Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chapin, Chiquita, & Ypsilon

On Saturday JJ and I drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park. We drove up the Old Fall River Road to the high trailhead of Chapin Pass. We left the car around 7:45 and started hiking the trail towards the mountains. After only a few minutes we saw dozens of elk down in a lower meadow. Then, a park sign that designated the end of the maintained trail. However, the unofficial trail was really quite good.

It was a gorgeous morning and there weren't many other people on the trail. We continued to hike along the trail on the side of Mount Chapin. We decided to leave the trail and go straight up the north slope to the summit. On the way we saw dozens of marmots and pikas. Very cool!

When we summited what we thought was Chapin, we realized it was just a labeled point and not the actual summit. We continued on up and got to the true summit around 9:30. We picked up the trail again and descended to the saddle. Then, it was on to Mount Chiquita. Again, lots of critters and another hiker pointed out some baby ermines. Very cute! We summited this peak around 11:00.

Clouds were starting to form, but it looked like we had enough time to head over to Ypsilon, the third peak along the ridge. This one had a very gradual slope. We got to the top right at noon. There were beautiful mountain lakes below us and we also met some climbers who had come up the class 4 ridge from Lawn Lake. We turned around quickly because the clouds were getting bigger and darker.

We were just 10 minutes from the treeline when it started hailing and then thundering with lightning behind us. The thunder was very loud, but fortunately we made it to the trees with no ill effects. After a few minutes the skies above us cleared and we got back to the car at 2:45. A long, but great day.

No comments: