Chapin, Chiquita and Ypsilon

The previous day's hike was a failed attempt to get to Spectacle Lakes from below.  So I wanted to be sure to get to the summit of Ypsilon Mountain today so I could at least see Spectacle Lakes from above.

Be sure to click on these thumbnail photos for larger versions.

1. Just a little fog at the beginning of the hike to set the mood.  This is looking toward Desolation Peaks.  The summit is in the clouds.

2. Some fog low in the Chapin Creek valley.

3. Elk on the horizon.  I met two other hikers early in the hike.  Our paths crossed several times throughout the day.

4. Nearly the same place as the previous picture.  This time the sky is out of the shot and the exposure of the landscape is brighter.

5. Looking back, you can see Lava Cliffs to the left and the Alpine Visitor Center to the right as the morning sun begins to illuminate the ridge.

6. This shot was actually taken later in the day on the way back down, but it shows where I was at this point in the hike.  This is looking toward Mount Chiquita and Ypsilon Mountain.

7. There are my two hiking buddies in the saddle between Mount Chapin and Mount Chiquita.  I decided to skip Mount Chapin now to maximize my chances of summiting Ypsilon Mountain.  I'll catch Mount Chapin on the way back down if weather is still good.

8. This is looking Southeast from the Chapin Chiquita saddle.

9. After starting up Mount Chiquita, this is looking back toward Mount Chapin.

10. This is looking West-Northwest.  Just left of center is Mount Richthofen in a little cloud.

11. Nearing the summit of Mount Chiquita, this is looking North toward Desolation Peaks.

12. On the summit of Mount Chiquita now.  The clouds begin toying with me and will continue throughout the day.  That is Chiquita Lake.

13. Mount Ypsilon is totally enveloped in clouds now.

14. A small part of one of the Spectacle Lakes is visible from here.

15. As quickly as the clouds roll in, they roll back out.  This was taken from the saddle between Chiquita and Ypsilon.  My two hiking buddies are just starting the hike up Ypsilon and are in this picture near the horizon, in the left third of the picture.

16. Looking back toward Mount Chiquita.

17. Again looking back toward Mount Chiquita.  This time with Longs Peak in the background.

18. My first view of the true summit of Ypsilon Mountain.  Just barely sticking up over the horizon line.

19. Ypsilon Mountain.

20. There's one of the Spectacle Lakes!

21. I'm getting close now.  You can see one of my hiking buddies standing near the summit.

22. There are the Spectacle Lakes I tried to get to from below the previous day.

23. I've reached the summit of Ypsilon Mountain!  This is FHFOM standing on the edge of the rock shelter.  One of his major goals this trip was to summit Ypsilon Mountain before Bill 007.  The near ridge is Mount Chapin.  The next ridge is where Toll Memorial is, and the background is the Gorge Lakes area.

24. Desolation Peaks.

25. As I was sitting on the summit, chatting with my two hiking buddies, one of them suddenly said "Look!  It's a fox!"  Sure enough, there he was, poking his head out from behind some rocks.

26. I immediately reached for my pack to pull out a better lens.  As I did that, the fox came out and dashed quickly out of sight before I could get another picture.  But then he suddenly came out again and ran past us giving me a couple good shots.

27. Here is another one.  Shortly after, the reason he came out of hiding became apparent.  Out of nowhere, out pops another hiker.  He had just reached the summit, coming from the east and flushed out the fox.

28. Shortly after starting back down, the clouds rolled in again and I was in a whiteout.  Couldn't see more than a few feet in any direction.  After a few minutes of this, I wasn't sure I was going in the right direction, not being able to see any landmarks.  So I pulled out my compass to make sure I was going in the right direction.  It didn't take too long though and it cleared up again.

29. This is looking up the Cache la Poudre river valley toward Clark Peak.

30. On the way back, the weather was still good so I started up Mount Chapin.  This is looking toward Mount Chiquita, Desolation Peaks is to the left.  There are a couple hikers in this picture on the side of Mount Chiquita a little up from the saddle.

31. This is zoomed in a little so you can see the hikers better.

32. I've reached the summit of Mount Chapin now.  This is looking toward Horseshoe Park.

33. Also from the summit of Mount Chapin, this is looking toward the Never Summers.  The left most peak is Howard Mountain and right most is Nokhu Crags.

34. You find this sign early in the hike not too far from the trailhead.  There are two trails here, one to the left and one to the right.  On the way up, I followed this sign's advice and went to the right.  The interesting thing is that when I came back, I was on the other trail.