From the Chapin Pass trailhead ( 2
) at 11,000 feet, head uphill just a few hundred yards to a right turn marked with a sign for "Chapin, Chiquita & Ypsilon Summits" ( 3
). Follow the clear trail over a small drainage and gradually uphill ( 4
), ( 5
At 0.75 miles, reach a trail split with a sign pointing right to "All Summits" ( 6
). Go right. Reach another trail split shortly thereafter without a sign ( 7
). Go right again.
At around 1.25 miles from the trailhead, the route skirting Mt. Chapin (12,454') and ascending Mt. Chiquita (13069') comes into view ( 8
). On the approach to the Chapin-Chiquita saddle at 12,000 feet, cross a trail intersection and keep going straight ( 9
). Continue up on clear trail until it dissolves into class 2 rock ( 10
) at around 2.5 miles and 13,000 feet. Cross the rocks to the true summit ( 11
From Chiquita's summit, survey Ypsilon ( 1
) and the route across the saddle ( 12
). Head west off the Chiquita summit to access the saddle, which drops just 200 feet ( 13
). Ascend across tundra on the other side of the saddle ( 14
), more or less passing just inside of Ypsilon's east face. Follow cairns once it turns to Class 2 rock ( 15
), climb toward the first false summit at around 13,300 ( 16
), find more cairns and distinct vertical flakes of rock ( 17
), and approach another false summit ( 18
) just after the southern branch of the Ypsilon "Y" couloir for which the mountain was named. Pass this and find the true summit (13,514') at 4 miles from the trailhead, just beyond the northern branch of the "Y" ( 19
The crossing to Fairchild is more difficult, but it's clearly visible ( 20
) from Ypsilon's summit. Head west off Ypsilon's summit to access the easiest descent into the Ypsilon-Fairchild saddle. At around 13,050 feet, turn north and begin descending down steep and loose class 2 rocks ( 21
). Stay east of the larger rocks to keep it as Class 2.
Descend 700 vertical feet to 12,350 on the saddle before beginning a northeasterly ascent up Fairchild's southern slope ( 22
). Class 2 steep and loose ( 23
) gradually gives way to a series of short Class 3 scrambles ( 24
) for about 900 vertical feet total from the bottom of the saddle to the top of this first slope. Ascend 200 more vertical feet in a less steep series of Class 2 false summits ( 25
) and reach the true summit of Fairchild at 13,502 feet ( 26
), 5.7 miles from the trailhead.
Return the same way down Fairchild, dropping 1200 feet to the saddle and then climbing 700 feet back up to the ridge on Ypsilon's western slope ( 27
). From here, save about a half mile and 700 vertical feet by sidehilling at 13,000 feet across Ypsilon's western slope ( 28
) to the Ypsilon-Chiquita saddle. Cross the saddle and continue sidehilling across Chiquita's western slope until meeting back with the clear ascent trail.