Mount Yale is the tallest peak seen in this picture
|Elevation||14,200 ft (4,328 m) NAVD 88|
|Prominence||1,876 ft (572 m)|
|Location||Chaffee County, Colorado, U.S.|
|Range||Sawatch Range, Collegiate Peaks|
|Topo map||USGS Mount Yale|
|First ascent||August 18, 1869 by William Brewer, William Davis, Robert Moore, S. Sharpless, Josiah Whitney|
|Easiest route||4.5 mile hike|
Mount Yale is one of nine fourteeners in the Collegiate Peaks, in the central part of the Sawatch Range near Buena Vista, Colorado. It is the 21st tallest peak in Colorado and the 5th highest in the Collegiate Peaks.
The term "Collegiate Peaks" comes from some of its individual peaks, which are named after universities, including Mount Harvard, Mount Princeton, Mount Oxford, Mount Columbia, and Mount Yale itself. Much of the upper part of the mountain is covered in scree and boulder fields.
Mount Yale was first climbed by a research team from Harvard University led by Josiah Whitney. The group named the taller Mount Harvard (14,420 ft) after their own university and the shorter Mount Yale after Whitney's alma mater.
Due to the similarity in heights of Mount Princeton and Mount Yale (Princeton is 1-foot (0.30 m) higher), it was once a tradition for the alumni of each school to carry rocks to the top of their respective mountain in order to add to the stone pyramid built at the summit. The graduates used these rock towers to ensure their mountain was the tallest.
Mount Yale has achieved great popularity as a non-technical fourteener. The mountain offers fantastic views of the Sawatch Range and Buena Vista, and is a favorite "training" mountain for those wishing to tackle more difficult fourteeners later in the season.
The standard route for climbing Mount Yale was once Denny Gulch, but overuse turned the trail into both a safety and environmental issue. The Denny Gulch trailhead was closed by the Forest Service for restoration, and now most hikers use the nearby Denny Creek Trailhead to begin their hike.
The climb up Mount Yale is generally considered to be moderately difficult, and can be attempted by any hikers in good physical condition.