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How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

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How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby Dark Helmet » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:22 pm

I'm planning to do Chaquita and Ypsilon in september... solo (because I'm an idiot).

How well defined and delineated is the trail on these? my most colossal fear while hiking is getting lost...

I'm still very much a novice skill wise, physically I'm fine (run 25-35 miles per week, among other things)



I did Twin Sisters, Chasm Lake, and Pikes Peak via Barr Trail last year... but all of those trails were very well defined. Twin sisters was heavily overcast and raining/snowing, and I almost lost the trail a couple times about a mile up (fog), and then picking out cairns was sketchy with the visibility... I was solo on that one, and it kinda freaked me out a little.


Ypsilon is more isolated, and my fear is going in as a noob and not knowing if the signs/markers/trail are easy to follow.

info/advise/admonishments?



(flame suit ready, but not putting it on just yet)

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Re: How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby dpage » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:38 pm

It's pretty obvious where you want to go on the way out. A trail leads to the base of Chaquita. From the summit you can see Ypsilon but would be walking over nice stable talus. On the way back you don't have to reclimb Chaquita unless you just want to and can follow a faint trail in the general direction you want to travel. Choose a good weather day as almost everything is above treeline from the Chapin Creek TH and you should have no problem.

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Re: How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby Dark Helmet » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:56 pm

excellent, thanks... praying for clear skies! I'd like to be at the base of Chaquita by sun-up, so that should work nicely.

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Re: How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby hskrhiker » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:20 pm

I would like to add two thoughts:

1. When you start down Ypsilon go back toward the saddle between Ypsilon and Chaquita as opposed to going straight down. I made this mistake several years ago and the walking the further down you go is much worse.

2. As you are going down Ypsilon you will see a trail lower in the valley than the one you came in on. This is a much easier trail and ultimately meets up with the higher trail.

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Re: How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby Lemmiwinks » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:22 pm

It's pretty much all above treeline as well, so the general direction of travel is very straightforward and easily visible.

If you know any basic map and compass navigation, this route is nearly impossible to get lost on. The only way I could see someone getting lost is if he/she is going for the full Mummy Kill and has to bail to the west because of a storm.
“If you're bumming out, you're not gonna get to the top, so as long as we're up here we might as well make a point of grooving." -Scott Fischer

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Re: How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby Dark Helmet » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:32 pm

again... many thanks. I'm not awesome with a map and compass, but I have "good" natural sense of direction and have 10 weeks to figure the rest out!

are you able to skip Mt Chapin's ascent and just go up chaquita or not?


I've got about 4hrs to do this hike from car to car... soooooooo, yeah.

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Re: How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby hskrhiker » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:57 pm

Yes, you only summit Chapin if you want to. Essentially, once you clear the trees you walk on the side of Chapin on your way over to Chaquita.

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Re: How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby Dark Helmet » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:26 pm

PERFECT...

~7.5-8mi round-trip, sooooo, 4hrs?

leave the cabin at 5:30, TH at 6, ~1.5hrs to base of chaquita, an 45mins for each summit, and an hour back down...


these two plus MLW a couple days later should make for a solid trip.

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Re: How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby DaveLanders » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:53 pm

Depending on when in September you are coming, Fall River Road may not be open. If this is the
case, you can drive to the Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road, and hike down to the Chapin
Pass TH on Fall River Road. This will leave you with some uphill at the end of the day.

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Re: How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby Brian C » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:22 pm

Dark Helmet wrote:...

these two plus MLW a couple days later should make for a solid trip.


Yup! You'll have a great time some wonderful peaks!
Brian in the Wild
Lists of John
"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - Wordsworth

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Re: How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby Dark Helmet » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:55 pm

DaveLanders wrote:Depending on when in September you are coming, Fall River Road may not be open. If this is the
case, you can drive to the Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road, and hike down to the Chapin
Pass TH on Fall River Road. This will leave you with some uphill at the end of the day.



18th of Sept... it was still open last year on the 24th, so i'm cautiously optimistic.

if not... flattop/hallett.

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Re: How well-defined is the trail to Ypsilon? (Chapin Creek)

Postby TK » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:34 pm

As of a few weeks ago, Old Fall River Road was closed to pedestrians due to the active construction work. You should check with the park before driving up. There may not even be an option of walking down from the Alpine Visitor Center.
"If you're not sure where you are, but you haven't taken the time to stop and look at the map, you're not lost, just lazy." -Darran Wells

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