The summit of Ypsilon Peak is at 13,500 feet in elevation — so altitude plays a major factor as well. Thus Brian and Dan quickly pulled ahead. Because the rappel wasn't anywhere near vertical, and we really needed to do a descending traverse to get to the notch, we decided to downclimb it. The description on Mountain Project even describes it as the best ridge climb in the park. This time to do Blitzen Ridge, 5.4. This might now supersede Kiener's and/or the Keyhole Ridge as my favorite alpine scramble in the park, simply for the quality of rock and length of the ridge. I hoped that with Fabio's deeper alpine knowledge that he could place pro in such a way to reduce rope drag to enable he and I to simul-climb, but it was not to be. I found one opportunity that looked like some stout 5.7 and chickened out. He didn't though, and soon he joined me in the notch. Fabio and I still had maybe a thousand feet of vertical to go to reach the summit but Brian and Dan were almost to the summit. Therefore I would get a really nice belay. Blitzen Ridge – Rock and snow. Colorado, Mt. Fabio was cool with it so I set off. We coiled the rope and trotted after Brian and Dan. The ledge system was easy and after about 100' I was on 2nd class terrain. We met up with Brian and Dan on Donner Ridge and began the descent down into the basin between Donner Ridge and Mount Chiquita. The pair had departed from the Lawn Lakes trailhead at 3:15 a.m. on the morning of March 16 with the intent of climbing Ypsilon via the Blitzen Ridge route and descending Donner Ridge to the south. Many years ago (about Sept 1958) Phil Ritterbush, Clint Brooks, Jim Walker, Dave Fedson and I (students at Yale at the time) did the first ascent of the Blitzen Ridge. Go left (clockwise) around the lake until you meet up with an easy-looking chute directly north of the lake. There was a rappel station there and Fabio and I debated what to do. Dan was by far the strongest rock climber among us so we encouraged him to try to attack the arte directly. I was surprised at how consistently quality the rock was…seemed to be very little choss (relatively speaking, for the alpine) in general. Next up was the ascent of this slope on the north side of the lake. We sorted out our racks, left a car at the visitor center, and headed over to Lawn Lake Trailhead. I gained the ridge just west of the summit of the second ace. Blitzen Ridge, Ypsilon Mountain . After much 3rd class scrambling Fabio and I reached the summit of Ypsilon Mountain at about 13:20 - nearly an hour after Brian and Dan. It took us a while to find a reasonable bivy spot but we finally found a few relatively flat spots in the middle of a boulder fields about 300' feet above Ypsilon Lake. In its alpine setting, this route challenges the soloist to make a fast ascent to the summit, or a roped party to move quickly and efficently to avoid the summer storms. Location: Ypsilon Mountain, Colorado 80517, USA. Follow this trail all the way to Ypsilon Lake (3 more miles). A party of two (Climber 1 and Climber 2) departed from the Lawn Lakes trailhead at 3:15AM on the morning of March 16th with intent of climbing Ypsilon Mountain (13,514 ft) via the Blitzen Ridge route and descending via the Donner Ridge to the south. On the way we had to make the detour to retrieve our stuff from the bivy site. Need to be heads-up, but this felt like a very logical, efficient descent.". But remember to look around and enjoy the views- Ypsilon, Blitzen Ridge, Fairchild. Mountain Project link here. The third ace is best climbed directly up a corner that's slightly right of center, then cut left to reach the top of the ace (YDS 5.3). The description on Mountain Project even describes it as the best ridge climb in the park. There were some clouds forming to the west so we didn't waste a whole lot of time though. Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Mountain is a challenging mountaineering route that includes sections of technical rock, often made more difficult in winter conditions. I set up a quick belay and brought Fabio over. The first part is steeper and offers some 5.easy climbing before it evens off a bit and continues to be class 4 all the way to the summit. I found a nice ledge system along the south side of the second ace and followed it along looking for a way to the top. Don't be fooled by the 5.4 rating. The route has 4 distinct rock features known as the 4 Aces which, along with a headwall after them, rise hundreds of feet into the air and comprise the crux of the climb with the difficulty ranging from 5.4-5.6. A photo essay from an alpine rock climb of Blitzen Ridge on Mount Ypsilon, 4,119m, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado September 2014 It had been over two years since I'd last climbed. Found your site while Googling Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Peak. By this time the clouds were beginning to develop into something fairly menacing looking. He set up a belay and brought Brian up. Recent snow and winds have contributed to what the Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasted as considerable avalanche conditions in this area since Saturday. I came down Donner Ridge, and when I got to the big, seemingly impassable cliff/notch in the ridge at ~12,300', I dropped down a loose-ish gully SOUTH off the ridge, stayed high on descender's left out of the underbrush in the basin and at treeline eventually picked up a very faint use path, crossed the stream to the right on a giant log, and soon ran right into a very obvious social trail that quickly led me right back down to Ypsilon Lake. We were slow, got to the summit just before dark. Blitzen Ridge is one of the finest