A Challenging Day on Mt. Yale
Mar 31, 2009 by DJ Turner | 0 Comments
from Robert Jones:
This past week was in interesting week for winter storms. It snowed earlier in the week and then another winter storm hit the mountains on Thursday dumping many many inches of snow. I was not sure what to expect but opted to hit the mountains and give it a try. The focus was Mt Yale at 14,196 feet and located 9 miles west of Buena Vista. From Yale's summit you can see no less than 30 other peaks over 14,000 feet.
The starting temp. was minus 2 degrees and a blanket of fresh snow was there to greet you. I had to cut trail all the way to the tree line. This picture was taken as the trail started to climb out of the valley. The view in this bowl was just spectacular. On the opposing slopes there were massive cornices from all the snow loading. From this piece of real estate the summit is another 4 hours of climbing. Take note of the insulated blue bottle carrier on my hip - the Wayward Bottle is tucked away to keep my drink from freezing.
This pic will give you as sense as to the pitch climbing out of the valley. The snow depth was knee to thigh deep. The winds were also very strong. Above tree line the winds were a constant 30 - 40 mph. On top of the mountain I am guessing the winds were in excess of 50 mph. They were strong enough that I literally had to crawl...argh. I pulled my camera out to take a picture of the summit and would you believe it was froze and would not operate...argh. So, I am sorry to report the Wayward Bottle was not memorialized with a photo on top.
Well, it was a challenging day. The entire climb lasted 11 hours of non-stop movement and pretty much wore me out.