Avg: 3.5 from 124 votes
|FA:||Clint Brooks, Charlie Ehlert, Dave Fedson, James Walker, and Phil Ritterbush, 1958|
|Page Views:||41,722 total · 184/month|
|Shared By:||paco on Jan 29, 2002|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC|
For additional information about raptor closures, please visit the Rocky Mountain National Parks area closures website.
Don't be fooled by the 5.4 rating. When planning for this route, keep in mind that you'll be climbing a rather commiting, lightning prone ridge which is blind to approaching storms. Soloists in good alpine shape should find themselves on top of Ypsilon by late morning. Roped parties must take extra care to move fast and efficiently.
If sending the whole shpeal in a day, you'll want an early start out of the Lawn Lake trail head. Hike to Ypsilon Lake, and head NW on a small trail leading to Spectacle Lakes. When arriving in the cirque you'll want to avoid Spectacle Lakes by cutting right and straight up a talus hill to the start of Blitzen Ridge.
Head NW and the rounded hill will slowly narrow into a sidewalk of granite. From here, you'll be able to see how Blitzen curves up and to the left reaching Ypsilon's summit.
The cruxes of Blitzen Ridge are the Four Aces. You won't hit the peaks of all the Aces but rather to the right or left. For the first two Aces, climb on their left side to get around them. Climb straight up the third, and to the right on the fourth (which felt like the crux to me). From this awesome position, continue straight up a prow for 200ft.
Here the ridge eases to 3rd and 4th class but with outstanding exposure to your left. Run up this 1000 ft ridge trying to stay left for the best rock and best view.
A neglected super classic!