Mt. Yale  
Condition Updates  
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-04-18, By: Paddy6069
Info: Hiked Mount Yale on Friday 4/16. The drive from Glenwood Springs took longer than expected with all the snow/Vail Pass closure so got a pretty late start at 6:30am. Reinforced the trench all the way to treeline but it was pretty much choose your own adventure above that point. We made it to about 13,600k before turning around at 1:30pm due to deteriorating white out conditions and the fact it was getting so late. I've really been having bad weather luck with these peaks when I come out from Illinois, but it was still a really fun day. 
3 1
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-04-09, By: Gueza
Info: Yep! 
1
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-04-03, By: trkl9
Info: It's getting hot and slushy. Route finding difficult from just over 1 mile in to the ridge turn off. Some signs of prior trench but not consistent and easily lost. Don't let the first section of dry trail fool you, you WILL need snowshoes until you can gain the ridge and especially for the decent. It was a post hole nightmare. Made it just over 4 miles up and up to about 12,500 feet on the ridge before turning back after spending too long in the trees and running out of time. Ridge was in good shape as far as we went and didn't require traction but definitely snow to cross in spots. Put in a full trench in the slushy stuff. Go get it. 
6
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-03-28, By: askwjs
Info: Long day. Broke trail below treeline, snow was waist to chest deep in areas. There is now a trench in all the way to the saddle. Winds were starting to pick up this afternoon so don't know if the trail above treeline will last. Recommend snowshoes below treeline, traction above for gaining the saddle and the ridge. The ridge is doable with traction, but it is pick your own route. Definitely some avy terrain to avoid but can be done with some careful route finding. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-03-20, By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: No traction or flotation needed for first two miles and change; flotation highly recommended from there to treeline - snow was punchy with variable depth. A surprising amount of snow on the ridgeline...not enough to warrant keeping the snowshoes/skis/splitboard on, as there are still plenty of rocks poking through, but numerous sections of ankle-deep snow on the ridge proper. There is one section of unavoidable Class 3 (well, unavoidable unless you like doggy-paddling through snow where the route would ordinarily take you) through which my partners and I kicked in steps. Most of the other obstacles had Class 2 workarounds that I discovered in a fit of laziness on the descent with only very short stretches of mid-calf or -deeper snow to contend with. No particularly adverse weather conditions besides a little breeze, so our reconstructed trench was still in decent shape on the way down. There are several spots where it splits off due to individual members of our group trying (and mostly failing) to find supportive snow, but they mostly reconnect with the main trench going up the middle of the final gully. With snowflake season ending in just a few hours, however, I'm not sure I'd recommend this peak in current conditions unless you're really gung-ho for a serious character-building exercise. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-03-19, By: CaptCO
Info: This route sucks. Turned around at the saddle due to miscommunication and sloppy team work 
8 3
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-03-08, By: Eagle Eye
Info: I found nice conditions on Mt Yale yesterday: I wore micro spikes the whole day. The route has been well traveled and packed down. At some point there are several trail forks to chose from, pick hikers left. The middle trail stops. There is deep and sometimes unsupportive snow on the upper trail (within treeline) and immediately leaving treeline. VERY few people went up this day, maybe 3 total! The Denny Creek TH huge lot(s) were almost empty (2 other vehicles) when I set out about 6 am but no one had set out on the trail. It had gotten windier nearing the saddle/summit ridge, but not bad. The trail was a little bit slippery in places coming down. I dont think it warmed up much in this area until late afternoon due to being overcast a lot of the day. ---> Mike Via 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-03-01, By: AccidentalColoradan
Info: Trail totally packed to the Mt. Yale/Browns Pass junction, didn't need traction for this section. Put on spikes at the junction since it gets steeper, but then the trench completely disappeared at 11,400 so I had to switch to snowshoes. Fortunately there was a gentleman hiking ahead of me who broke trail all the way to treeline. The track he made/I followed didn't exactly mirror where the trail actually is but it was pretty close. There was deep snow at the base of the shoulder at treeline and some on the slope of the shoulder (not enough to slide in my very amateur opinion). I elected to cross to the shoulder and just go straight up it rather than try to find the buried trail switchbacks. I followed the trail along the shoulder when I could, and crossed hard packed snow sheets when I lost it. The steep slope up to the summit ridge and the summit ridge itself didn't have much snow. Coming back down through the trees, the snow was so soft that despite my best efforts and using snowshoes, I kind of obliterated the track we had made in the morning in some spots. Depending on weather the next few days, it might still be better than nothing for anyone else attempting. Definitely plan on bringing flotation and traction for this route, but if you have those and plenty of time, this route should be very possible. Was an absolutely beautiful windless day with no clouds, was ecstatic to be able to summit after turning around at the false summit a few weeks ago due to no visibility and high wind! 
