench. Mellow terrain to the saddle, no snow instabilities encountered en route. Started late, departed TH @8 am, but made great time. The ridge is long, with many false summits. The group of three (out of about 10) ended up summitting for RT of 9.5 hrs. Go get it!
|2013-12-27||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Attempted Mt Yale from Denny Creek Today. Road was open to Denny Creek (getting lots on snowmobile use beyond the Denny Creek TH). Had called Chaffee County Sheriff dispatch to confirm the road was open to Denny Creek. Beautiful day just no joy as far as the summit. My son and I slept in our 4Runner and stared at 7:30AM (yeah I know it was late). Solid snowshoe trail to "Mt Yale->" signage. Beyond that there was a old evidence of snowshoe travel to ~11,200 ft. Beyond that we encountered thigh deep snowshoeing on steep terrain (no fun). Turned around at 11,600 ft when we saw no end to the misery and heard two close succession "whomping" indications while still well within in the trees. My suggestions: 1) use skis 2) start earlier 3) have more than two to break trail All in all, a truly wonderful day to be in the mountains. Colordaomojo
|2013-11-19||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Decided to give Yale (SW Slopes) a try between storms. They definitely got 12-18" from the storm of 11/16. Wave clouds in the AM correctly indicated that it would be windy above tree line. Nice snowshoe trench to 10,700. Two or three person boot pack to 11,300‘ and just my lonely single footprints to treeline. Avalanche danger below treeline seemed low due to warm temps and wet snowpack. Windy and scoured above treeline and no avalanche danger at all to the peak if you stay near standard route. Screaming winds along the summit ridge. Some light snow showers later in the day. Carried but didn‘t use flotation, microspikes, or ax.
|2013-11-09||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Trail is in great condition. There have been enough people hiking this trail since the last report that there is a clear and definite trail to follow the entire way. Snow is not deep in any area, but microspikes will definitely make this hike more enjoyable. Conditions were great, couldn‘t have asked for a better day! Much of the trail in the trees looked like photo 1. It does get a little thicker by maybe 2 inches more towards the treeline. Photo 2 is midway up between the treeline and the summit looking towards the Three Apostles Photo 3 is looking up towards the summit of Mount Yale Photo 4 is on the summit looking towards the direction i came from. The rocky area to the summit is light on snow and easy to do.
|2013-11-07||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Trail is in good shape and easily followable up to ~11,600‘. From there the trail gets confusing and hard to find. About ~100‘ after the fallen tree (easily recognizable) look for steps that are coming down from the mountain on the right side of the trail. We went straight (like everyone else) and lost the trail. We came down the mountain on the trail, hence the down mountain foot prints showing you the real trail. We just went straight up until we hit the trail using GPS. Above 11,600‘ you will want micro spikes. The snow is not deep, but it is slippery. Most of the snow was melting today. Once above 12,000‘, the trail is easily discernible. Snow shoes not required.
|2013-10-26||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Nearly summer conditions with a dusting of snow. A bit of fresh snow on summit slopes and ridge, but it is tracked and packed. Doable in trail runners and short gaiters. Microspikes nice near treeline and summit ridge. Fast flowing, steripen‘able water 2.5 miles in from TH... could go really light.
|2013-10-24||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: 11,500 to tree line the melting snow was slick. Maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 mile in length requires traction.
|2013-10-13||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: The trail was excellent and easy to follow for the first two miles, with little to no snow until after the stream crossings. There was snow covering the trail at a crucial juncture between 11,200 -11,300. For someone not familiar with this trail, this could be problematic. The route description states: "Shortly after some small meadows, the trail climbs steeply up a hillside. From 11,300‘ to 11,900‘, hike north and east through the forest on a great trail." At this point, the trail disappeared into snow. When you are in the clearing, with a wide gully in front of you, and woods behind and to your right, the trail dips down to your right to cross the gully at its narrowest section, before the gully heads out of the trees. If there is snow covering, take great care here - do not, as we and several other groups did - continue up the gully and/or the rock field. The route description fails to mention that the trail turns sharply right and briefly downhill to cross the gully before it starts to climb steeply up the hillside. At this point, the trees are still thick and snow is likely to stick around. Once you start the steep climb the trail is very good and easy to follow, even with the snow.
