BETA PHOTO: The Y Couloir the approach trail on 7/7/02. You ca...
One of the most beautiful mountains in the park. the SE face of Ypsilon Mountain is one of the only steep faces in the Mummy Range and is guaranteed to be an escape from the crowds. This 2000 ft face is bordered by ridges on either side forming its own awesome cirque. The left side of the cirque is Donner Ridge, a nice 4th-class hike. The right side is the classic Blitzen Ridge. 5.4 to 5.7? The center of the cirque, the Y Couloirs are reserved for the alpinists. These couloirs hold the remote RMNP alpine experience.
Descent for all Ypsilon routes- either run down the backside to the trail head on Fall River Road (provided it's open). 2nd choice, descend Donner Ridge, or into the cirque between Ypsilon and Chiquita and back to Ypsilon Lake.
Approach- find the Lawn Lake trail head and trudge on up to Ypsilon Lake. From there take a less obvious trail NW and try to find Spectacle Lakes (a great place to be!). From here the Y Couloirs are straight ahead in the middle of the face. Donner is to the left and Blitzen is to the right.
This is one of the classic snow climbs of Colorado. In early season, there is generally a huge cornice at the top of this route. It is safest to wait until it falls down (which often seems to be around July 4th). Hence this route is in best condition later than most snow routes, early July through August.You can bivy below the couloir or start early and blast in a day. From the Spectacle Lakes, head up easy snow and branch right at the Y (the Left Branch I consider a separate route, hopefull...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
This is truly a beautiful and worthy mountain for any solo hiker who wants some adventure off of the beaten path. I climbed the southern left ramp of the mountain in 2010 solo. It's pretty much 4th class talus scrambling the whole way up but was still rather committing for a solo ascent (I believe this may be the descent route for some parties who are ice climbing). To do this line, you have to cut into the valley to the left of the cwm.