Mt. Yale  
Condition Updates  
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-07-11, By: acasali
Info: East ridge was great fun - can mix in some class 3 scrambling by sticking to the rock along the top of the ridge, or keep it class 2 by bypassing either to the left or right of the rock formations. One note - the route description on this site generally shows the bypasses as being to the left (south side) of the ridge. There's been a lot of erosion on this aspect though, and they were pretty washed out. I generally found better bypasses to be to the right (north side) of the ridge. 
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Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-07-08, By: Evandiegel
Info: Road conditions 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-07-02, By: Split_the_FR
Info: Great morning in the Sawatch. Started at Denny Creek at 6:35 and enjoyed a shaded approach which kept temps cool. The approach to the ridge is great, very gradual with tons of great views and wildflowers. I opted to do some scrambling on the ridge as per some of your recs which was fun , this got me to the summit by 9:15. It was super calm at the summit but clouds came in quick so I started down after 30 min and a pbj. Back down to the car by 11:40. I imagine some folks got caught in the rains that shortly followed my departure. 
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Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-07-02, By: Jnaffy
Info: I stashed a 1 L platypus with the initial N on the cap of it about halfway down so i would have water on the way down but it seems to have migrated from the position I left it in by the time i returned from The sunmit. If somebody finds my hydration bottle and could please return it to me I would appreciate it. 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-07-02, By: Jnaffy
Info: I stashed a 1 L platypus with the initial N on the cap of it about halfway down so i would have water on the way down but it seems to have migrated from the position I left it in by the time i returned from The sunmit. If somebody finds my hydration bottle and could please return it to me I would appreciate it. 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-06-08, By: bananabobby
Info: Summer conditions. Trail runners got me to the summit! 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-06-05, By: thebeave7
Info: Patchy snow after the creek and before treeline, easy steps kicked through. Above treeline and on the ridgeline you'll find a few snow patches around, none of any consequence. Getting close to full summer conditions on the Denny Creek. North face still holding lots of snow, and looked like more on the East Ridge. Ice Mt and the Apostles looked very snowy from the summit, I bet the refrigerator couloir is in good shape right now. 
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Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-05-16, By: d_baker
Info: I hiked Yale with a couple of friends on Sunday, one being 7yrs old, and our assessment is a little different than previous report. Started at 6am, summit at 11am. Back to TH by 3ish. We carried snowshoes, followed a mostly dry trail for first couple of miles. Creek crossings not much of an issue on ascent (and descent). Logs in place, along with use of trekking poles, got us across safely. Wore snowshoes for brief stretch in final drainage area before leaving trees/@ treeline. We deviated from trail and went up a dry subtle ridge, and reconnected with trail above. Mostly dry above treeline, following summer trail. Snowshoes, pick your poison. I.e., carry them only to be used for a very brief section, or accept the possibility of postholing in that brief section in the drainage. Fun day, few people out, summit to ourselves. 
