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Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby feral swan » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:16 pm

Hi, i am planning a trip into the Chicago Basin next week and i am finding it daunting. I am trying to read the trip reports but if you have any bring this(helmet,down coat?), camp here, goat tips, route suggestions ect. I have done many 14ers including Challenger and Kit Carson but not so far off the grid. Would be trying to summit Tuesday and Wednesday weather cooperating. thanks,

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby Ish » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:28 pm

Here are my suggestions:

1. Bring a six pack of beer and stash it in the Animas River when you get off the train. You'll be glad you did at the end of the trip when you are sitting there waiting for your ride back to civilization.

2. Climb North Eolus, it's an awesome mountain in and of itself and well worth your time.

3. If you're going for the Sunlight summit block, don't hesitate, you'll psych yourself out...just go for it! The move itself is easy, it's only the position that is so intimidating.

4. Bring a good book, with the weather in that area you'll probably be tent bound for at least a few hours.

5. Most importantly, have fun - I'm jealous, I can't wait to make it back up there!

There really isn't a bad camp site in the whole basin, and you're going during the week so I wouldn't worry too much about that.
Last edited by Ish on Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby Chicago Transplant » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:43 pm

1. Camp lower, there are less mountain goats and marmots. We camped at about 11k on the SW end of a nice meadow, the goats seemed to stay much higher and we didn't have any issues with them.

2. Start early, don't think just because you are at 11k that you can sleep in, we were able to summit but others we saw going up Sunlight when were on Windom didn't make it up Windom after due to storms.

3. Yep, climb North Eolus, doesn't take much time and its got really cool views of the final ridge on Eolus. Also if you are early, its a nice way to let people get up the slopes below you without cross traffic.

4. Climb Jupiter, if you ever think you want to do the Highest 100, might as well climb Jupiter now. It also has a great view of Windom's much more rugged south ridge and east face. I did the morning of the train ride and still had plenty of time to catch the train, just be sure to plan accordingly, you don't want to miss the train!!

5. Buy a soft drink on the train, free refills your entire ride, plus in the train station afterwards. tastes good after 4 days of nothing but filtered water!
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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby Aggie_05 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:53 pm

Bring a rain jacket...you're going to get wet.

Chicago Transplant wrote:5. Buy a soft drink on the train, free refills your entire ride, plus in the train station afterwards. tastes good after 4 days of nothing but filtered water!


...bring a fifth of rum to mix with said soft drink.

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby Canadian in Colorado » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:56 pm

pee on rocks....this doesn't keep the goats away but it keeps them from digging stuff up
If you're lucky enough to live in the mountains...you're lucky enough.

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby Cruiser » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:03 pm

Sixer in the river to make waiting for the train more pleasant
Down vest for the chilly evenings
Hammock for lounging between climbs
Spend a few minutes hunting around for a good campsite
Get ready because Eolus and Sunlight are no joke
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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby GeorgiaTyler » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:19 pm

The Needle mountains (across from PURG - north of Durango) just got dusted with snow so i'm pretty sure that Chi basin prob. got hit hard too. So come prepared for anything. Have a blast.
Climb up Pints down

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby Kitten » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:23 pm

1. We found out that having a tarp just to get cover from the rain works very well, specially after the hike (to cook, relax and just enjoy the views).
2. Pack as light as you can, it is not a long hike, but the elevation gain is considerable with a big pack.
3. Start early, the storms usually come in the early afternoon.
4. Do the "easier" peaks first (Sunlight or Windom), more difficult ones (Mt. Eolus) the next day. Bring helmet.
5. Enjoy the goats! they are not agressive, just territorial. Bring your camera and share the pics!

Have fun!!
"Do or do not, there is no try"
Yoda, Star Wars.

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby Jim Davies » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:07 pm

I'll second a few of the earlier comments:
Camp lower. It's less crowded, easier to hang your bear bag, and the animals leave you alone (although we did witness a deer chomp the flower off a blue columbine right in front of us - oh, the humanity!)
Definitely climb North Eolus. It's only about a 15 minute round trip from the saddle, and the rock is solid and delightful.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby cheeseburglar » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:54 pm

Skip the train and hike in.
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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby Yikes » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:29 pm

Will be up there tues-fri, so may be bumping into you.

Was going to post asking for last minute reminders (I always forget at least one thing), but you beat me to it.

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby feral swan » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:07 pm

Check
Money for train, beverage stash, plan for rain, colder than planned, early start 4:30, campsite, hike in(next time. wink, wink),north eolus, study route descriptions, bear bag,
Thanks everyone for the great advice, especially the beverage tip, nice. Smoke is coming out of my printer as i print up reams of route descriptions. I am really starting to get excited and starting to see it as an epic adventure while i lay out my essentials and try to pick one luxury item and cut my toothbrush handle off and do my sorted yam laced anti-monsoon dance. See you on the summit Yikes, last one there spoons the goat.

Loren aka feral swan

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