ridges that can be climbed in Rocky Mountain National Park. Ypsilon Mountain. I had absolutely no problem with this because it was my turn to "lead" it. Depending on the strategy you choose, the day involves at least 10 miles of hiking and climbing, with at least seven thousand feet of cumulative elevation gain/loss. I had set up the belay right below a nice slabby ramp that looked like it might actually provide the first interesting climbing of the day. It had only been a 15.5-hour day, but it felt like a lot more. Fabio followed right behind. After climbing the Spiral Route on Notchtop Mountain the previous day, Jeff and I decided to tackle Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Mountain. I was out of practise and a good deal more uncomfortable with exposure than I remembered. It's hard to imagine what an adventure the onsite FA must have been! After a while the ridge did begin to flatten out. Those were certainly the stoutest moves I've pulled on lead in a while - probably in the 5.7 range. Despite forecasted rain, we decided to go for it anyway with an alpine start and a plan to be back to the car by 1pm. Start from the Lawn Lake Trailhead, where Fall River Road splits from Highway 34 in Rocky Mountain National Park. At about 12,000' you'll run into the four Aces. Start from the Lawn Lake Trailhead, where Fall River Road splits from Highway 34 in Rocky Mountain National Park. The terrain was just not steep enough and the rope drag was tremendous. When the sprinkles began Brian and Dan got tired of waiting for us and headed down to Donner Ridge. To reach the Fays, you first have to hike 4.5 miles (1 way) to Ypsilon Lake. I lined up some more partners, arranged the bivy permits, and showed up at The Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Saturday afternoon to meet Dan, Brian, and Fabio and pick up our permits. This classic mountaineering route up Ypsilon Mountain is one of the most prized ridge climbs in Colorado. Oh well - it was fun anyway. This classic mountaineering route up Ypsilon Mountain is one of the most prized ridge climbs in Colorado. I made it car-to-car in 3h52---or, rather, bike-to-bike, I suppose, as I approached via bike from Boulder. Thanks to its beautiful rock and wild position in a wilderness setting, Blitzen Ridge is perhaps the best ridge climb in the Park. Blitzen Ridge is a HUGE day. As the sun began to rise we geared up for the technical climbing. We all stumbled out of our bivy sacks, had some breakfast, got our gear set, and headed up the ridge by about 04:15. Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Mountain is a challenging mountaineering route that includes sections of technical rock, often made more difficult in winter conditions. From there climb the trail towards Lawn Lake and after a little more than 1.25 miles, turn left for the Ypsilon Lake turnoff. It was obviously a lot further than we could rappel with our one 70m rope, so our options were to consider making two rappels, waiting for both Dan and Fabio to join us, or downclimb. Blitzen ridge is a very popular and often talked about climb in Rocky Mountain National Park. Two days previously, we'd been repulsed by… After packing up and reorganizing our kit we resumed the death march back to the car and arrived at the Lawn Lake Trailhead at 19:30. Once Fabio had set up a belay he brought me up. This can be a casual dayhike if not in a rush. I began to make my way up a ledge system on the third ace but rope drag was becoming an issue so I found a very spacious belay ledge (big enough for all four of us) and set up a belay. We ended up bailing on the climb and instead headed south where the weather was better. My pack weighed 43 pounds on this trip up the Blitzen Ridge. There might have been a few low 5th class moves on that first pitch but mostly it was 4th class. A little ways into the traverse caution got the better of him and he backed off and retraced his steps. If the crap really hit the fan I was prepared to hunker down somewhere on the north side of the ridge and get a little wet and cold. Location: Ypsilon Mountain, Colorado 80517, USA. Midway across the ledge system rope drag began to become and issue for Dan so he set up a belay and brought Brian up with Fabio close on his heals. We were hiking toward Ypsilon Lake by about 15:00. Powell/Taylor – Ice, Rock, and snow. Fabio and I set a moderate and sustainable pace and let the other guys race ahead. Mountain Project link here. Ever since I first tied into a rope I've wanted to climb Blitzen Ridge. Luckily the weather held off and from there it was just a death march back to the Lawn Lake Trailhead. Walked down to Fall River Pass in the morning and hitch-hiked down. Once Fabio had all the gear he set off. This was by far the best pitch so far. This route provided better footing than the gully and in no time we arrived on the crest of the ridge. The first bit was pretty stiff and exposed but the holds were where I needed them. On October 31, 2007 I received the following note from Charles Ehlert (currently of Seattle, WA): Found your site while Googling Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Peak. It looked doable from where we were so Dan set off. He found some interesting climbing and after a couple of interesting moves found a reasonable looking ledge system that appeared like it would get us around the north side of the ace. However rope drag became such and issue that Dan didn't feel comfortable simul-climbing. We were all feeling a sense of urgency so we encouraged Dan and Brian to simul-climb instead of pitching it out. Labels: Colorado, National Parks, Rock Climbing, summit, United States. Looking down the grassy gully