Peak(s):  Mt. Yale  -  14,196 feet
Date Posted:  07/04/2007
Date Climbed:   07/02/2007
Author:  Gabe K
 First 14er of the summer   

Having Monday and Tuesday off from my summer volunteer gig for the National Park Service, I drove down to the Collegiate Peaks Campground near the trailhead from Gunnison. I woke up at 4:45am and packed my tent, bag, etc and drove to the paved parking lot trailhead of Mt. Yale, which I was excited about, because my PT Cruiser defintely can‘t handle much 4WD roads. I began my hike at 5:30, and quickly realized just what hiking up a 14er is like again, they are stiff hikes! Being from Michigan, the breathing was a challenge, which in turn affected my hiking. But, I made it up to the summit by 8:30am and chilled out for an hour. I believe I was the first one on the top that day. I began going down at 9:30am and passed by A LOT of people who didn‘t look quite prepared for hiking anything, let alone a 14,000‘ summit. One of the challenging parts was getting down from the saddle to the tree line, because the trail is really worn, so the soil is like kitty litter, meaning it was very sandy and gravely, so I slid around a lot, which made things difficult. There were several loose dogs running about, which I didn‘t think was cool, because they were running around all over the fragile environment off the trail, and chasing marmots and pikas. I returned to my car just before noon. I wasn‘t impressed with Mt. Yale as other summits that I have done, but it was a fun hike and I bagged my tenth 14er.

The following day I summited Mt. Belford and Mt. Oxford.

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