Endorsed by Curators:
Mt. Yale - Southwest Slopes - (14,196)
Distance: 9.5 miles roundtrip
Starting Elevation: 9,900'
Elevation Gain: ~ 4,300'
This is my favorite winter 14er and one I do every year. The route is harder than Quandary or Bierstadt, but still a good route for hikers (in good shape) with limited winter 14er experience. We'll meet at the The Fort Restaurant near Morrison, at 4:50am and carpool to the Denny Creek Trailhead. We should arrive at by 7:00am and start hiking at 7:15am. This will be a go at your own pace hike, but hikers (particularly those behind the main group) should not hike alone. The entire hike will take 8 to 10 hours. After the hike we may stop at Eddyline Brewery in Buena Vista.
Difficulty: Class 2,micro spikes recommended.
Carpool: The parking on the road by The Fort Restaurant near Morrison. Please be considerate of the other people you are riding with and do not expect them to wait too long if you are significantly behind the main group.
Directions to Trailhead: From U.S. 24 in the center of Buena Vista, take the County 306 road towards Cottonwood Pass. Drive 12 miles on this road to reach the Denny Creek Trailhead and paved parking area on the right.
Route Info: An excellent route description along with links to the photos can be found at the site below. Please review the route before the trip.
Equipment: Bring enough layers to keep warm. Bring gloves, goggles, hat, face mask, snow shoes optional, microspikes, gaters, enough food, and plenty of water. It is important that you have some way of covering any exposed skin to prevent frostbite. In addition, it is highly recommended that you bring the ten essentials. The complete list can be found at http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html
Disclaimer: By attending this hike you assume all responsibility for your own safety and agree that the event host, organizer, the 14er Fan Club, and Meetup are in no way liable in the event of your injury or death. Mountaineering in Colorado can be very dangerous and many people have died on the 14ers. Weather, terrain and other people can put you in a situation where your knowledge and experience will be vital. If you are new to these peaks, I urge you to pick up a book on mountaineering safety and make sure your basic navigation skills (map+compass, not only GPS) are up-to-par and you can rely on them in a tough situation. Altitude sickness, dehydration, and fast-building storms are the most common problems. Please be in shape and self-sufficient. Although this is a group activity you are responsible for yourself.