Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Mt. Eolus  -  14,083 feet
North Eolus  -  14,039 feet
Windom Peak  -  14,082 feet
Sunlight Peak  -  14,059 feet
 Post Date:  07/16/2010
 Date Climbed:   07/07/2010
 Posted By:  globreal

 Eolus and North Eolus before the rain   

Chicago Basin Climbs: Day #1
Mt. Eolus: 14,083 Route: Chicago Basin (Standard)
North Eolus: 14, 039 Route: Chicago Basin (Standard)


Crew: The Michigan Flatlanders: Len, John, Brad, Mark, Steve,
and Robert from St. Louis…and me, Britt (globreal)
Climb date: Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Start Time: 4:40am
End Time: 1:08pm
Total Time: 9 1/2 hours (total hiking/climbing/summit time)
Trip Length: 6 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,000 feet

Note: I put together a little trip report that shows the "approach" into Chicago Basin. You can view that mini-TR here if interested:

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8455

Image



After we all got to camp Tuesday evening, we set up our tents and ate dinner. Then we discussed the plans for the morning. I got a little flack when I asked for a start time of 4am. After a few groans and moans, I acquiesced and gave in for a later start time…."okay, 4:30am…how's that?"

After climbing numerous 14ers, I've learned the value of an alpine start...to beat the afternoon thunderstorms. When you've got a good trail to follow, it doesn't hurt to hike the first few miles by headlamp.

It took us an hour and a half (with a few rest stops) to get from camp at 11,100 up to the Twin Lakes plateau at 12,500.
Image

The view at Twin Lakes up towards our objective…Mt. Eolus in the alpine glow.
Image

The Michigan Flatlanders and Robert from St. Louis (red helmet) are staying strong even though they were practically at sea level just a few hours before.
Image

And did you notice the wild flowers? July is a good time to be in the Chicago Basin. These little guys are sooo tiny.
Image

At about 600 feet above the Twin Lakes at an elevation of about 13,200, we found the low-angled, "ramp" that heads NE up to right away from the Eolus summit.
Image

This takes us up to the saddle between Eolus and North Eolus. And alas, to the infamous "catwalk." I had heard that this has some serious exposure to it and so I was a bit apprehensive. My little buddy Eric, basically said, "don't worry about it, it's not that bad." As it turned out, most of this catwalk was several feet (like 6 feet) wide and therefore, wasn't bad.
Image

Looking back, here come Steve and Robert over the high portion of the catwalk,
Image

Len seems to be enjoying himself here.
Image

And it's after the catwalk that things get steep. Steve is making good on this Class 3 rock.
Image

After a good amount of scrambling up this steeper rock climb, we made it to the saddle to the west of the summit. Then on this final pitch, it's a short hop over to the true summit. Here is Steve, Len, and Mark coming on up.
Image

I reached the top of Eolus at 9:10am, about 4 ½ hours since we left camp. The summit marker with Sunlight and Windom in the background across the Twin Lakes Basin.
Image

Len was quite jubilant to have made it!
Image

Robert gets there and hugs the "top rock."
Image

Brad giving the summit pose.
Image

Arrow Peak and Vestal Peak to the north.
Image

Sunlight Peak and Windom Peak to the east.
Image

Someone standing on North Eolus.
Image

It was good that 7 out of 8 of us climbed to the 14,083 foot summit of Eolus today. And it was 10am when we started down.
Image

After down climbing that front face of Eolus, we made it back to the catwalk.
Image

After we crossed the catwalk, we found the spot where we had stashed our poles and ice axes….and off scurry the marmots. Crap! I forgot about that…they like the neoprene handles! I remembered you don't leave them out at camp….but I forgot up on the peak. Steve found the chunks missing from his brand new, shiny trekking poles!
Image

And here is the fat and full marmot basking in the sun digesting his lunch!
Image

Oh, well, it's off to the next peak…North Eolus.
Image
Image

After climbing Eolus, this ridge up to North Eolus is really easy and takes only about 10 minutes to reach the top. We got there at 10:53am which is pretty quick after leaving Eolus.
Image

Mark, (you can see him in photo 19) had taken a nasty spill on his road bike and had to have surgery on his thumb just days before. Rock climbing with a hand in a cast post-surgery….doesn't feel good. So, he decided not to climb up to the top of this one.

And it's probably a good thing. As the San Juans are known for….afternoon thunderstorms. And here they come even though it's only 11:00am. We start down quickly by 11:15am.
Image

And we hadn't even gotten back to the Twin Lakes before the sky is falling. John is smart and kept his helmet on!
Image

Why not, it's good protection from the grapple…those hail pellets.
Image

With the grapple, which turned to rain as we got lower, we moved pretty quickly back to camp, arriving at 1:08. Less than 2 hours after leaving the summit of North Eolus.
Image

It proceeded to rain on and off the rest of the afternoon. Glad I brought a book to read for the tent time.

If you want to check out the trip report for our next day climbing Windom and Sunlight, go here:

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8480&parmuser=globreal&cpgm=tripuser



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
doggler


Alpine Start     2011-02-04 17:22:17
Good thing, eh? If these mountains could be climbed safely with 9:00 departures, everyone would be doing them.

I felt that Eolus past the catwalk was some pretty tricky stuff. I have difficulty calling that class 3 while North Maroon is class 4.

Loving the TRs, can‘t wait to read about Sunlight/Windom!


susanjoypaul


Chicago Basin     2010-07-16 08:23:24
Nice job on these, Britt :-) Looks like all that rock climbing out at RRCOS has paid off - you‘re knocking off the more scrambly peaks no problem! The great thing about leaving Chicago Basin is knowing there are still all those great 13ers in there to come back to, or as Styx would say, ”I‘m makin‘ my way back to chicago - I‘m makin‘ my way come rain or shine.” Good luck on the rest... I suspect there are more grand adventures ahead for you this summer.


Presto


Beautiful ...     2010-07-16 10:09:52
This is such a pretty basin ... and your pictures certainly do it justice. I love those teeny tiny flowers ... I‘m looking at them all the time ... of course, I‘m short, so they‘re easily viewed by me. Glad you had such success with these peaks (especially for those traveling so far). Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


d_baker


Arrow & Vestal     2010-11-30 10:28:51
Nice job Brit!
I would love to get in there in the summer for a different experience from the snow climbs I did on them in May.

BTW...Your pic of "Animas" and "Moniter" looks like Arrow Peak and Vestal (l. to r.) to me.


globreal


Arrow & Vestal     2010-07-16 11:18:41
Okay, I‘m takin‘ your word for it and changed the names in the TR. Looking on a map, I thought they were to far away to be those. But what do I know?


JosephG

Good stuff     2010-07-16 11:57:10
Enjoyed both your Chicago Basin TRs. Especially liked pics 12 (good dimension) and 22 (good chuckle). You‘re closing in...


greenwok


Premium Day!     2010-07-16 22:33:40
Again - absolutely beautiful how you captured the experience with the lens Britt!


14erFred


Beautiful climbs, Britt!     2010-09-06 00:13:57
Fabulous photos of an awesome adventure shared with fine friends on some marvelous mountains...you really know how to put together a great trip! Congratulations on nabbing two Needles summits in a single day despite the rain. You've got the right stuff, dude!



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.