Mascot Peak Overview
"Mascot Peak" is the unofficial name for Colorado's 295th highest mountain, standing in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness within the beautiful Sawatch Range. (Read Grant's overview of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness).
It is the high point on a ridge connecting directly to Mount Yale. "Mascot Peak" is nestled between the prominent 14ers, Yale
, and therefore the peak is often overlooked. That is precisely one of the reasons I think it is a worthwhile climb.
The best logical route for Mascot Peak is the descent from Mount Yale's east ridge from just east of Yale's summit. It can be a nasty scree-filled journey from there to the 13,060-foot saddle before your ascent to Mascot. See the "North Ridge via Mount Yale Summit"
route for more information.
Another possibility would be ascending directly from Avalanche Gulch, but this would require a lot of uphill bushwhacking through not-always-so-nice terrain. If you do so, be careful to avoid damaging the land you are on. Follow game trails and make every effort to LEAVE NO TRACE in your endeavors. Solitude abounds on this lonely mountain.
I would recommend climbing this mountain from the Avalanche Gulch Trailhead
. However, the peak can be accessed from any of Mount Yale's trailhead's, as described on the Mount Yale Page
. This is a nice trailhead, in that it is along a paved road, there is room for loads of parking, and the hike begins on the comfortable Colorado Trail. From U.S. 24 in Buena Vista, follow Chaffee County 306 west for 9 miles. Be looking for a large sign; the turn is somewhat hard to see on the right side of the road. Turn right there and park anywhere in the large parking lot.
There are currently no permits required; however, overnight camping is not allowed at the Avalanche Gulch Trailhead. If you want to split up the hiking, camp below timberline somewhere along the Colorado Trail.
For current weather and 10-day forecast for the Buena Vista area, Click Here
Note: While this is the nearest town with which to gauge the weather for this mountain, plan on temperatures being cooler than the downtown forecast. Also, don't take warnings or threats of storms lightly. Weather is bound to be worse above timberline; always be prepared!
(Forecast provided by weather.com
When To Climb
As always, June to September would be the recommended seasons for climbing this mountain. It can be climbed in winter with snowshoes, but beware of avalanche danger. Avalanche Gulch has its name for a reason, you know.