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 Peak(s):  Mt. Eolus  -  14,083 feet
 Post Date:  08/14/2009 Modified: 08/15/2009
 Date Climbed:   08/12/2009
 Posted By:  geoffers

 Mt Eolus (NE ridge plus Glacier Pond)   

This was my third attempt on Mt Eolus, and the second in the last 6 weeks. This time I had perfect weather and I also spent a full 24 hours acclimatising in Durango, so in the end I reached the summit without too much difficulty.

For more photos of this route, plus some of the Columbine Pass / Vallecito Trail approach please visit

http://www.geoffmartindale.com

I followed the standard route of taking the train to Needleton then hiking into Chicago Basin. To avoid lugging a heavy pack any further than necessary I chose a fairly low camp at 10800 ft. This was the view from my tent :
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I had been planning to climb Eolus' south ridge, but when I actually saw it I changed my mind! It's a lot more impressive in real life :
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On summit day I got up at 4am and started hiking just before 5am. The moon was so bright I didn't need my headlamp until I reached the Twin Lakes / Columbine Pass trail junction. I made good time up past Twin Lakes, and took this shot from about 12700 ft. Sunlight and Windom I believe :
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The trail winds its way upwards, and is a bit of a slog but the scenery and mountain goats are welcome distractions.
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After traversing up to and over the big slabs the real fun begins - the catwalk and the NE ridge :
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Standing on the edge of the catwalk. With no wind and dry rock there's nothing to worry about!
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This shows the blocks that make up the NE ridge. The east (sunny) side had the biggest blocks, and so if the exposure became too much I switched over to the dark (west) side, where the blocks are smaller and hand & foot holds easier to come by.
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Posing on the summit of Mt Eolus! I reached the top at 8:15 am, and had the place to myself until 9 o'clock.
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After descending the ledges and ramps of the east face, then crossing the catwalk I wandered over to the small lake near Glacier Point. I haven't seen an official name for it, but given its size and proximity to Glacier Point, "Glacier Pond" seems reasonable. Shown here in the centre of the picture :
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From Glacier Pond I headed due east straight down to Twin Lakes. Roach describes this as a Class 3 snow climb, but without snow it was just a nightmare of crumbling rock and ball-bearing gravel. The steep gully did take me to a nice spot on Twin Lakes though.
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After dipping my feet in the cold water I headed back down to camp. This shot along the way is of the ridge from Windom to Jupiter, I think?
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The next day I hiked out at a very leisurely pace, and crossed the River Animas several hours before the train was due.
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Whilst standing on the bridge I recalled all of the posts on 14ers.com about the old / new bridge polava. The bridge looked about the same as it did in 2007, but according to this plate it really is a new bridge.
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One of the reasons why the D&S train is so dreadfully slow :
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Mustn't grumble too much I suppose, if they spent money on replacing the tracks they would have to charge more for a cold beer!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (4)
Freeze


Nicely done     2009-08-18 12:03:57
Way to stick with it. Let me know when it is time to finish out on Pyramid (not that Josh and I are good luck charms for you though)


CO Native


Congrats Geoff     2009-08-16 13:21:09
I didn‘t know you were back for another try alreay. Glad this trip went much better for you.


rocky


$$ question     2009-08-24 13:17:46
Thanks for a nice trip report. How much do they charge for a cold beer? We are considering carrying some beer to stash for the ride out - do they hassle anyone for BYO? We are taking the train in this Wednesday (8/26), climbing 2 days and coming out on 8/29 or 8/30.


geoffers


$4 a beer     2009-08-24 19:09:42
For a bottle of Durango Steamworks IPA. They had lots of other interesting microbrews too. Don‘t really know about BYOB, probably OK within reason.



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