Jim Davies wrote:Your schedule for the Elk Park-Needleton loop is exactly what we did, so it's quite doable. The hardest day for us was day 2 - ours was 13 miles, over Hunchback Pass to Rock Creek. We had one guy (the only non-Colorado resident) that had to turn back that day, and another that had some altitude sickness issues on the second climb to 12K'.
Hiking out the same day as Eolus should work, as long as you get an early enough start. It depends on when the train picks you up. Most of our group didn't want to do the second climbing day anyway, so they would have been delighted to leave early.
Jim, I kind of figured the second day might be the toughest. Going over the divide and Hunchback pass looks to be pretty grueling. It's tough to hear you had guys turning back and getting sick. Just a reminder to me that none of this is easy. If you don't mind, could you give me some ideas as to where you guys camped? This loop doesn't have nearly as much beta as the Four Pass Loop had on the web so I've been trying to figure out where the logical stopping points are. I do have some ideas on day one, but after that I just went by mileage for scheduling. The one thing I did figure out this past trip is that ten miles out there is the equivalent to about fifteen here. That's how it felt anyway...
Yep, I may try to leave the basin the same day I finish climbing. I'll just play that by ear and see how it goes.
Jim, again, thanks for the insightful advice and your time.