I hiked a loop on the south side of Highway 9 to get a good view of several remote peaks that I might hike in the future: The Triplets and The Fin. I've seen this area several times from the ridge below Nippletop and it looked like a fun hike. It was. Here's the Summitpost page for The Triplets, and 13er Girl has a great post about hiking them all. Here is a google earth image with my route as tracked by my Garmin fenix GPS watch - looking south.
Last summer I even hiked up from the highway to be certain that the way down was hikable. That's important because I've learned the hard way that it only takes a 10 foot cliff to stop me. And the southern side of Clear Creek is mostly cliffs.
I started by hiking up Cockeye Falls along the route I normally take to Lost Peak. Then after reaching the slickrock area just northeast of Lost Peak I turned east to cross the canyon. The Triplets are in view at the end of the canyon.
Here's a shot of Lost Peak and then looking east over toward the Triplets.
This is the head of the canyon where I crossed to the east. It took me about 35 minutes to get here.
Hiking to the top of a small hill gave me a great view of the area. Looking south toward the Triplets.
And The Fin.
The next photo looks north. To return to the road, I just aimed for the left side of South Ariel Peak.
The next shots were taken while walking along that path.
I chose to descend a steep section by walking down a chute/pinch filled with trees. There was plenty of things for solid footing and no bushwacking needed.
I didn't come down the way I'd planned. I took a route farther east. Based on my previous recon, it would have been easier to walk to the west a bit after descending the chute. Then it would have been mostly slickrock to the creek bed below. As it was, you can see that I was stopped by a couple cliffs until I found a route to the bottom.
Here are several annotated photos to show the area because most people are probably unfamilar with that part of the park. I suspect it doesn't see a lot of hikers. My route is crudely marked in yellow. My planned descent route is in blue - I didn't take that route. Still, the hike was almost entirely class 2.
These are old photos taken from the base of Lost Peak.
Next is an old photo taken from the Nippletop ridge.
And one taken from the Nippletop summit.
This one is taken from the top of the ridge east of Many Pools canyon.
And finally, one taken from the summit of South Ariel Peak.
I think I'm ready to try hiking these peaks.