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 Peak(s):  Sunlight Peak  -  14,059 feet
Windom Peak  -  14,082 feet
Mt. Eolus  -  14,083 feet
 Post Date:  09/08/2013
 Date Climbed:   08/06/2013
 Posted By:  BirdMan

 Misty Mtn. Hop - Day 1 - Going In   

Durango is a long way from my home town. So how to get to Durango for the 14ers without side-stepping my family obligations too much? After some discussion, my wife was gracious enough to let me con her into a combined family vacation/14er romp. And with that we would go for the three 14ers in the Chicago Basin area outside of Durango. I think it helped that we also conned a friend's family into it as well!

I suppose we could have walked in to the Chicago Basin but that would have required a 30+ mile round trip hike to get in and out. So instead we opted to take the train and only have a 12 mile round trip hike in to the basin. Good choice.

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The train ride itself was beautiful, but this was just the beginning. We were dropped off at the Needleton stop, which is essentially nothing more than a bridge across the Animas River and the start of the trailhead.

Saying goodbye for a few days.

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The bridge across the Animas.

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But wait... what's this person doing down by the river? Patience dear reader, the mystery will be revealed on Day 3!

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We took the train in on a Monday. Given that this was a weekday I niavely thought there wouldn't be too many people going with us. Boy, was I wrong. I think the conductor on the train said 50 or so people were getting off at Needleton stop. Heading in...

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The route in was mostly wooded and followed Needle Creek. The shade was welcome as we were all sweating under our 30+ pound backpacks. After 2 or so hours the terrain opened up as we started to reach the basin.

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We weren't in competition but in retrospect we were glad to have passed some folks on the way in as the campsites started to be going at a premium. We grabbed our site with the below view. Windom Peak is in the center with the sloping ascent on the left.

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As we were getting our campsites set-up the neighbors dropped in for a visit.

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Tom setting up camp with some new friends over his left shoulder.

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At last, we had everything in place - our water bottles full, our packs safely strung up in the trees. Now comes dinner time. Still looking fresh. My, how that would change.

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Tom relaxing after dinner. What better place to spend a couple of days...

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But wait! I thought we were only a party of three. Who is this guy?!?

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Misty Mountain Hop
Day 1: Headed In
Day 2: Sunlight and Windom Peaks - http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=14296
Day 3: Mount Eolus and Out - http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=14297



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