4
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-02-21, By: Randy1983
Info: Solo trenched up to tree line. Ankle to thigh deep unsupportive hell. Took about 5 hours 30 min to get above the trees. Crusty sugar and windswept trash snow on the ridge. Took the class 3 option up, did not take it heading down. Sorry I kinda obliterated the trench on the way back in a few spots, legs were wrecked. Not sure how long it'll last with all the blowing snow, but hopefully it is useful to someone else trying for this peak. Snowshoes on at 10040, off at just under 12000. Took crampons/axe but never needed them. Standard personal pref if that stuff is useful to ya. 14 hours 45 min climb time thanks to conditions. Happy trekking everyone.  
11
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-02-01, By: Wentzl
Info: Ditto what Jbealer said. Just posting to add a few photos. 
8 3
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-31, By: jbealer
Info: Report from VeraUndertow still stands, we did not take snow shoes and did not need them. Spikes worked fine, busy day up there, weather was amazing but man do we need snow. Trench in place till the snow runs out, we followed a more direct route to the saddle, finding the trail more to the left would be nicer, we took that down. Take advantage of it while you can. Not sure we will have a nicer winter summit day like we did today. 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-29, By: VeraUndertow
Info: Started around 8 from Denny Creek TH. Trail was a super trench and was easy enough to walk or skin, and I made good time to the trail split towards yale. From here the trail narrows but was still in great condition. You might want snowshoes or traction at some parts but could probably boot the whole way without. Past 12.4k there wasnt much snow so I stashed my skis and continued on foot the rest of the way. Nothing challenging to gain the ridge, just a tedious trek up snow covered talus to the ridge. From there it's a quick and dry class 2 scramble to the summit, I looked over at mascot and debated climbing it but knowing I had to ski down and then work the next 7 days I decided not to kill myself getting that extra summit. Got back to my truck at 2:30 
4 1
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-26, By: Will_E
Info: Its hard to call the first 3 miles of this trail a trench, its more like a Superhighway. I put snowshoes on at around the 3 mile mark just before the first hella steep section, and kept them on until just beyond treeline. After reaching treeline I didn't use any traction to reach summit. I made decent time on Yale so also swung by Hartenstein lake on the way back, its about 2 miles one way from where it meets the Yale route. The first mile or so was well trenched, the trench then disappeared, so I put one in. It meanders a bit. 
11 3
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-18, By: longlevi823
Info: Trail is decently visible but got off trail by accident on the way up and ended up bee lining it up the side to get to around 13,000k. Snowshoes could have been helpful through certain parts of the forest but left them in the car as it was unnecessary weight. Used microspikes the whole time. As the person below me mentioned, going over the saddle was indeed spooky and incredibly windy. Made me a bit uncomfortable but made it to the top and got back down. 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-17, By: benmangelsdorf
Info: Great packed snow trail to the end of treeline. There is a slope or two along the way with enough snow to slide, but one of the slopes I had marked as an avalanche concern on my map didn't seem to have much snow on it. As you leave treeline the paths branch out and are less packed, though I floatation was not necessary. The plateau beneath the final climb to the summit (from about 12k to 13k) is really quite dry. You could avoid all snow here. Ridge has snow but not enough to need floatation at all. I wore spikes pretty much the entire day and that was fine. Very, very windy today. Traversing the ridge felt a bit spooky! 
3
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-13, By: charliewilliams2213
Info: The day was warm and the wind was calm. Trail branched off into a few different paths above tree line. Spikes recommended for the upper portion of the trail. Once the ridge to the summit was gained there wasn't a need for spikes or snowshoes. 
1
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-09, By: Stee
Info: There continues to be a great trench through the trees. Thanks for the previous work. It was mostly rock/snow above treeline. No post holing. I didn't use snowshoes at all. Spikes were nice on the way down but not a must. Not much wind today. It was nice. 
7
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-05, By: Littlejohn
Info: Great climb. Trail is open for 1/2 the time snow shoes a must for at least 1500 ft of elevation gain from 11000 to 12500. 
2
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-12-21, By: Conor
Info: Plowed to Denny Creek TH. Solid trench all the way to treeline, basically a sidewalk. Doesn't do the best in avoiding some of the avy danger, but can be mitigated. Much is melting out and there isn't much snow to slide in some places. North and east aspects of ridgelines that are getting loaded are releasing and slides observed across valley and in Denny Gulch. A point release across the valley. No signs of instability for W/SW aspects observed today. Above treeline, cruiser. Columbia looks super dry. 
5 1
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-12-07, By: hhoetmer
Info: Beautiful day with perfect weather! Microspikes and poles are helpful on the way down. No floatation needed or ice axe. TH parking is free of snow. Handful of people sharing the trail. There are a few spots where it is easy to get off trail, or where others have taken the old route. Just know your route, and have a map downloaded if possible.  

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