Mt. Yale - 14,196 feet
|Beautiful, yet smoky, day on Yale|
My wife and I did our annual climb and Yale was our choice this year based on comparisons right here on 14ers.com.
It was right at the peak of the numerous wildfires happening not only in Colorado, but all over the west. Smoke was definitely present over the whole region including Denver. But, we decided to make a go of it anyway and make the one-night stay in Buena Vista worth it.
We stayed Saturday night at Super 8 in BV. Man what a dump this place is. I would have loved to stay just up the road at Best Western, but they require a 2-night minimum stay.
We arrived at Denny Creek Trailhead and started the hike at 6:30am:
The 4,300+ elevation changed intimidated us a bit, but we knew what we were getting in to.
The views are spectacular above timberline. But on this day, the smoke was the buzz-kill both on the views and on our bodies. Still got some great shots
We struggled our way to the summit and stayed for about 20 minutes. Normally we do just fine at this elevation, but the smoke really caused us to struggle in the steeper portions. My wife brought some boost oxygen and she said that really helped especially on the shoulder and in the boulder field to the summit.
We started our descent around 10:50am. On the way back down, we saw a marmot perched on a distant boulder:
We arrived back at the trailhead at 2:45pm so it was another 4 hours back down.
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