Peak(s):  Ypsilon Mtn  -  13,514 feet
Chiquita, Mt  -  13,069 feet
Date Posted:  09/06/2016
Modified:  07/19/2017
Date Climbed:   09/04/2016
Author:  Jay521
 Hitchhiking in the Park...  

Not the best way down...


Trailhead: Start at Chapin PassTH End at Lawn Lake TH.
Route: Up via Standard CCY route here , Down via Don't try this at home.
Length: Approx 10 miles.
Vertical: About 3200 feet up, about 5800 down.
Partners: Solo

I had been looking at the CCY hike as one I wanted to do before they closed the Old Fall River Road for winter. For reference, read GreenhouseGuy's excellent TR here

My report will be more about the changing weather in the park and how not to go from the summit of Ypsilon to the Lawn Lake TH. GreehouseGuy's report takes a much more sane approach to these two peaks.

The weather went from clouds to sun to clouds to rain to sun to snow to sun. So, not a whole lot of pictures and some of them are a little blurry. My fav is probably the title picture which I took looking back at Chiquita from the saddle between Chiquita and Ypsilon with Longs in the distance.

Looking back down the trail in early morning haze.

And looking towards the visitor center where Old Fall River hits Trail Ridge Road

This next picture shows where I was thinking of going to to grab Chapin but decided given the iffy weather, I'd catch it on the way back. But my route change precluded me getting Chapin (another mountain for another day)
Coming up beside Chapin with Chiquita in the distance

This next one looks like either a forest fire or a volcanic eruption. It was just an interesting play of sunrise on the clouds and I happened to catch it just right. This is just at the saddle between Chapin and Chiquita.
Fire in the sky

The hike up to Chiquita was not difficult at all - easy class 2 at worst.

On my way up, the rain started chasing me and the sunrise afforded a few rainbow pictures.


My fav of the three

And the storm's a comin'...




I hit the top of Chiquita and managed to get a couple shots before heading over to Ypsilon

The Lord of the Park

Seeing the storm at my back, I started hustling towards Ypsilon. The snow caught me about 500 yards from the summit. I did manage to take a couple summit pics but let's just say that the views when I was on top weren't the best...
Looking North

Looking South

The snow started sticking to the rocks but only after a little bit of it melted and then froze. Oh joy. I decided I wanted to drop elevation a little quicker than the standard route would allow so I took the route you will see in the topo at the end of this report. The following picture shows the steepish gully I took down. It required a little bit of class 3 down climb and a lot of loose slipping on loose talus. I kicked several rocks loose and yelled "Rock!" each time - but nobody was foolish enough to be on that route below me anyway. Had there been, I might have heard "Stupid" yelled back up at me.
I hiked a little ways up the other side of the gully to take this pic.

The bushwhack down to Ypsilon Lake was NOT fun. I fought through some pretty thick willows and soggy bogs before reaching the lake. One would think that route finding when going down a gully wouldn't be all that bad but trying to keep out of the "suck your boots off" mud and away from the willows while avoiding little drop-offs was pretty time consuming.
Looking back up the easier part of the gully.

And a small slot canyon above the waterfall. Took me a little while to figure out how to get around this.

But finally, the Lake!


From there, it was a matter of following the trail back to the Lawn Lake TH. This next picture was taken where the Ypsilon Lake trail meets the Lawn Lake trail.
Looking back...

While this was a (sorta) fun and interesting route - and I got to see some areas of the park above Ypsilon Lake that few people get to see - I would not recommend this route unless your major in college was masochism.

Now, I found myself 7 miles down the road from my FJ and was very fortunate that a nice couple picked me up after walking less than half a mile. Then the REAL crux of the day began - fighting Trail Ridge Road and Estes Park traffic on a Holiday weekend to get back to Parker.

As I don't carry a GPS, this is an approximation of my route.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and please be careful out there!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

 Comments or Questions

Interesting loop
09/06/2016 14:25
Nice job, Jay! I did those trio of peaks in 2003 but then looped back to the original TH. Have also been up the Lawn Lake way several times to hit those other Mummies, but again, never tried that gully to Ypsilon Lake. Doesn't look like I missed too much.

Yeah, the weather can change in a hurry in the mountains! Glad you made it back safely. Nice rainbow pics!


Sunrise picture
09/06/2016 14:53
I LOVE the sunrise 'fire' picture. Great report as always, Jay. Looks like your weather wasn't much different than what my wife I witnessed in the Sangres. Looks like the views of Longs from that area also make the trip worthwhile.


cool pictures
09/06/2016 17:12
love the rainbow


Spectacle Lakes
09/06/2016 20:45
When I climbed Donner Ridge, I followed a trail from Ypsilon lake to Spectacle lakes. You were super close to not needing to bushwhack.


09/06/2016 22:55
My major in college WAS masochism...I am going to have to try this route.


P.S. I wrote about the SW ridge of LB just for you


09/07/2016 07:38
@ Doug - yeah, the Park is a neat place, isn't it? And I don't think you're smart in your assessment of the route down.. Smarter than I was, for sure...
@T-man - Yep - the Rockies had weather issues this weekend for all of us, didn't it? You'll get the Crestones soon, I think.
@Trotter - Thanks! It was as though the rainbows were following me.
@Dpage - Damn! Guess I shoulda paid more attention to the map before I left. Thanks for that tip. I honestly want to do Y again so I can see the views from the top.
@Kay - Why does your college major not surprise me? And thanks for the LB report!


What an adventure!
09/07/2016 08:52
Great write up and info for anyone considering a jaunt up there (me).
Even if it's what not to do!
You sure had varied conditions - glad you persevered!
Your reward was seeing the fire in the sky, and other cool things like rainbows.
Thanks sharing the pics with us.

Brian Thomas

more Mummy Range
09/07/2016 10:35
Let me know if you want to hike the other 13ers. We did a route last year that went up Fairchild's south slopes (cougar's TR here and looped in Hagues and Mummy too, I'd like to repeat it.

When in doubt, loop it out.


More thanks!
09/08/2016 12:01
@Sunny1 - you always have such positive comments. I appreciate that.
@Brian - I will take you up on that for sure...

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