|2013-10-05||Route: East Ridge
Info: First time summiting Yale from this TH! There was a very light dusting of snow on the CO trail from Avalanche TH up to 11,900 feet (opening in the trail where you turn left and start to head up the ridge to Mt. Yale). The snow got a bit deeper at the split but we were able to follow footprints from other hikers towards the ridge. Not too much snow on the first part of the ridge but as we got farther along the ridge the snow got deeper. It was pretty difficult to follow the correct/safest route to the summit due to the snow covered cairns. After a decent amount of time spent route finding and figuring out which boulders and rocks would not slide out from beneath us, we made it to the top! We descended via Denny Creek trail since we felt it unsafe to descend on such loose terrain, and we hitched a ride back to Avalanche TH. Not much snow on the Denny Creek side, at least not enough to loose the trail or need traction of any kind. I think that if the temperatures remain warm and it doesn‘t snow again any time soon the snow on each side would be non-existent. As for the snow on the East Ridge, I‘m not too sure...Great and exciting day on the east ridge!
|2013-09-29||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Climbed the standard route today from Denny Creek. The snow is mostly all gone, there are a few patches around 13,000 ft. but the trail is in great shape! Looks like a lot of the surrounding peaks have more snow than Yale. Very windy up there today, probably gusting to 40 or 45 mph.
|2013-07-03||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Clear sky, no snow and water flowing down the creek... It was a great day!
|2013-06-18||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Trail is dry all the way up the Southwest Slopes route! The very little snow we did find was easy to go around, and we never needed our spikes. Watch your decent though, lots of loose gravel below treeline makes it easy to slip.
|2013-06-12||Route: East Ridge
Info: We did the east ridge route. No snow most of the way. There was little snow at the "flat spot" at 13,500 but easily crossed. Pay attention to follow the carins, we got off route when we tried second guess them.
|2013-06-02||Route: East Ridge
Info: Climbed Yale via the East Ridge, descended the SW ridge. Route up to the east ridge was entirely clear of snow, and though the ridge itself is still holding some snow, you can get around it by scrambling over some of the rocky points, rather than trying to skirt around them. Had to cross snow a handful of times, and it was generally solid enough to walk on. The summit is completely covered in snow. Encountered a lot more snow descending the SW ridge, particularly below treeline. It was pretty well boot-packed, but still soft enough by the afternoon that there was more postholing than we were hoping for a June hike.
|2013-05-31||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Was up on Yale today via SW ridge. Trail is clear through the trees up until around 10,800. Then sporadic snow across the trail in places, but its avoidable. Just below treeline the snow is much more considerable, and it‘s easy to lose the trail from that point on. Snow still present pretty much the whole way up to the ridge. The ridge up to the summit is also still pretty snowy and icy in places, and the summit still holding snow. Took snow shoes and microspikes, but the snow was crunchy enough to kick steps with just boots. Thought about the microspikes, but didn‘t use them. Image1 - from treeline to ridge conditions. Image 2 - ridge top toward summit. Image 3 - in the trees nearing treeline (I think that‘s the crossing at 11,200).
|2013-05-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: Got Yale via the east ridge yesterday. We brought snow shoes but they weren‘t necessary, we never used them. Generally the snow was hard enough to walk on, or not too deep if you sunk ( although I did get turtled once) and could be avoided entirely if you so desired. All and all it was a beautiful day and the peak conditions were close to summer.
|2013-05-04||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: It looks like the area wasn‘t really affected by the snow last week. The trail from Denny Creek is pretty packed down and there isn‘t too much snow for the first 1.5 miles to the split for Brown‘s Pass. We ditched our snowshoes after the split, which wasn‘t the smartest decision as the snow was ALOT softer on the way down! We lost the actual trail at about 2 miles in (right after you hike through the meadowy areas), but followed the path from previous hikers last week (thank you very much!) We pretty much climbed straight up the side of the hill until we hit treeline. Microspikes were not really needed and the snow was hard enough for us not to posthole on the way up. The snow was pretty patchy after treeline, so we were actually able to follow the trail for awhile, but you could totally just hike through the snow. As we approached the ridge to the summit we ran into the only other hiker on the mountain all day, and he told us to stay to the right of the ridge, which was super helpful as this was our first time on Yale. There is a decent amount of snow on the final ridge, but we found our way through the rocks pretty easily and made it to the summit as it started snowing. The way down was a blast as we were able to butt-slide over the patches of snow we had hiked up, the sun came out and it warmed up alot! (typical Colorado high country weather) On the way down the snow was alot softer than it was a few hours ago, and we cursed ourselves for leaving our snowshoes so close to the trailhead as we were postholing in some hip deep snow. Overall it was a long and incredibly fun day on the mountain. I hope our tracks will help others out who decide to hike Yale in the upcoming week! Unless it snows again......
