Mt. Yale
Colorado 14er
14,204 feet, 4329 meter
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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.

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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.
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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 true summit.

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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.