| Jihad on Aeolus & N. Aeolus - Needleton/Chicago Basin
Date: Friday, July 28, 2006
Team: Wyo_MtnMan, Mrs. Kelly, Tanya, CODave, TalusMonkey, Roozers42 + Scott
TH: Needleton to Chicago Basin to Twin Lakes
After knocking off Sunlight and Windom the previous day, Wyo_MtnMan, TalusMonkey and CODave joined with Roozers42, Scott, Wyo's girlfriend Tanya and Wyo's mother Mrs. Kelly to bag Aeolus and N. Aeolus.
Mount Aeolus was to be Wyo_MtnMan's finisher - his final ranked Colorado 14er.
Wyo_MtnMan, CODave, TalusMonkey, Tanya, Richard and Mrs. Kelly woke at 0430 and headed up the trail to pick up Roozers42 and Scott at their campsite at 0515. At a few minutes past 0530 we all headed back up the obvious trail toward Twin Lakes.
Rather than climb all the way to the lakes and backtrack to Aeolus, we left the trail at approximately 12,000 and bushwacked 500 feet up to about 12,500 to intersect the trail to Eolus. This trail is a good class one trail to about 13,500. However, at about 12,500 Richard indicated that he was not feeling well. He decided to remain behind to descend.
The rest of us continued the climb toward the Mt. Aeolus/North Mt. Aeolus saddle. We achieved this easily and then made our way across the so called "catwalk" toward Aeolus. No one in our party found this difficult or challenging, as the catwalk was quite wide with sloping edges.
Our group on the "catwalk" with Mount Aeolus behind (left to right: Scott, Mrs. Kelly, Wyo_MtnMan, Tanya, CODave, TalusMonkey, Roozers42):
Once on Aeolus' ridge, we followed an excessively cairned route to the summit. The route zig-zaged up the face of Aeolus similar to the northeast ridge on Pyramid. Again, no one in our party found the class 3 or maybe 4 climbing difficult. We assembled just below the summit so we could all summit together with Wyo_MtnMan for his finisher.
The group on Aeolus' summit (left to right: CODave, Wyo_MtnMan, Mrs. Kelly, Tanya, Roozers42, TalusMonkey, Scott):
Mt. Aeolus summit survey marker:
After a long summit break and congratulations to Wyo_MtnMan, we began our descent of Mt. Aeolus and traverse over to N. Mt. Aeolus. The scrambling from the saddle up to N. Aeolus was fun steep class 2 and 3 on solid, but sharp conglomerate rock.
TalusMonkey, Wyo_MtnMan and CODave on North Mount Aeolus with Sunlight and Windom in background:
We returned to camp and spent the afternoon hanging around camp. On Saturday, July 29, Wyo_MtnMan took Tanya, Mrs. Kelly and Richard to summit Windom Peak. Roozers42 and Scott also summited Windom, as the weather on Thursday had prevented them from summiting on that day. CODave and TalusMonkey spent the Saturday "slack day" exploring Chicago Basin and swimming in a water slide/pool on Needle Creek.
Although it rained for a few hours on Saturday afternoon and evening, Sunday brought blue skys and sunshine. We all hiked down to the Needleton whistle stop and returned to Silverton via the train.
Our group at the Needleton stop as the train is slowing to a stop (Scott seems quite concerned that there is a large machine churning up alongside of us! The photographer had intended this timed shot to capture the front of the engine...):
Everyone agreed that the Chicago Basin was the most beautiful group of 14ers they had experienced. And we all had a great time with friends and climbing partners!
Congratulations Scott (Wyo_MtnMan) on finishing the Colorado 14ers!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):