Mount Yale makes number 22 checked off the 14er list.
I was going to hit some peaks south of here, but a late drive down on Friday night meant I wouldn’t have time to hike the 6 miles up the trailhead to a campsite before nightfall, and I wanted plenty of daylight. I had planned on Yale, Harvard, and Columbia for the following weekend, so flip-flop-hike.
Found a spot just west of the Silver Creek trailhead Friday night, then got a 4am start up the Colorado Trail to the East Ridge of Mount Yale.
I like this part of the East Ridge description from 14ers.com: This route is longer and more difficult than the standard route from Denny Creek. It has some loose rock and steep hiking, without a trail.
This was the loosest rock I’ve had on any of my 14ers so far, so much so that I skipped my planned ascent of 13er Mascot Peak because I was moving so slowly.
Amazing views of Mount Harvard and Mount Columbia, I had planned on hitting these tomorrow but with the loose rock and new Lowa boots my feet told me this wasn’t happening. I’m toying with doing these two and Mount Princeton instead of Antero/Shavano/Tabegauche next weekend, but we shall see.
Since I had an extra weekend day to spare, I tried to find some dispersed camping on the route between Buena Vista and Copper, but nothing available that I could get the Audi to. Oh, the good old days of the go-anywhere Jeep!

Mount Yale Sunrise

Mount Yale Sunrise
Watching sunrise light up the peak of Mount Yale as I move off of the Colorado Trail to the East Ridge.


The Head

The Mount Yale Head
This looks a lot like the Indian Chief head on Pawneee Pass.


Mascot Peak

Mascot Peak from Mount Yale East Ridge
Mascot Peak from Mount Yale’s East Ridge.


Down the East Ridge

Down the East Ridge
A good view down the East Ridge


What A Mess

What A Mess
The East Ridge is pretty much a rock mess.


Harvard and Columbia

Harvard and Columbia
An amazing view of Mount Harvard and Mount Columbia, with the Columbia Traverse between them and the Horn Fork Basin nestled below.


The Tuning Fork

The Tuning Fork
This reminds me of a tuning fork.


More Suckage

More Suckage
Yes, this sucks.


Baby Bristlecone

Baby Bristlecone
The little purple cones on this Bristlecone Pine are awesome!


Fall Goodness

Fall Goodness
The fall colors are coming out in full force.


Mount Yale Google Earth

Mount Yale Google Earth
Google Earth visual of the hike from Silver Creek to Mount Yale.



I spent no time making this video pretty, but it’s what you get