The Mummy Range, extending through the northern portion of Rocky Mountain National Park and beyond, has long been my local alpine playground. After a relaxed traverse of the Mummy Mania (or Mummy Kill) route last weekend with Alan, we discussed the best way to make a loop of it. It's kind of a pain to have to shuttle between the Chapin Pass and Lawn Lake trailheads to do the standard point-to-point route. Especially when you leave the keys to your truck parked at Lawn Lake TH in Alan's car at Chapin Pass TH.
|Snow holding on the ridge between Ypsilon and Fairchild, the most difficult section of the traverse.|
We both came to the agreement that the best loop would be from Lawn Lake TH, and then up the Ypsilon Lake Trail to a point where you could bushwhack and gain Chiquita's east ridge. And you might as well just skip Chapin since it would no longer be on the way and you more than make up for it with the 5.5 mile and 4500 feet of climbing to get the Chiquita summit. I couldn't believe it when I saw on the FKT (Fastest Known Times) website that the legend Bill Briggs held the FKT for the exact route we described. Bill did the loop in "about 9 hours" on July 31, 1979! I guess I should have informed Bill that I was going to take a shot at his time since I believe he is still screaming down mountains on his skis and hiking trails at the ripe age of 87.
Well I took my shot today despite dark clouds in about all directions at sunrise. Luckily, the distant thunder stayed distant and, despite the steady rain and occasional hail, I was able to put together the loop. I know many others who could easily go faster than my time, but I was very satisfied with my 7 hour and 38 minute effort today.
The GPS track (with georeferenced pictures), 19.8 miles with 7605 feet ascent/descent
And for the Strava folks:
My time splits:
0:00 Lawn Lake TH (Start)
0:22 Ypsilon Lake/Lawn Lake Trail junction
1:37 Point 12005 Summit
2:15 Mount Chiquita Summit
2:47 Ypsilon Mountain Summit
4:04 Fairchild Mountain Summit
5:16 Hagues Peak Summit
6:13 Mummy Mountain Summit
6:49 Black Canyon/Lawn Lake Trail junction
7:24 Ypsilon Lake/Lawn Lake Trail junction
7:38 Lawn Lake TH (Finish)
From now on I'm going to call this route "Briggs Loop".