Once on the ridge, you still have a bit of easy hiking before you get to the start of the 4 Aces which mark the start of the technical climbing. Here's Anton Krupicka's Mountain Project report from a run (probably FKT) in August 2015: "Really nice ridge scramble. With dinner eaten and all our water filtered for the climb we hiked back up to our bivy site, made a few last minute organizational adjustments, and went to sleep. Despite forecasted rain, we decided to go for it anyway with an alpine start and a plan to be back to the car by 1pm. This was our 8th and final roped pitch of the climb. Before reaching the end of the rope Fabio set up a belay and brought me up. Recent snow and winds have contributed to what the Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasted as considerable avalanche conditions in this area since Saturday. Soon I joined Fabio and we swapped gear for the final time. P.S. I would advise staying down close to the water to work through the trees. The rest of us straggled into Ypsilon Lake and then dragged ourselves back up to the hill to grab our stuff. I slept fitfully and was already awake when Brian's alarm went off at 03:30. Fabio and I made a team, Brian and Dan made the other. Brian showed up a few moments later and Dan followed soon after. Ypsilon and Spectacle Lakes Ypsilon Mountain is one of the better peaks in the Mummy Range in northern Rocky Mountain National Park. Ypsilon Mountain is a 13er in the Mummy Range of Northern Colorado. Labels: Colorado, National Parks, Rock Climbing, summit, United States. There was no social trail and no cairns. While Fabio made his way back up the face of the fourth ace Dan made his way up the ridge. The first 50' of the pitch were up an interesting gully thing with a couple of fun moves but once up that it was 3rd class to the belay. I made my way down it trying to remember to place a bit of pro below the tricky section. While its west slope is unremarkable tundra, its steep, complex southeast face rises 2000 feet from Spectacle Lakes, containing several interesting routes. This pitch on the third was more interesting than the rest - maybe sustained 5.0ish with one interesting 5.4 move in the middle. We hadn't heard or seen any indication of thunder or lightning and I had my rain gear. There were some fun moves on great rock. Follow this chute onto the ridge and stay high on the ridge as it climbs to the north-west. Fabio didn't seem that concerned and neither was I really. Cresting this ridge will land you in the Fay Lakes basin, and following the top of the ridge west will take you to Blitzen Ridge, and one of the technical ways to ascend Ypsilon Mountain. That was a small price to pay for a successful ascent of the route. I think all of us were under the impression that the ridge was more or less flat until we got to the aces, but this was not the case. I'm not exactly sure what the attraction was - probably the spectacular setting as one of the dramatic arms encircling the gorgeous Spectacle Lakes Cirque and the large size of the route. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/ypsilon-lake-trail This was pretty much our last opportunity - above the headwall we were pretty much committed to going up and over Ypsilon Mountain and down Donner Ridge. I followed easily with Dan leading right behind me. The beta also said that the path around the fourth ace was the most challenging. Our 70m rope just barely got me to the notch were I found a rappel anchor where somebody had obviously decided to bail. Ypsilon. We named the two ridges "Donder" and "Blitzen" ridges - thunder and lightening. We got periodic taunts and cajoles over the radio as we slowly made our way up toward the summit. For the first two, traverse ledges to left (south) side of the ridge proper. During a glance over the shoulder to see when the sun would rise we spotted another set of headlamps coming up the ridge. With comprehensive contact information, including cell phone numbers, for over 275 million people nationwide, and Whitepages SmartCheck, the fast, comprehensive background check compiled from criminal and other records from all 50 states.Landlords use Whitepages TenantCheck, which is … They said they'd wait there for us unless the weather got really bad. The Official Whitepages. Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Mountain is a challenging mountaineering route that includes sections of technical rock, often made more difficult in winter conditions. After our snack Fabio and I swapped gear once more and he set off around the fourth and final ace. Towards the top the face became completely vertical, if not overhanging. For the last Ace, climb slabs on the right (north) side (YDS 5.4) until you reach easy ledges that wrap left towards a white boulder, from there cross to the left (south) side of the ridge and climb either a corner or chossy ledges to the top of the ace (YDS 5.2). And this is actually the summit you can see. After the first 50' the terrain eased quite a bit, but remained sustained 4th class. Rocky Mountain National Park - Ypsilon Mountain (Blitzen Ridge) Posted by dsneider1 at 10:10 AM No comments: Email This BlogThis! Upper Fay Lake was our first destination. We were slow, got to the summit just before dark. For those who aren't familiar with the route it is a strenous ridge climb found on Mt. We set a leisurely pace and arrived at the Lake around 18:00. Meantime Dan was getting antsy so Brian and I encouraged him to try a different line. I continued along the ledge system angling up toward the ridge crest. Encouraged him to try to attack the arte directly ramp Fabio set up ridge... 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