Rpt 6 of 6: Chicago Basin 14ers Part 2 (N. Eolus, Eolus, more goats)
Preceding Report: Rpt 5 of 6: Chicago Basin 14ers Part 1 (Sunlight, Windom, goats)
Aug 14, 2012
We were going to catch the train early in the afternoon, 6 backpack miles down Nellie Creek at the end of the day so that meant a pre-dawn launch on Eolus and N. Eolus. That circumstance is one of those happy accidents in mountaineering that makes you wonder, "Why haven't I always been doing it this way!" Sunrise on Eolus was stunning. (insufficient light for photos until the rock section)
CFI is working a project on Eolus summer 2013. It needs it. The existing trail is an erosion nightmare. If you see 'em up there, help 'em out, donate to CFI or at least say thank you. They're volunteers!
CFI's photo of Eolus trail
Look-see video as we helmet-on for the transition to rock.
Lower portion of successive ledges to ascend toward the ridge (this video is less deserving of your time than the others)
There were a few climbers above us and they were all clustered on Mt. Eolus (14,083), so we visited N. Eolus (14,039) first.
Some N. Eolus (14,039) shots:
Sunlight Pk.(14,059), Sunlight Spire (13,995), Windom (14,082), Jupiter Mtn(?) (13,830), from N. Eolus (14,039)
Monitor Pk (13,589) from N. Eolus (14,039)
Mt. Eolus (14,083) from N. Eolus (14,039)
Clean shot of Mt. Eolus (14,083) & Catwalk ridge without that squinty-faced goober in it.
Drumroll....here is a (very long) video of the Catwalk traverse up to about 50 feet below the summit of Eolus where my battery died.
On top of Eolus we met a guy who was finishing his 53 (54? 55?). Congrats to you, sir! (guy with white mustache in this shaky iphone video)
Mt. Eolus (14,083) shots:
Mt. Eolus (14,083) summit with N. Eolus (14,039) in background
9th and final 14er on this trip. All downhill from here
Mt. Eolus is nice and all, but I'd rather just ... SING !!!! (?)
Turret Needles from Mt. Eolus (14,083)
Turret Needles from Mt. Eolus (14,083) with more daylight
Sunlight Pk.(14,059), Sunlight Spire (13,995), Windom (14,082), from Mt. Eolus (14,083), Light reflecting off Twin Lakes
Shady side of N. Eolus (14,083) with Monitor Pk (13,589) and Pk 13 (elevation?)
The obligatory Catwalk poses...
I'm a model, you know what I mean? And I do my little turn on the catwalk...
On the catwalk, on the catwalk, yeah, I do my little turn on the catwalk
Leaving Eolus steeps...
I'm too sexy for this slope
Broke camp @ 11 am. Up to now, the goats had kept their distance. Like the Sandpeople, Chicago Basin mountain goats are easily startled but soon return in greater numbers. We quickly had an invasion on our hands.
It began as a curiosity and grew to become an annoyance as the goats were no longer merely passing through but actively challenging us. Seriously - this guy brings his KID along? That's some serious disrespect he's showing us, yo.
you want a piece of me?
We left before they figured out that any one of them bluff challenging us by itself was not particularly scary...but if several were able to coordinate and come at us at once...that could have gotten interesting. In their defense, I must point out that they were shedding and we had camped right smack in the middle of some prime willow-scratching post territory which was clearly being used and used often -- chunks of wool everywhere.
that's what I thought.
For what it's worth, we hiked with some urgency down to the rail stop, but we needn't have worried. Our backpack pace downhill was significantly faster than the inbound trip. We got there with more than an hour to spare -- plenty of time to think.
Pondering the Impoderable
Finally, our ride! (or not)
Only a service vehicle -- our ride was yet to come...
Going down the mountain...
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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