The plan was for Jeff and me to meet up hwy 285 near
and commute together from there. I was on time at 5am, but Jeff was 30 minutes late. Not a good first impression, but I went with it. By the time we drove over to the Denny Creek TH it was 7:30am, which was already a half hour past our intended start time. The weather forecast didn’t look too bad; 20% chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. But, I have found out in Aspen Park if there is any chance of storms in the forecast, then they will happen. So, this late start was unsettling since I know I hike at 1,000 vertical feet per hour on the lower sections then 700 ft per hour on the uppers. Meaning, we wouldn’t have time to dilly dally around since a storm would most likely interrupt our climb. Colorado
After Jeff got set we were finally on the trail by 8am, an hour behind schedule now. The first section of the trail appears to be a old Jeep Trail of sorts for the first half mile before narrowing a bit to resemble a bit more of a actual hiking trail. After an initial gain the trail mellows out for quite a ways till taking the turn on to the Mount Yale Trail. Overall the trail is very good, nicely cut and has lots of rock staircases. The first two hours we were right on my pace at 1K feet per hour, but I knew it wouldn’t be long till I started slowing up. We were still in tree line, which seemed to last forever. I think we finally cleared the trees somewhere between 11,500ft and 12,000ft. After we gained our first 2,500ft I told Jeff to take off and not wait for me. I warned him I was slow so I didn’t want to hold him back.
Once I was out of the trees I had my first view of Yale. I didn’t like not being able to see the goal for near 3hrs of hard work. There were many people high on the trail; at least 20-30 which has been turning into the norm of
14ers even during the week. I just slowly crept up the mountain, about as fast as a tortoise. I felt so tired I just wanted to lie down and take a nap. This seemed difficult for me; my mind was playing mental games. You start to think; if I go this slow will I have time to make the summit? Or, do I even have it in me today? The mental aspects of climbing mountains are always the toughest to overcome. As long as weather holds and it won’t be dark on the way down my stubbornness pushes me on. I just say to myself: You don’t really want to do this approach again do you? And the answer is always NO. So slowly, but surely one foot in front of the other I kept making my way up the mountain. Colorado
|Marmont and Mount Princeton|
A lot this section was rather tricky, but soon we were in the trees. My favorite was when Michael says if you hear me yell or moan don’t worry about it. He says from yoga they tell you to do that to let the pain out. If that’s the case I would have been screaming like a school girl, my knees hurt like hell and my toes were on fire. Nothing like a 270 pounder running down a 14er in big old hiking boots. It just wasn’t right. When I got home I found I lost another toenail…my poor feet.
Once we were in the trees the trail started heading to the west, which was good since it was away from the black cloud of death. I was pretty sure the clouds were making their way around Yale and would avoid us, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. We had a snack, got passed by two others that turned back on the mountain then we were off. The trail seemed nice in the woods but the temp was heating up. At one point the others thought it was going to rain on us so they put on some rain gear. Not me, in this sauna you will get wetter from your sweat that the natural beauty of rain. They soon found my point and took off their sweat suits. I thought the hail was actually refreshing. Maybe give me a bit of a shower for the way home? Can’t hurt, can it.
Starting Elevation: 10,000ft
: 14,196ft Summit
Total Gained Elevation: 4,300ft
Distance: 9.61 miles
Time: 7:06 moving, 2:20 stopped.
Climbing Partner: Jeff and Michael
Picture Link: http://s282.photobucket.com/albums/kk243/nickkarl72/Mount%20Yale/