One of my principles is to always keep my promises. Including those that I make to myself.
Yesterday when I set out prematurely on the Ypsilon Lake trail and had to turn around, I knew that I needed closure. So that’s where I went today.
I was up at 5, out the door at 6, and at the trailhead by 7. That make a lot more sense than starting my hike to Ypsilon Lake yesterday afternoon, because most of it would have been after dark.
Including my wandering around the lake, making various other detours, and looking for the trail when it wasn’t where I thought it should be, today’s hike was 10 miles. I got back in 8 1/2 hours, well before dark.
This hike’s “difficult” rating no longer fazed me. And today for some reason this 10-mile hike was easier than the 4-mile hike I took yesterday. Normally, I don’t go hiking two days in a row, but we had two days of sunny weather in a row that I wanted to take advantage of before the storms come back.
Hiking at such an elevation was cold enough. While the sunshine was brilliant, it was so cold that almost all day I appreciated wearing a head sock that Karen had turned me on to, as well as my gloves, a heavy flannel-lined khaki shirt, long underwear, and insulated boots.
Ypsilon Lake lies at 10,600 feet directly below Ypsilon Mountain, which is 13,514 feet high. The Greek letter “Ypsilon” looks like our “Y,” which the snow-packed couloir on the mountain looks like.
For the last hour to and from the lake the trail was almost completely covered in ice. So I put on my Yaktrak (coiled crampons) and hiked without a single slip.
Returned to “civilization” in the late afternoon, I was rewarded by seeing a herd of about 50 elk grazing just before the entrance station to Rocky Mountain National Park.