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Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

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

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:38 pm

Yup, you'll get the first two in, then it will rain. That area is amazingly rainy during the prime climbing season.
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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby hobo13 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:29 am

A.) Skip the train. Real men do it from the road.

B.) Make it a loop. After you climb the 14ers in CB, continue on over Columbine Pass and around to Molas Pass TH. It's about 50 miles all-in, not including the 11 mile hitchhike back to your car.

At least that's how we did it...... best 14er trip of my life!

Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby forbins_mtn » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:05 am

Is the train really $83? I just briefly checked the site and can't hardly believe that.....

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby peter303 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:04 am

forbins_mtn wrote:Is the train really $83? I just briefly checked the site and can't hardly believe that.....

In line with Aspen "list" ski tickects (@$100) and Disneyland admissions ($92).

Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby benners » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:27 am

forbins_mtn wrote:Is the train really $83? I just briefly checked the site and can't hardly believe that.....


They also charge a "freight charge" for each individual backpack you have with you, which I believe does up the price to around $100 per person (more than a Disneyland admission ticket). What's even more interesting is that I remember paying somewhere in the vicinity of $45 per person in 2007, so the prices have literally doubled in the last 4 years.

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby msmith7361 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:26 pm

Anyone heading up this weekend?

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby cory1223oh » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:07 pm

I'm heading to Chicago Basin Aug 1-4 for my first trip to the San Juans. I've read through this thread a couple times but wanted to bring it back and see if anyone has any new tips or recommendations.

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby wildlobo71 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:14 pm

1. Train costs are $100.10 from Durango.

2. Enjoy, don't rush this trip. Drive down the night before; imbibe in Ska, Steamworks, Carver, or any other local facility that serves good beer. Crash for $30 in the awesome Durango Hometown Hostel (2 or more, it's $27 per; 3 or more, $24 per person).

3. Bring a six-pack and stash it in the river at Needleton; this is for the trip back.

4. If you break camp by 8am the morning of your train, go and get the train that is northbound to Silverton at 11:15... go eat lunch in Silverton; catch the train back; or...

5. Take your time out of camp, or bag a morning peak; get down to the river and wait for the 3:35 southbound train with nice cold beer from the river.

6 (bonus) - you'll arrive after 6pm; if you can, go back to the hostel for another night and shower/sleep... take off in the morning.
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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby SilverLynx » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:22 pm

My top 5 tips for Chi Basin would be...

1) Be prepared to get rained on. A LOT. Pick a campsite with good drainage.

2) Be aware that animals are everywhere (marmots, mountain goats) and will gladly tear up your belongings to get at the salt. Close up your tent, keep food and backpacks hanging in the trees when you're away from camp. Don't leave your poles out where they can be feasted upon.

3) Don't underestimate the difficulty of any of the peaks - they are all more or less exposed and require scrambling and heightened awareness. Be careful out there!

4) Make sure you bring enough nourishing food to replenish all the energy you will burn on the approach, four 14ers and the return. All the hiking I did in CB made me hungry!

5) Bring an extra camera battery and a memory card with plenty of storage. The area is very picturesque and you will want to be ready for photos! My camera battery died after the second day out and I was glad to have a spare.
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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby djkest » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:26 pm

SilverLynx wrote:My top 5 tips for Chi Basin would be...


4) Make sure you bring enough nourishing food to replenish all the energy you will burn on the approach, four 14ers and the return. All the hiking I did in CB made me hungry!


This is a big one in my opinion. For example, if you were to climb Sunlight and Windom, and then get back to your tent around noon or 1 PM, it would be good to have 1 meal right away (lunch time!) and another meal before bed. So yeah, I could have easily eaten 2 mountain houses after the climbing was done. I believe I was completely out of food by the time we came down, and started to eat my friend's food too. On a sedentary day I burn something like 2500 calories, so eating 4,000 calories on a long hiking day wouldn't be unreasonable.
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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby Aug_Dog » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:48 pm

Stash your sixer well. Some asshats stole ours last year. Incredibly disappointing.

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Re: Top 5 tips for Chicago Basin

Postby Aug_Dog » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:50 pm

Also, if you don't feel like doing the sunlight summit block, don't feel like you have to. My group did not and I'm perfectly fine with that.

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