So far the winter of 2012-2013 has had very little snow fall. I have been taking advantage of that to climb some of the more remote peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park. Two weeks ago I climbed Mummy Mountain.
View of Mummy Mountain, climbed that one two weeks ago
At that time the Lawn Lake trail had a great track put in most of the way to the Black Canyon Trail junction. Not much had changed since then so I figured that Fairchild could be done in a day.
I started hiking a little before 6 a.m. under the light of my headlamp. Microspikes were very helpful as there were at least four or so iceflows covering the trail. This was the largest, half-way across it really angled down hill. A slip here could lead to significant hurt.
One of several ice flows across the trail
Shortly after the last ice flow, the trail had been drifted over and it was time for snowshoes.
Time for snowshoes This was shortly after the two campsites along the trail.
Soon I arrived at the Black Canyon Trail junction where two weeks ago I cut to the right. This time I went straight and walked on top of the Roaring River for 50 yards or so.
Roaring River covers the trail just past the Black Canyon trail junction
After the ice, I had about 3/4 of a mile of trail breaking to get to frozen Lawn Lake.
Frozen Lawn Lake
This is really a beautiful basin. I was up here two summers ago to fish. Did not catch anything but it was an enjoyable day nevertheless. I hiked along the side of the lake and soon Fairchild came into view.
It still looked far away but I still had plenty of time and the weather was spectacular. Not a cloud to be seen and the winds were light. As I started climbing up from the lake, I was unable to follow the trail but the snow was quite firm lending itself to easy travel. Came across some interesting snow sculptures.
Strange snow sculptures - Aliens?
Soon enough I made it to the saddle named “The Saddle.” I wanted a less steep route to the summit so did not cut the left any earlier. Along the ride the view of the Desolation Peaks was impressive.
I stopped to eat lunch part way up the ridge. Hot soup and Triskets was a great picnic in the park. Fueled up, I hike the remaining 300’ or so to the summit. Here is a view of Hagues and Mummy.
Hagues and Mummy from the Summit
I reached the summit at 1:00 p.m. The temperatures were quite mild for January and the winds were light.
Thanks for reading!
The hike down was quite nice. I basically followed my tracks to Lawn Lake and picked up the trail. The sun went down shortly after the Ypsilon Lake trail junction so out came the headlamp. I arrived back at the trail head about 6 p.m. making for a 12 hour day. I you believe the RMNP sign at the Lawn Lake trail head, I hiked about 20 miles. I estimate just under 5000’ of climb. Now to find some food.