Click on the pictures!

The Roaring River as seen about a mile below Lawn Lake.

Looking at Mummy Mountain from the trail.

Trail mileage marker just before reaching Lawn Lake.

Lawn Lake. You can see "the Saddle" in the distance....the low point in the ridge.

The trail leading toward Fairchild Mountain.

Getting a little closer.

Looking toward the summit. You can see Crystal Lake in the bottom-left of the photo.

Hagues Peak, 13,560 feet, as seen from just below "The Saddle."

Another of Hagues from the slopes of Fairchild Mountain.

I'm trying to hide form the howling winds..hoping the tripod stays up!

A ram along the trail.

Taking a break from eating..

A nice section of the trail leading back to the trailhead.

Fairchild Mtn.

October 8, 2003

I decided to give Fairchild Mountain another shot. I tried a few weeks ago to summit this remote Mummy Range Peak, only to be turned back by bad weather.

This is the sixth highest mountain in the National Park, standing at 13,502 feet. This mountain is not climbed too often, simply because of the long approach. I didn't see anyone else the entire day...a good place to avoid the crowds!

About 2 miles into the trail, I saw something move quickly across it just a few yards in front of me. A Bobcat was spooked by my presence, and let me know it. He turned around, hopped up on a rock and started growling. It was a horrible noise. If I heard that in the dark, I would have passed out! I backed up a little bit, gave him some space, and quickly snapped this photo. I know, I know...you can barely tell what it is, but I promise it's a Bobcat.

On to Lawn Lake! I walked along the Roaring River, enjoying the sights and sounds of the rushing waters. The trail winds through this valley along the river, up and down, side to side, into the woods and then back along the river, time and time again. Finally, I came to Lawn Lake. This is a beautiful lake in a wonderful setting. It sits at the base of the Southwest slopes of Mummy Mountain. I sat behind a large boulder, had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and some pistachios..great snack!

After the early lunch, it was time to push on up toward The Saddle. This is where the trail get VERY beautiful. It winds through some low willows, and sporadic spruce and pine trees. It is also filled with wildlife. I saw Bighorn Sheep, Mule Deer and Elk all in this half mile stretch, just below tree line.

After a few photo breaks, crossing the river a couple of times, and another handful of pistachios, I was standing just below The Saddle with Fairchild Mountain rising over 1,500 feet above me. I was debating on whether to head up to The Saddle, or take a more direct, but steeper route, directly up the Northeast Face of Fairchild. I chose to head straight up to the summit.

Not only was it steeper, but there was about six inches of snow on the ground, with over a foot in some places. This wasn't an issue when there was grass underneath, but when I got higher up on the mountain, it was all large boulders. Hopping boulders covered in snow and ice in tennis shoes gets a little tricky! Especially when it's about 20 degrees. Cold, wet toes! I took my time, planned a solid route every 50 feet, and after a long half hour, was on the summit!

This is a special summit, with amazing and unique views of many other summits in the park. It is a smaller summit than I had imagined, but more spectacular than I could have hoped! There was a biting wind, so I hid behind the summit wind shelter and only came out for long enough to set up the camera. I signed the summit log, and was off...back down the hill.

I took a slightly different route back down via a large snowfield that helped speed up the descent. It was an fast, easy, shoe-ski which dropped me about 300 feet in elevation. It even flattened out nicely at the bottom so I didn't have to worry about slamming into any rocks. Hey thanks snowfield!

It was a fairly uneventful hike pack down the trail. I did get to spend some more time relaxing with the large Ram...what a beautiful animal!

This might have been my most memorable hike, ever.....a lot of wildlife, a fantastic summit, a beautiful day, and a stiff leg to remind me the mountain is still boss! Another good day in the mountains!

Round Trip: 17.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,962 feet

 

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