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Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-05-14, By: TheSpaceForce
Info: It's rafting season. Go rafting instead, or wait a couple of weeks. Seriously, the snowmelt made an otherwise very pleasant hike fairly abominable in the afternoon sun. Recommend summiting at sunrise and bringing floatation (assuming you can find your way through the forest/don't lose the trail… we lost it over 10 times in daylight even with a GPS). The stream crossings were way worse on the way back, and it was post-hole city on the way down. We had spikes and gaiters, but only put the spikes on for a small section. Above tree line very little snow on the trail. We started at 6:30 (4 cars in lot), and summited just before 11. Weather was fantastic and we had a great hike. Saw a few others on the trail, and shared the summit with only one other person for a few minutes. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-04-12, By: amitchell
Info: Definitely needed the snowshoes between 10,500 and treeline. Snow gets incredibly slushy during the day. The ridge is rocky (as expected) but there are some sections where I would have wanted an ice axe. A slip off the South face would make for a bad day without a self arrest. 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-03-27, By: Gpacardella
Info: good hardpack trail (spikes were perfect) to about 300' below treeline, where you can peak out at a steep snowy face heading up into the tundra. This is looker-left of the trail, which was buried in snow and not easy to find. The legit trail also traverses a SW aspect that could present avalanch/wet-slab danger so we opted to head up looker-left of that at about 11,800'. From there and across the basin it was a mix of barren tundra and windswept crust until you get to the last 1000' face. For that face we did not have axes, but you should absolutely bring them. If you slipped on some of that crust you would tumle hundreds of feet and get seriously injured or worse. From the 13,900' ridge, up through the last 300' of talus, it was fine and class II. Summit had a calm spot which was nice. Once below tree line and back to TH I wish I had snowshoes because we were punching through the trail cap like a bad video game for miles. Great advenure and day. 6 people summitted, including 2 of us 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-03-20, By: headsizeburrito
Info: Mostly bare with patches of snow and ice to treeline. In treeline there is an easy to follow trench that parallels the summer trail but ends in the same place at the saddle. Firm enough in the morning today that I could just walk it in boots. From the saddle to the east ridge I wore snowshoes for about a quarter mile for some deep stuff before taking them off. From there to the summit pretty consistent snow cover on ridge. Axe and spikes highly recommended. Wore snowshoes on the way down from the saddle as snow had softened, improving the trench a bit. Nice day overall, much better weather than the forecast led me to expect! 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-02-27, By: climbingcue
Info: Nice skin track to 11,200 ft, then they just gave up. We post holed from 11,200 to the ridge at 12k. Bring snowshoes if you don't like to suffer (we love to suffer, so we left snowshoes in the car). I would also recommend microspikes, some may prefer crampons, and definitely an ice axe. Snow was very slushy on the trail on the way down, so it will be icy when it refreezes. A great bluebird day with very little wind. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-02-16, By: ajbandin
Info: What a brilliant day on a phenomenal route. Switchbacks on the start of the route for the first 1-1.5 miles are dirt or thin hard snow / ice, microspikes were perfect here (We wound up wearing microspikes the whole day). Once you're ascending in trees to the ridge the snow was a bit deeper, I hauled up snowshoes but the postholing was never bad enough for us to bother putting them on so we ditched our snowshoes (along with shovels and probes which seemed like overkill) around 11,200. There was a good packed trail the whole way up to the ridge, just a few brief spots where wind blew snow over the trail. There were a few places where people bore left for the ridge trail, we waited until we hit the GPS coordinate on our colorado trail map (38.8477x106.2820) to turn, since it seems people had taken a few different routes at this point there was a bit thicker snow and more postholing here but again it was brief. The ridge offered spectacular panoramic views and the wind wasn't too bad, pulled out ice axes here and they were super helpful. Picking our way up the ridge our progress slowed significantly, the snow wasn't very deep in most places, only a few spots where the snow got steeper and I thought about pulling the crampons out of my pack but never bothered as microspikes were doing just fine. For most of the big scree features we either hung right (north) or went over as the snow was more piled up on the left (south) side). We finally hit the really big loose scree pile at 12,900 and couldn't really figure out a safe way around or over it - trying to go directly over (which seems to be what others did) everything was really loose and crumbled underfoot so we just decided to turn back here. Afternoon sun had warmed the snow so there was a bit more postholing on the way home but again I didn't feel like snowshoes were worth the bother. Phenomenal route with tremendous views but would love to know what the right way to proceed from 12900 is! 
