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Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Mt. Eolus  -  14,083 feet
North Eolus  -  14,039 feet
Windom Peak  -  14,082 feet
Jupiter Mtn  -  13,830 feet
Post Date:  08/21/2010
Date Climbed:   08/11/2010
Posted By:  luckyzsquirrel

 Sampling of the San Juans Part 1: CB and Handies   

The Plan: Drive down to American Basin, hike Handies, head over to Engineer Pass and do a hike to Wildhorse Peak, Pt 13260, and Pt 13132.
Reality: Handies, weather prevented the rest.

Left Denver around midnight and headed down to American Basin. Last time I did Handies was when I was only a lad of 14, it was my 2nt 14er. I remember the wildflowers. I was a little late this year. Was a good warm up hike though. 2.5hrs up, lots of time up top, 5 hrs total.

After Handies headed to Engineer Pass to traverse some 13ers, it was raining but thought I'd try to wait it out, come 2:00 I gave up. Of course an hour down the road the clouds parted and the sun came through. Oh well! Camped off a forest road near Purgatory.

Boarded the train and headed up to CB. I really wasn't pushing myself but never got passed, or even caught up to the whole way up. I did encounter some nearly marble size hail though! Ouch! Up to the Basin in 3 hours. Too late to hike, if I return here again probably would do Silverton instead, you don't need a whole day to hike up the 6 miles IMO.

The Plan: Hike Eolus and N Eolus.
Reality: Eolus, N Eolus, Glaicer Pt, AND Windom

Breakdown: Start 430. 3:15 to Eolus, 15 min on top, Top of N Eolus 4:30 in, 15 min at top, Glacier Pt 5:15 in, Windom 8:45 in, 15 min at top, back to tent 10 hrs from start.

With the last two days weather as a guide I got an early start (started up before sunrise) to beat the afternoon storms. Turns out I didn't need it! Thanks to the pre 5am start had Eolus to myself. As many have said, the Catwalk isn't as bad as it looks, the actual final pitch is definitely the hairest part, though still manageable. Really my ideal hike though (great easy trail followed by fun scrambling).

Then over to N Eolus
Eolus from N Eolus

After a quick jog of N Eolus decided to hit Glaicer Pt as the weather was still holding out, great view of Twin Lakes from on top.

At this point the skies were STILL clear with not a hint of stormy weather. By the time I was back to Twin Lakes the skies were still blue so I hit Windom. Basically a pile of rocks all the way up though not technical, not my favorite, but better than talus slopes.

The weather was still good, and if I had the gear and mindset I had the time to do Sunlight, alas I'm not quite up to solo 4's yet.

Jupiter and out. 2:45 to top from CB.

Took what looked like the most reasonable route up, took the Columbine Pass trail up to close to tree line then cut up the SW slope. Steep at times but manageable. Some scrambling with exposure was required at the very top. Some great view of the lakes below.

Image #19 (not yet uploaded)

Took my sweet time back to Needleton, could have took more time as the train was about an hour late thanks to an engine being broken down. From there I headed over to Lizard Head Pass (just to go a different way back) and car camped for the night.

Oh, forgot to mention that I saw a ton of Shooting Stars on the drive in, as well as in CB. Perfect place for a meteor shower.

Sampling of the San Juans PART 2 (Return to the Cimaroon, Redcliff w/ great views of Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn)

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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