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We were on the summit of Mount Chapin about an hour before sunrise. It had turned into a cold and windy morning and Erik was worried about having a freezing Texan on his hands. He had prepared well for the cooler weather, but I was in shorts and a windbreaker and only brought my shell jacket in my pack. So we found a ledge just below the summit to hunker down on which actually made a great spot to shoot the sun peeking up over the horizon behind Chiquita's SE ridge.
The sun quickly rose above the thick clouds and the only worthwhile photography of the day was behind us. We packed up and headed for our next destination, Mount Chiquita. This is a great mountain which stands in the Mummy Range at a height of 13,069 feet. It is just an elephant of a mountain with a long broad slope that leads from its saddle with Chapin to its beautiful, large summit. We stayed on the summit of Chiquita for a few minutes, snapping some strange photos, and then decided that the weather was going to cooperate well enough to make our way over to Ypsilon Mountain.
We were amidst waves of rain showers on our way down to the saddle and up to the summit of this 13,514 foot peak. Luckily, there was no threat of thunderstorms and we were hiking in relative comfort. We made the rock hopping scramble to the summit as we eyed Donner Ridge, where Jeff Christensen tragically lost his life the week before. From the summit we were looking at other destinations within the borders of the National Park. We found Mirror Lake to the north and looked into the beautiful Hague Creek drainage. A few token photos later, and we were headed off the summit.
It was a fairly uneventful hike back to the trail head. We did pass a few other people and came upon a family of Ptarmigan. These were the first baby ptarmigan I had ever seen. They were so cute. The mother was easy to spot, but the little ones darted in and out of the tall grass making them hard to see, not to mention photograph. After spending a few minutes with this little family of alpine birds we headed back to the car.
It was a great day out in the Mummy's, a range that I will never get bored of. There is a beauty of those mountains that is truly special and I will be back many times in the future!
|until next time...|
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