| Windom- west ridge
We caught the train in Durango on Saturday morning at 9:00 into Needleton with our backpacks.
Hiked up into Chicago Basin with intent on climbing Sunlight and Windom peaks. After a nice easy day of backpacking up to the campsite we scoped out Windom and Sunlight. We decided to be up at 5am to get a 5:30 start after the past days with storms. We thought with only 4-5 miles round trip we would have no trouble being on top of the first peak by 8:30 or 9am.
We hit the trail as expected at 5:30 and made it up to a family of goats where I had to stop and take a gazillion pictures cause goats are my favorite animals next to dogs!
Then we started the climb, wow, straight up!
I didn't realize the elevation gain we would encounter. I felt like I was basically on the stair master the entire way up. It was worth it though, beautiful waterfalls, goats, goats, and more goats. I love that area!
The trail takes you to Twin Lakes where we stopped and took more pictures. We then headed up the rest of the trail where we encountered a little snow. There was a slight snow traverse and then a scramble through some loose talus and boulders.
That took us to the saddle btw peak 18 and Windom. You continue to scramble through large boulders and many times found yourself using your hands.
There was never really any scary exposure and the climbing onto and off of the boulders was really fun. At the top there are several blocks of rock to climb around and the highest block is the summit. You can attain it easily.
I had a blast up there, it was a unique summit with incredible views. On the way up my husband had worried about the downclimbing which actually turned out to be nothing at all. We again enjoyed getting to use our hands and focusing on the easy route finding. The cairns mark the way pretty well! We are very careful and cautious people and don't do anything out of our scope or ability. We have yet to try a 3rd class mtn for fear of falling, but if 3rd class is anything like these 2+ routes I am ready to move on. I had fun with this mtn!
We arrived on the summit at 10:30, much later than expected. We thought we would just attempt Sunlight and see how far we got, but with clouds moving in, my blister, and our slow pace we decided to let our rock climber friend, Greg, go for it and take pictures for us. I am glad we didn't go, I had had enough excitement for a week. We took our time getting down, watched Greg climb Sunlight, glissaded down a snowfield, and my crazy husband took a dip in twin lakes..BRRRR!
Saddle between Sunlight and Sunlight Spire
It was a great day and I am definitely going back to that basin- Wow- it was amazing!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):