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Chapin Pass Trailhead

 
Chapin Pass Trailhead

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 40.47220°N / 105.6913°W

Object Title: Chapin Pass Trailhead

Route Type: Tundra Walk with a small amount of basic climbing

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Class 4

Route Quality: 
 - 6 Votes
 

 

Page By: smudge

Created/Edited: Aug 27, 2003 / Sep 25, 2003

Object ID: 158674

Hits: 3940 

Page Score: 71.85%  - 2 Votes 

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Approach


Begin at the Chapin Pass Trailhead, on Old Fall River Road (see "Getting There" section on main page). Follow signs toward Ypsilon Mountain (or "All Summits"). You will be able to see Desolation the entire time you are above treeline. Keep going about 1.5 miles past Ypsilon Mountain until you reach the base of West Desolation.

It is as simple as it sounds.

Route Description


Once you are at the base of West Desolation, it starts to get a little tricky.

There is no trail, and I only happened to see five cairns (no rhyme or reason to their placement), so good route finding skills are a must. I told myself that if I found I good route, I would build some cairns on the way back. This wasn't the case. My route was fine, but there are other (maybe better) options. This is very rugged terrain which consists of talus and loose boulders clinging to steep, broken, cliff edges. Take your time in finding the best route...this is no place to be in a hurry. This ridge is littered with rotten, loose, unstable rock. It is a mess!

Once you get to the "saddle" between the East and West summits, it gets a bit better. The loose rock isn't as bad, it just gets a lot steeper. Again, pick the route you feel most cofortable with. There are many ways to the final summit block.

Once you get to the final push, find a good crack, and make your way up. I took a straight forward approach and went right up the West side. But it looked like there would be some alternate routes on the North and East sides as well (looked a little less exposed)....whatever you feel more comfortable with. These would all be class 4.

Essential Gear


I would recommend bringing your typical long-day hike gear (good boots, layers, rain gear, plenty of food, water, etc...). There is no water along the trail, so make sure your containers are full.

In the winter, you will need an axe and crampons. The loose rock is difficult enough, with snow, winter climbing gear would be a must.

Don't forget the camera!!


Miscellaneous Info


If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Images

Looking back at West...The Summit!! The Never Summer...Part of my route on the West...From the "saddle" between...West Desolation (12,918 feet)...Desolations