Part 6 - Mt. Yale
After Eric Robinson and I reached the North Cottonwood remote aid station at 6:15 AM on day 3 (after climbing Harvard and Columbia all night), Eric dropped out with an inflamed ankle tendon, which did not allow him to raise his toes on one foot. That left only Blake Wood and me in the race. Blake had already climbed Yale at 9:34 PM last night, including a 75 minute delay just below treeline to wait out a thunderstorm. I summitted at 11:22 AM just before a brief but sudden hailstorm. That was to be my last summit of the race, for a total of 10.
Mt. Yale seen from Columbia. Blake Wood climbed directly up the avalanche chute seen in the lower left corner. I took a less direct route, west on the Kroneke Lake trail to 11,500, then along the western ridge approaching from the right. (1999 photo by Jim Nolan).
Base of the avalanche chute taken by Blake Wood. It is steeper than it looks.
I approached from the west, where the ridge became rocky near the summit.
On June 25, Carl Gable of NM and Barbara Dutrow of LA did a training run on Yale with me. Here Carl is climbing the final ridge to the summit from the north, the same route that I took.
Barbara Dutrow on the summit of Yale, 14,196 ft.
On the summit, I was greeted by Charlie Thorn and his daughter Emily. Charlie had to withdraw his entry because of a hyperextended knee and injured toe while training on the course earlier. Our stay on the summit was brief, as the partly cloudy skies suddenly unleashed a hailstorm.
While I descended the Denny Creek trail to the south, Blake Wood had descended the east ridge during the second night, shown here during my earlier training run on June 25. Here Carl Gable is enjoying the views from a pinnacle.
Descending the east ridge.
On to Part 7