Peak(s):  Ypsilon Mountain  -  13,514 feet
Hagues Peak  -  13,560 feet
Fairchild Mountain  -  13,502 feet
Mummy Mountain  -  13,425 feet
Mt. Chiquita  -  13,069 feet
Rowe Mountain  -  13,184 feet
Rowe Peak  -  13,420 feet
Date Posted:  10/02/2014
Modified:  10/03/2014
Date Climbed:   08/23/2014
Author:  Monster5
Additional Members:   Kylie, Boggy B, Marmot72
 Blitzen the Mummy Kill   

My apologies for foregoing lonely ol' Chapin in favor of Blitzen Ridge. We're suckers for the aesthetic. And also for the late report. I've got about a dozen worthwhile days and trips to catch up on.

Blitzen the Mummy Kill

August 23, 2014
Blitzen Ridge (5.4) to Ypsilon to Fairchild (class 2) to Hagues (class 3) to Rowe Mountain and Rowe Peak (class 2) to Mummy (class 2) on down
Roughly 17 mi, 8500' gain. Around 17 hrs. This one's a doozy.
Partners: Steve for all but the Rowes, Boggy and Kylie to the Fairchild/Hagues saddle.
Gear: No technical gear used. 2 x 30s, a half set of cams 0.3-2 and odd nuts brought.

The day starts out just fine, after the rangers are kind enough to let us sleep at the Lawn Lake lot for a headlamp start. Cruiser trail for a few miles up to Ypsilon Lake and curious signs on both sides of the stream.


Steve and I head for the shortcut gully N of the lake, curling around the left side. Boggy and Kylie opt for the long way. We gloat and cruise, satisfied with our immense knowledge on mountain travel until the glowing golden eyes and slinking unmistakable form of a cougar halts us. I grab a stick and hope to sneak around left. No go. The kitty ain't moving. It isn't threatening, but it also isn't budging. We yell, we scream, we throw things, we threaten and we do pretty much everything I plan to do when it comes time to raise children. The cat stares at us, occasionally slinking low and scoping out his escape options. Dauntless.

We concede and slink away, pretty much following the easiest path available up the creek feeding Ypsilon Lake (mostly right side with a couple crossings) until an obvious trail picks up. We follow the well-cairned, but not terribly great trail up to Spectacle Lakes. Our dimly lit route is a wet class 3 mixed with occasional trail.

We skirt around right of Spectacle Lakes and climb up to the ridge via a loose class 3 gully and flank. The wind howls at a buffeting speed. A cold one too. Some weird system moving in. That's okay though. Big day ahead and too cold for lightning is fine by us. Somewhat. We do burn half an hour chowing and hoping the winds die with sunrise.

We theorize the wind will die closer to the face however, and that it does by the time we near the first of the Four Aces. We're good to go. And now the goods.

The First Ace is bypassed left via a ledge system. The higher ledge starting at saddle elevation quickly narrows to some spicy exposed class 4. Brief though and the ledge eases up as we climb to the 1st/2nd saddle. A lower ledge might be easier. Going over the First Ace appears to be 5.6 or so via a right weakness with a class 3 downclimb.

The Second Ace is also passed to the left. Much easier. Going directly over the 2nd appears to require a normal person rap to downclimb.

The Third Ace is climbed directly via a fun chimney giving way to angled ledges. Up then right then back left. Fun 5.4 or so.

Steve's cruising at a good pace. By the time we make it to the summit, he's past the rap anchors and half way down the Third downclimb. The rope pull looks nasty, so down we follow. Stay near the ridge with occasional short jogs to the right/N whenever the ridge gets too difficult. Around 5.0.


Looking back. Follow the ridge, using occasional features and ledges to the N

Ah the Fourth Ace. This one's fun. The standard route: climb brief jugs to a series of ledges. Scramble the narrow ledges up and right, wrapping around the Ace. Other options: climb directly up the ridge with a single wildy exposed handcrack mantle move with tricky feet (5.7) or curl around to the left side (chossy 5.4ish). We explored them all and opted for the right ledges due to required ropework time or loose-osity, respectively.


Kylie and Boggy coming up the ledges

Steve checking out left. We backed off and kept curling around right.

The headwall's next. From the 4th/Headwall saddle (look for the alleged gravestone), move left/S and find yourself a low 5th dihedral back up to the ridge. Next, scramble up the headwall directly. I aimed for a series of white dihedrals and a tricky mantle around 5.4.

Regaining the ridge from the dihedral to below-right of Steve.


Kylie nearing the tricky section

From here, you're near home free, minus the 1K' of gain. Continue up the ridge at 3rd and 4th class. There are optional low 5th features proper or bypass to the right/N as your heart desires.

But don't underestimate it.

And the summit! Yay-oh-crap. There's our wind. Cold cold cold. Our suffering is alleviated by seeing Steve tough it out in shorts.

Quick pictures and trudge. Now this is the definition of a sufferfest. Cold and windy class 2 talus slog with upwards of 1K' of elevation regain for both Fairchild and Hagues. My picture taking also seems to have tapered off. We tried staying slight right of the crests to avoid wind, hop hop hop along the talus or short patches of grass.

Looking to Fairchild

Halfway up Hagues, Kylie's had enough and a week or so prior at sea level doesn't help, so they wave goodbye and drop back to The Saddle for the hike out. Well crap again. I originally wanted to say "pah" on the slog and call it good after Blitzen. Oh Well. I'm already here and hey here's Steve too. The summit of Hagues is quite nice and naturally,as soon as Boggy and Kylie leave, the wind days down for the rest of the day. Just great.


