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Chicago Basin Trip or not?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby my5sons » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:45 pm

How much experience should you have before doing the Basin trip and all the 14ers there? Is the middle to the end of August a good time to go?

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Re: Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby wildlobo71 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:01 pm

Some experience is always beneficial - you will face all the entry levels of class 3 and even a class 4 move here or there on Sunlight. There is exposure on Eolus with the Catwalk and ledges; there is hand and footholds to be tested on every peak. There is scrambling; there is loose talus and scree.

With all that said, many on this site have listed either Eolus or Windom as their first 14ers done. Just read up; know what you are in for and be prepared to turn back if you don't feel you have it that day.

End of August would be a beautiful time. This is an area where you want to maximize time available and the later into the summer you can get, past monsoon season, the better.
Bill W.
Yes, I have my Scotch.

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Re: Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby seth0687 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:01 am

August will be fine as is July and September. I would make sure you are solid at climbing at that grade because if you get into a mess you are a good distance from civilization...However, the mountains are not overly technical by any means. Truly it will depend on each person as to what they are comfy with.

Good luck, we are heading up to Chicago Basin in a little over a week.

Cheers,

Seth

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Re: Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby my5sons » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:50 am

Thanks for the input! I will need to buy a few things any recommendations on size of pack? Should I just rent a larger pack? I have a 55 now and a smaller one.

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Re: Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby Philly14er » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:11 pm

My two sons and I spent 3 days in Chicago Basin last summer, July 20th or so with a giude from Swag. While not our first 14ers we our from Philadelphia area and not that experienced , it was good for us to have an experienced guide along . A couple of quick comments: Bring rain gear, flleece, bug spray. We did Windom , opted not to do Sunlight and Eoulus, hiked Columbine Pass instead. We had our hands full with Windom. The Columbine pass hike was alot of fun and I believe a 13er. We saw an old mine , a bunch of goats and the lake /view is fantastic.
We all had Osprey 65's. Overall I fantastic trip we will remember forever.
You and your boys can kayak the Animas in Durango which we did to spend a day acclimating to the altitude before heading into the backcountry.
Let me know if you have other questions. Have a blast!

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Re: Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby spiderman » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:54 pm

If a 55L backpack is not enough, get better gear! I personally like a 22L for 3 day trips when I don't need any technical gear. The smaller the size, the less temptation that you will have to carry too much unnecessary junk.

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Re: Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby wildlobo71 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:56 pm

I took a 35L bag for 3 nights and it was great - no winter gear/technical gear means go lightweight! I took my Flash 18 by REI as my clothing stuff-sack / pillow and used it as my summit pack. I think my pack weighed 32# without water, and I was carrying food for 2 people. I just took two nalgenes and a steri-pen for water - it's flowing fast enough up there that sediment is low.
Bill W.
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Re: Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby Presto » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:00 pm

by spiderman » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:54 pm
If a 55L backpack is not enough, get better gear! I personally like a 22L for 3 day trips when I don't need any technical gear. The smaller the size, the less temptation that you will have to carry too much unnecessary junk.


One person's "unnecessary junk" is another person's desired necessities. I personally like having some creature comforts of my own and do not desire to live on freeze-dried food. To each his own.
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

Re: Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby forbins_mtn » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:01 pm

wildlobo71 wrote:I took a 35L bag for 3 nights and it was great - no winter gear/technical gear means go lightweight! I took my Flash 18 by REI as my clothing stuff-sack / pillow and used it as my summit pack. I think my pack weighed 32# without water, and I was carrying food for 2 people. I just took two nalgenes and a steri-pen for water - it's flowing fast enough up there that sediment is low.


i need a lesson on packing a bag then. i can't fathom taking a 35L pack for a weekend trip. What all did you take? Tent and bag? No pad, i assume

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Re: Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby altidude » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:01 pm

You have plenty more experience than I did when I went to CB. My first real backpack trip, and the first mountain I ever climbed was on that trip-Eolus.

You'll be fine. End of August or early September makes for more predictable weather patterns there in the basin. Enjoy yourselves up there!, CB is still my favorite destination. :-D
The mountain always wins, we do not always lose.

Carpe mañana

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Re: Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby ameristrat » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:42 am

I'm looking to get up there in late August as well - looks like a blast! Bill, I'm impressed with 35L pack. I need to do a better job of packing light....
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know. - Rene Daumal

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Re: Chicago Basin Trip or not?

Postby wildlobo71 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:41 am

forbins_mtn wrote:
wildlobo71 wrote:I took a 35L bag for 3 nights and it was great - no winter gear/technical gear means go lightweight! I took my Flash 18 by REI as my clothing stuff-sack / pillow and used it as my summit pack. I think my pack weighed 32# without water, and I was carrying food for 2 people. I just took two nalgenes and a steri-pen for water - it's flowing fast enough up there that sediment is low.


i need a lesson on packing a bag then. i can't fathom taking a 35L pack for a weekend trip. What all did you take? Tent and bag? No pad, i assume


Packing list:
2-man tent - packed on the outside.
Big Bertha sleeping Pad (compresses to the size of a fat nalgene)
MH Phantom 32 sleeping bag (compresses to the size of a tall nalgene)
First aid kit, small.
One spare t-shirt; one spare pants (not necessary); one spare pair of socks; one spare underwear. Stuff all this in the Flash 18 and crush it down.
R-1 hoodie (I wore, or wrapped around waist.)
Puffy jacket, compressed.
Rain Jacket, rolled.
Hat, climbing gloves, liner gloves, buff. Stuff all in Flash 18.
Food - 3 packs of ramen; 3 packages of instant potatoes, 3 packages of dehydrated veggies (from REI, Mountainhouse), 6 packages of tuna, salmon and chicken (not canned, but the packages). Hot sauce, salt, pepper. That's 3 dinners for 2.
Summer sausage, cheese, granola bars, Bobo Oat Bars, gummy bears... that's breakfast, snacks and lunch.
2 Nalgenes (hanging on exterior).
Helmet - on exterior.
Trekking Poles - on exterior.
SPOT, Steri-Pen, knife, 2 flasks of bourbon, deck of cards, book, plates for dinner, campware, rain cover for pack - all in the head of my pack.

That all fit in my 35L.

Jenny carried my Jetboil and fuel.

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Bill W.
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