14,204 feet, 4329 meter
Mt Yale is one the Sawatch's 14 14ers. I climbed in solo on June 22,
2008 and found it a nice climb by starting early thus enjoying the solitude
and peacefulness of a lone alpine climb. Rare in my 31 climbs of Colorado
14ers, I found myself alone on a summit.
I had climbed Mt. Antero the previous days with my regular partners
but since they had already ticked Yale off their list, I went alone.
The trailhead starts off a paved lot from County 306 about 12 miles west
of Buena Vista. It climbs up a good hill - enough to get your blood flowing
and then levels out as the well trodden path following Denny Creek. After
a couple of log bridges I found myself paralleling Delaney Creek. I started
at 5:00 AM and enjoyed the sounds of the birds rising along with the
sun at dawn. It was quite peaceful.
The trail continued a gentle rise to just below 11,800'. Snow was on
some parts given it was still June but route finding was no problem.
Leaving tree line, I entered a wide open area that led to the base of
Mt. Yale. It was more prominent than a lot of the 14ers in the Sawatch.
The slopes were covered with soft scree. I had been warned about this
section so took the climber's trail to the saddle directly west of the
Once on to the saddle, I followed the ridge line east and on to the summit. I made it is a swift 3 hours so I took about half an hour on the summit to enjoy the views and take a video.
Yale was not a difficult 14er. In fact it was straightforward with nothing special. But the walk above treeline was nice and the views from the top better.