I take a direct way up Hagues, delving into brief 4th. Steve jogged right of the summit block prior to ascending, which can be kept at 3rd or maybe 2+. Knowing Steve "Path of Most Resistance" Cummins, it's doubtful that's what he did.

From the summit, we split. I'm not sure why, but the Rowes are sitting out there all nice and dandy. The ridge could probably be kept class 3, but I've had my fill and opt to drop an additional 100 ft or so via cruiser terrain to the right of the tarn. Not too bad. Hop hop hop. Up and left to Rowe Peak and more longer-than-it-looks hopping over to Rowe Mountain. I don't sign the register as the weather is building, but the summit block is kind of cool.

Rowe Mountain

I bee-line straight to Hagues' E ridge near pt 13302 and hop my way to the Mummy saddle. Up the ridge, class 2ish with some jogs left. I'd like to stop and grab some water, but there's a storm brewing. I doubt it's warm enough for boomers, but I'm not a big fan of hail knocking on my noggin. Up and over the summit. Down the SE ridge, meeting up with Steve who dropped to a leisurely pace to wait for me, until we pick up a cairned and faint social trail taking us to the good Black Canyon Trail and then the Lawn Lake Trail.

The sign says some ridiculous blasphemy of mileage back to the trailhead so out we trudge. Naturally, I think the sign over-estimates mileage, but the copious switchbacks dropping a mere foot or two each might just prove the mileage right. Still, cruiser, and we're out just before dark and in time for a burrito or two.

Oh the memories.


Derek, Keegan and I did Dream Canyon the next day after work. 3CI. Two raps to 55 ft. If you don't know what that means, don't do it without an experienced partner. Start at the upper Dream Canyon Trailhead and end at the Boulder Falls Parking lot in Boulder Canyon. Shuttle required to do it legally. Watch out for swinging johns in the upper canyon and gaping tourists down lower. Need more beta or want to get into canyoneering? Ask Furthermore.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4

Comments or Questions
baby ry ry
10/03/2014 02:31
quit cryin damn it and go climb that class 5 choss!

dude sweet job, and even sweeter pics (especially the 5th one). will be visiting this TR again in the future.

what again are those idiots doing in the last few pics?

10/03/2014 02:40
There are some terrific things happening on right now. This one of them.

I second that ^!
10/03/2014 05:30
Keep em coming! Blitzen! well done and nice work Ry, Steve and gang. Great shots and TR to go with.

Dave B
Nice photos
10/03/2014 13:04
These are some great photos. Blitzen is already aesthetic but you captured it really well. Can't wait to get on it!

With that said you guys should have added on Honcho Boncho on Fairchild to have made it a real day...

So canyoneering is more like minimalist white water rafting then?

10/03/2014 15:09
Nice work Ryan & Co.

If you guys could just keep posting these awesome reports/traverses daily the 14ers community would appreciate it! (we'd settle for weekly too)

Ryan....You are a monster :)
10/03/2014 16:07
Well done, man. That Blitzen is really something I look forward to if I ever get down to the Park. Cheers, man!

Nice Guys!
10/03/2014 21:29
I had my eye on the Mummy Mania traverse this summer but decided against it due to Fall River Road being out. Where did you guys come in at? Regardless, congrats on a huge day. solid effort in the park.

Oof - that's a big day. Great report!
10/04/2014 02:30
I like what you did with the title there. Was up in those parts a week or two later, and I can report that you didn't miss anything on Rowe Mountain; that register tube was absolutely impenetrable.

10/04/2014 03:20
for the comments, all.

jbchalk - you'd love it, buddy

David - came in from Lawn Lake TH from Old Fall River Road from Fall River Road (acess to TH available despite the road knocked out by a slide further up). The park stops collecting fees at sunset, but the rangers are very particular about camping or car camping without a permit. To avoid a window knock alarm clock, car camp somewhere outside the park and drive in the morning.

Dave - hadn't heard of Honcho Boncho buttress before. Looks fun. Nice and grassy seldom traveled sort. I like the minimalist white water rafting comparison.

Lady of the Night wearing a Deuter: the true idiots are the ones running along the tops of the canyons rather than dropping into them.

gingerbread man
10/05/2014 01:24
all great stuff but I had the thought about the cougar, maybe he thought you look like gingerbread

Dad Mike
Oh my...
10/06/2014 17:25
this report makes me hate my job just a little bit more

good job!
10/06/2014 21:27
Sorry I pooped out on you guys early nice job finishing mania!

10/09/2014 04:24
I'm worn out just from reading this! Well done gang.

And I'm glad to see the nickname ”path of most resistance steve” seems to have stuck! I can't remember who we can thank for that - helmut or papi?

Sick and twisted!
10/15/2014 02:06
When I saw on FB that Blitzen was climbed, there was a moment of happiness to think only that had been climbed! One peak. I can maybe hang with that. But, now this? Ugh.....pass the pizza and beer.

Nice report, Ryan!
10/17/2014 02:42
That day was one of the scrambling highlights for me this summer, so thinks for inviting me! I didn't even know what the Blitzen ridge was beforehand. It was also great hanging out with Boggy & Kylie.

And yes, ”Path of Most Resistance” is here to stay. My wife seems to find it a particularly apt description, and not in a mountaineering context.

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