|2013-04-27||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Today Stereo311, climbnowworklater, and I summited Mount Yale via the Southwest Slopes. It was a warm, clear, calm day. The trail is well packed and not very deep below tree line. Two of use used microspikes and one of us used crampons with no difficulty. climbnowworklater put on his snowshoes for a short length of the mostly flat section of the trek back to the trailhead as things were getting a bit slushy by that time, but I think we‘d all agree snow shoes weren‘t necessary to complete the hike, and neither I nor Stereo311 ever put ours on. The trench below tree line ascends a very steep slope just as you come out of the trees (see images) that would be an avy concern if the snowpack didn‘t look right, but things seemed safe today. None of us inspected the snowpack with a shovel or any special equipment/knowledge, but I can say that on the way up boot pack was about 8 inches deep and the pack felt crunchy and sturdy/stable. On the way down things started to get slushy in the bootpack, but for the most part the pack still seemed uniform and sturdy/stable, though softer. Postholed in a few spots, but nothing to really write home about. No issues with this steep slope up or down, though we carried our ice axes in that section. Above tree line was mostly snow covered though there were sections of bare rock. Our path above tree line today did switch across some steep snow covered sections below those you‘ll see shaded as avy risk in the attached image. It‘d be undesirable to fall and slide in these spots, but there didn‘t seem to be any avy risk, and the pack conditions seemed to mirror those below tree line, though with far less slush on the way down (almost none). There were at least 2 other parties on the route today and above tree line some different route decisions were made that resulted in a few different boot packs, but all will get you there. They follow the standard route in some areas, but not all. The route data I‘m attaching is from my GPS, but should more or less agree with the path taken by Stereo311 and climbnowworklater, though I was about 20-30 minutes behind them to the summit. My climb time was 7h52m. 4h53m up, 22m on the summit, 2h37m down, 8.6mi RT. 5:56am - 1:48pm. A great day to summit Yale. Image #1 is my route laid onto caltopo.com with slop angle shading. Image #2 is a look up towards the summit from about 13k.
Info: Road dry all the way to trailhead, parking lot plowed and dry. The initial switchbacks are dry. Once you get into the trees and start heading north, it‘s knee to belly deep snow all the way to treeline. On the first couple miles there is an old trench in place that has been packed down, blown/snowed over, packed down, snowed over, etc. If you stay in the 1 foot wide, slightly off colored snow path and are careful about boot placement, you can minimize post holing on this stretch. The trail ends abruptly approximately 1/2 to 3/4 miles from treeline with no boot prints or sign of travel to be found. I knew where I needed to go, so I pointed it toward the low point on the ridge to my north and post holed through knee to waist deep snow for a couple hours. Upon gaining the ridge I found it necessary to put on microspikes. At a bare minimum, I would advise that spikes are necessary to safely make the summit. I would have felt a LOT more comfortable had I brought my ice axe to cross a couple of the snow fields and for some of the steeper sections of the trail. There were a few spots where a slip might have sent you sliding down the snow off the ridgeline. I also stayed true to the ridgeline in several areas instead of following the trail over deep/sketchy snow. As I was climbing some of the loose-ish rock, I kept thinking to myself how dumb I was for not bringing my helmet. I had to back down and around certain areas because the rock looked rotten and I didn‘t want to send anything above down onto my head. In some areas the only feasible option (without an ice axe) was to climb the rock, however. Therefore I would also recommend a helmet and ice axe if you plan on hitting this route any time in the near future. There was a good mix of soft, deep snow, windblown crusty snow, and dry rock on the ridge to the summit. Ice wasn‘t really an issue. I encountered about every kind of weather you could expect on Friday - snow, sleet, sun, clouds, wind, wind blowing a ton of powder right in your face, and even a little stretch where it was downright warm. The only other living things I saw all day were a few birds down lower in the trees - I think I had the entire mountain to myself! Left the car at 700 AM, summit at 255, 3 minutes up top taking pictures, and back to the car at 715. I can tell this route would be a blast in the summer. However, with conditions the way they are right now, I would recommend waiting for things to clear up a little bit - unless you like self torture. Stretches of this hike (especially the post holing bushwacking) were absolutely miserable. But then again, that‘s what I get for not bringing snowshoes But all in all, a great hike, an awesome mountain, and another excellent outing in the Sawatch! Photo 1 - a look at most of the 2 mile hike along the ridgeline soon after exiting the trees Photo 2 - a closer look at some of the tricky terrain as one nears the summit Photo 3 - views from the top