Climbing Mt. Yale (14,196 ft)

There is no Mt. Berkeley in the Collegiate Peaks.  That, of course, would have been my first 14er.  Since I have no real relationship to any of the other colleges commemorated in this  set of 14ers, I went by recommendation.  I was told of a breathtaking single track lined with wildflowers.  I would not be disappointed.

At the summit

I got to the main trailhead a bit later than usual just after 7 a.m.  Naturally, the parking lot was already packed.  The trails up the mountain are, as usual, very well marked and I enjoyed the beautiful forest.  Apparently, snow covers up this part of the trail until late spring/early summer.  I saw some patches here and there, but not much.

My favorite section - picture does not do it justice

Once you get to timberline, the trail enters a short single track section that is flattish and absolutely stunning.  Beautiful mountain vistas all around.  I LOVED this part of the trail.  Then the steep stuff starts.  People really seemed to struggle here.  Mountains have a way of being steeper the higher you go, don’t they?

It can get a bit steep on this hill

Summit Ridge

Summit Ridge

The trailhead is down there somewhere

I got to the ridge in 2:09 without every really pushing too hard.  Crossing the ridge, I lost the cairns several times and took another 17 minutes to the summit, which was pretty slow.  (Hint: the easiest way is staying slightly to the right/southside of the ridge. Do that and you’ll get there in no time).

The descent was uneventful except for some weather that seemed to be moving in.  I was surprised by some hikers lack of concern (respect?) for the elements.  But everyone makes their own decisions, I suppose.

Overall, I really enjoyed Mt. Yale.  It is a pretty straightforward climb that is doable for a beginner but will be sure to keep the blood of even an experienced climber flowing.

Date climbed: 6/25/10

Time: 2:09 up (Ridge)/2:26 (summit)/ 1:53 down

Gear: Camelbak Lobo, Vasque hiking boots, survival kit

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4 Responses to Climbing Mt. Yale (14,196 ft)

  1. Aaaaaaaw! Happy Dave!

  2. Stig O'Tracy says:

    I wish more people would climb Yale from the Avalanche Gulch trailhead. It is a much more enjoyable route.

  3. Looks fantastic! I would like to run/hike it one day. I very much enjoyed climbing the two 14ers I’ve done in CA (Mt. Sill and Mt. Whitney). Thanks for sharing.

  4. Addy says:

    Great job! I was with you on doing it until I saw the pictures of that last part of the summit. It looks beautiful though. Thanks for sharing this!

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