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 Peak(s):  Mt. Eolus  -  14,083 feet
 Post Date:  05/11/2009
 Date Climbed:   05/10/2008
 Posted By:  Easy Rider

 West Face & East Chute   

5/10/2008

Posting this mostly to include the panoramas.

The Durango & Silverton line to Needleton is a fairly long ride from the south end. I wish I could relax and enjoy it's charm, but I had a lot on my mind. After all, it was going to be a tough day hauling a lot of gear up into an area I had never been before, with a group I had just met yesterday, and now there was no turning back. I couldn't help feeling a little intimidated. I could barely muster the spit to chew my bagel.
"It's o.k. to suffer a little" Fabio had reassured me before I left, and in some strange way those words really helped. It kinda became my mantra for the approach. The train came to a stop at a long suspension bridge over the Animas. Two skiers stood there waiting. I recognized one of them, Andy, from the Crestone Needle trip earlier this spring. It had stormed last night, and they were completely drenched. I helped him hoist his soaking wet pack into the luggage car, and felt a little better about the weight of my own pack. Still, it was forecast to storm again.

Photo by F. Konsella
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With a high snowline, and several areas of the trail being obstructed by fallen trees, it took most of the day to reach Chicago Basin.

Photo by J.C. White
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A couple inches of snow fell that night, nothing too significant. In the morning we relaxed the start time waiting for it to clear up.
Then the wind picked up.

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JC White on the move in upper Chicago Basin

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Get the hell away from the Bar-B-Que!

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Photo by J.C. White
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We stayed close to the crest of the ridge to the summit, with a few moves requiring some attention.

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Arrow and Vestal, are among Colorado's finest peaks for climbing. They both have relatively solid rock on the north sides. Wham ridge (not seen), in particular is uber classic, and easy by alpine standards. This photo shows the descent route off Vestal. I think maybe it was claimed as a first descent during that week by a skier or rider, but can't recall the details.

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Brittany skis off the summit onto the west face.

Photo by F. Konsella
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A short climb back to the col was required to enter the chute down the east side from there it was one long run back to camp!

Phot by J.C. White
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Photo by F. Konsella
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Photo by J.C.White
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The willow line!

Photo by F. Konsella
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Photo by B. Walker
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
SchralpTheGnar


nice tr     2009-05-11 09:03:42
I almost thought that the snow looked that good this year,but then saw the date climbed date, bummer. Do you remember how much that train ride costs?


Presto


Hey, SchralpTheGnar ...     2009-05-11 16:09:36
Ticket price is $79 roundtrip this year regardless of whether you go into Needleton from Silverton or Durango. www.durangotrain.com Happy trails!


skibrendan

good report and pics     2009-05-11 20:15:14
Arrow and Vestal are added to the list. Beautiful!
Looks like lots of options in this area. And good snow at the time. Thanks for giving us a look.



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