Ypsilon Mountain, elevation 13,514 ft. Eight mile round trip from Chapin Pass. Two thousand five hundred feet of elevation gain from the Chapin Pass Trailhead.
Karen woke me up at 0530 yesterday morning and said she wanted to hike up this mountain, the fifth highest in the park. We had already hiked up Chapin and Chiquita in previous years, so this hike would complete our quest to hike all three (CCY) of these dominant peaks rising above and to the east of the Alpine Visitors Center in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Now if you know me, you know I like to sleep in until about 0730, and I'm not a happy camper until I have my morning coffee. On the other hand, I'm always up for a good hike, so I was happy to climb out of bed and grab the necessary gear for this hike.
Fall has already come to the tundra painting it with shades of gold, orange, and red. We enjoyed the autumn colors on the way up. To save time, distance, and elevation gain, we contoured around Chapin and Chiquita and headed straight up to our goal. Views from the summit were spectacular, as you can see in these pictures.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
This was a really beautiful and challenging loop I ran with good friend Matt Watts in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area of Colorado. We started at the Long Lake parking lot, ran to the Mitchel Lake parking lot, and northwest up the Beaver Creek Trail to the Buchanan Pass Trail. The Buchanan Pass Trail travels west over the Continental Divide and we took it down to the aptly named Cascade Creek Trail, which heads southeast back up towards the Divide and the Pawnee Pass Trail. This trail took us eastward on an awesome climb to the cross back over the Divide at Pawnee Pass, elevation 12,550 feet. From the pass we had wonderful views of Grand Lake to the west and the high plains to the east. The trail then dropped down to Lake Isabelle where it then connected with the Long Lake Trail, which took us back to our vehicles. Ten hours, twenty-seven miles, and eight-thousand feet of elevation gain! I had a wonderful time and hope to do more runs in this area in the future.