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Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-02-04, By: hunterh
Info: Just came here to claim the first known covid-positive solo winter ascent + partial ski descent. Gotta get creative with the FAs these days. Solid conditions, continuous snow from TH to about 12,000'. If you bring skis, just leave them there, you won't be able to use them on the upper pitches due to poor coverage. Great day out there, I'm going go cough my lungs out now 
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Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-01-30, By: ScottLovesRMNP
Info: I didn't summit today, getting only to about treeline (~ 12,000 feet), and it was the case of bringing the wrong gear. I hauled snowshoes up there on my back and there was really no need for snowshoes (at least to the point I reached). I would have preferred whatever minor post-holing I did to save the weight on my back. However, the steep snow just below treeline would've been safer to climb with axe and crampons, rather than the mere spikes and poles that I brought. I was doing just fine climbing up in the firm snow with the spikes, but I was concerned that if I proceeded to the summit, the snow would turn to slick mashed potatoes by afternoon in today's very warm sun, and then just poles and spikes on steep, weakened snow wouldn't be good enough. The terrain is very steep and a slip and slide could have major consequences, so I didn't think it wise to press on (although I thought about it!). I think I'm going to start bringing the axe and crampons much more often on winter climbs, regardless of all other factors or information. 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-02-02, By: Moonshake
Info: For me on Saturday, snowshoes worked perfectly below treeline, nice trench and above it, you can try to keep snowshoes on but it is patchy and thin, and you could be fine with spikes or maybe even just boots. Started at 10:50 AM and it was super warm. Stayed up top for hours and watched the sunset. NOTE: I found someone's Anon helmet on the trail as I was exiting so please text me at 978-270-6743 if you lost your helmet that day. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-01-29, By: arthurtect
Info: The trench has been re-established, so go get it before the snow comes again. Snowshoes are a must thought! Four solo hikers sort of linked up and worked together to bring back the trench from last weekend. Three of us made it up to 12,800', two to 13,500' and one summited. Strap your snowshoes to your pack to start. Micro-spikes or nothing to start for the first 1.5 miles. When the trail turns north along the side of the mountain, cramp-ons might be nice to avoid sliding off the trail a few dozen times. You can try snowshoes there, but the angle is awkward and little painful. When the trail crosses the gully, it is snowshoes until the saddle. I personally only made it to 12,800' and there wasn't any reason for snowshoes after the saddle. I wore traction from time to time. Most of the snow is hard and the post-holes are rare. There is also more time spent on rocks then snow. 
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Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-01-29, By: -wren-
Info: Largely the same as the last report. In a couple places where the trench got obnoxiously steep I cut switchbacks next to it in my skis, and in a couple other spots I just booted it because it's pretty firm and not very deep in most places. Was able to link some pretty sub-optimal turns from 13,5 down to 12,6 or 12,7, then some really nasty sun affected stuff in spots down to 11,3 and then cruiser out to the trailhead from there following the trench more or less. While I feel like calling the final pitch a “scramble” in summer is a stretch, the most sensible path right now (and also the path that keeps you away from the top of a convex rollover on a windloaded slope, climbers left) definitely has a handful of simple and unexposed class 3 moves. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-01-25, By: the_hare
Info: Boy howdy is this a route. Trench thru the CO trail to the ridge at 12k established thanks to user wren & 2 skiers. Switchbacks up the first bare south-facing slope hold very hard-pack snow and ice. Put on snowshoes around 10,600 ft. Steady and gentle gain thru the scenic forest until the ridge. From the first hill onwards the ridge holds a ton of wind-drifted snow; some areas are deep powder, others have a hard wind crust. I used snowshoes to cross the north side of the first hill and stowed them on top of the next bump. The rocky knobs along the ridge usually have snow at their bases and large wind drifts on the saddles between them. I used crampons and an ice tool to cross the hard crust areas on these saddles below the 13.2k false summit. Made different route-finding decisions to ascend each point on the ridge, sometimes the surrounding powdery drifts made class 3 mandatory and other times they could be safely skirted to the right. The final points along the ridge above the false summit have much more snow among the rocks at their base and slopes. Winds only blew in gusts along the ridge below the false summit at the forecast speed & direction of 15-20 mph from the northeast. Wind picked up a bit and blew more consistently after the false summit. At the summit I met strong 35-40 mph winds blowing from the southwest. Witnessed an incredible sunset at the summit as the sun dipped below the now overcast sky and pierced the light snowfall. On the descent I glissaded down as much snow on the ridge as I could and found some easier class 2+ routes down the points in the dark. Now that there's for sure a trench all the way through the SW slopes route I'm sure that's far easier than this one. The points do seem never ending and the snow and rocks are a real mental and physical effort to navigate. It took me just under 13hrs RT even with the trench. But if you're looking for a challenging & exciting Sawatch climb with views all around this is the way to go! 
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