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 Peak(s):  Sunlight Peak  -  14,059 feet
 Post Date:  08/07/2008
 Date Climbed:   07/30/2008
 Posted By:  CAVUfool

 Chicago Basin Approach 7/28/08 - 7/29/08   

On Monday July 28th my best friend and I caught the train in Silverton. The train follows the Animas River south towards Durango and is the only way to reach the Needleton trailhead except for an additional long hike. A word to the wise: tickets are not purchased at the same location as the train is loaded. Go figure.

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From the trailhead the hike is 6 miles and 3,000 feet to the lower Chicago Basin where we set up camp. It took us awhile to find a good spot. I was surprised by how many people were there on a Monday! Once we got a tent set up, water filtered, and bear-bag hung we bedded down around 11pm.

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Because of our late bedtime we decided to take a rest day on Tuesday and hike the 1 mile (feels like a vertical mile, but it's only 1,000 feet vertical) to the Twin Lakes in the upper Chicago Basin where we could scout out our routes for the next two days. Along the way we crossed a couple waterfalls (and many goats).

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We camped on the south side of Needle Creek. Here is the "bridge" to our camp:

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This is the first waterfall crossing:

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And more friendlies:

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This is the second waterfall crossing:

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And a video from above that same waterfall:




This view looks back down at basecamp, located in the trees in the center-bottom of the picture:

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The ridge in profile against the sky (Eolus' south ridge) in this picture would be the lower portion of our route on Thursday:

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The peak second from right would be our first goal on Wednesday and Needle Ridge is shown in the center of this picture:

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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


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