Best 14er of the Year: Mt. Yale

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IMG_3235On October 10th Luke, Boulder, and I hiked our last fourteener for the season: Mt. Yale.  We started out at about 5:00 a.m. in the darkness on the Southwest Slope trail.  As always, we slowly trekked our way up the path.  We decided to stop at about 6:30 a.m. for a snack and to enjoy the views.  We were just getting out of tree line and knew from there it was going to start getting steep.  After our break we headed up out of the tree line, which was about at 12,100 feet up.  From here you have long saddles back and forth on a well laid out path.  You are able to see where you the path goes and the elevation gain is still
pretty gradual.

IMG_3232Once you hit approximately 13,000 feet is where the trail starts to get steep.  You’ll be heading of the left side of the mountain on some steep terrain and forewarning it was a smidge slippery with some scree.  Not the worst I’ve been on, but if you’re clumsy like myself be careful!  Especially on the way down.  I’m notorious for falling on my ass and scraping up my hands on the rocks. :(

After grinding up the 750 feet of steep terrain, you turn right and the end is near!  You don’t have far to go, but there is a false summit, but it’s not far past it.  Now it’s time for the rocks.  If you use poles normally and are clumsy, now is the time to put those bad boys away and use your hands for stability.  My short stubby self has to do that anyway so I can hoist my big ass up over the big rocks.

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We got to the top around 9 a.m. and it was absolutely beautiful.  Calm, no wind and we were the first ones up there, which is the best.  We sat do
wn, drank some coffee, ate a little food, and basked in the sun.  And I had to pop a squat really quick too. :P  Nothing like peeing at 14,000 feet. Haha.  This was by far the best weather we have ever had hiking a fourteener and can’t believe it happened in October.  Shortly after are ascent more hikers made it to the top as well.  So we decided to get out of the crowd and head back down.  We got down around 1 p.m.  Then saw all the beautiful leaves changing color.  Overall a great day and our first of the collegiate peaks.  Officially done 17 14ers now!  Next year we will have to tackle more.  If you live in Colorado and have never done a fourteener, please get off your butt and do one.  Trust me you will not regret it!  Cheers everyone, and ski season will be here shortly!  Woohoo!

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Mt. Yale | Distance: 9.5 miles round trip | Elevation Gain: 4,300 feet

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