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Fairchild Mountain Fay Lakes Approach

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 2.0 (1)

A shorter but more involved approach to Fairchild Mountain.


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Map Key

6.5

Miles

10.4

KM

Ascent

13,387' 4,080 m

High

8,545' 2,605 m

Low

5,011' 1,527 m

Up

169' 52 m

Down

15%

Avg Slope (9°)

63%

Max Slope (32°)
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry

Description

From Lawn Lake Trailhead, follow the Lawn Lake Trail along the Roaring River. After 1.5 miles, leave the Lawn Lake Trail and take the Ypsilon Lake Trail across the river. The trail climbs away from the river through a dense pine forest.

Once you reach Ypsilon Lake, hike or skin along the south shore and cross the outlet stream. From here, things get tricky. Bushwhack northeast for 0.6 miles to the lowest and smallest of the Fay Lakes. This is almost always a slog and takes longer than one would think. Eventually, Fairchild Mountain will come into view; you'll know you're getting closer.

After you reach the lowest of the lakes, follow the inlet stream uphill (to the north) to the larger and rounder Middle Fay Lake. Take the western shore along the lake to the bottom of the Hourglass Couloir (South Face). Follow the path of least resistance through the rocky terrain and up the South Face.

This is definitely a ski mountaineering ascent. Crampons and an axe are often necessary for the final few thousand feet, during the spring season.

Contacts

Shared By:

Ryan Nevius

Trail Ratings

  2.0 from 1 vote

#448

Overall
  2.0 from 1 vote
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Ascent Rankings

#158

in Colorado

#448

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581 Since May 15, 2017
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Photos

Rocky Mountain National Park looks beautiful from the summit of Fairchild Mountain. Longs Peak is on the far left. Ypsilon Mountain (and its beautiful Blitzen Ridge) can be seen on the right.
May 15, 2017 near Estes Park, CO
Ypsilon Mountain and Fairchild Mountain are beautiful from Middle Fay Lake. The entire South Face ski descent is clearly visible.
May 15, 2017 near Estes Park, CO

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