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North Eolus

Most Recent Condition Updates
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 10/6/2019, By: TieDye
Info: Sunlight: S Face still totally dry. Windom: Fresh snow dustings are starting to stick around on the portions of the trail on the NW Face which lie in the northern shadow. Was fine without traction but watch your step. These snow dustings are accumulating on the NW Face and on top of the leftover snowfields. Went straight up a snowfield to the W Ridge instead of dropping all the way down. Fine in trail runners in the afternoon. Eolus: Similar to Windom, fresh snow dustings are starting to stick around on the ESE Face where the trail drops down from the ridge. No traction necessary around 6 PM. Watch your step. N Eolus: Totally dry. The snowfields from this past winter aren't going anywhere. All manageable without equipment at the times I was on them (times listed for reference). Everything else dry (approach, catwalk, whatever doesn't get caught in shadows all day). Still overwhelmingly summer conditions. Get it while you can! Overnighters said it got down to 17 F at whatever elevation that is Friday night into Saturday. Purgatory TH - 710 AM Animas River bridge at Wilderness border - 930 AM Twin Lakes - 1200 PM (15 minute lunch) Sunlight - 215 PM Windom - 400 PM Twin Lakes - 510 PM Eolus - 635 PM N Eolus - 705 PM Twin Lakes - 800 PM Animas River bridge at Wilderness border - 1045 PM Purgatory TH - 240 AM 41 mi, 11.1k vert, 19:30 TH to TH 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 9/9/2019, By: bludwig
Info: This will be a copy/paste for all four of the Chicago Basin peaks: There is some snow by Twin Lakes on the route to Windom/Sunlight, it is hard and no traction required. The flies/mosquitoes are pretty bad and pretty aggressive. Although, the cold nights may start killing them off. Because of the very unpredictable weather in the Weminuche, I wanted to include my rough split times between the mountains so you can determine how to break them up. Doing all four in a day can be very difficult due to the temperamental weather. Order: Windom, Sunlight, Eolus, North Eolus. I recommend doing North last since it is very easy to bail out on if needed and recommend Windom first because route finding in the dark is straight forward. From campsite (11,000 feet) to Windom: 2.5 hours Windom to Sunlight: 1.5 hours Sunlight summit to Eolus turnoff: 1 hour Catwalk turnoff to Eolus: 40 minutes Eolus summit to catwalk turn: 40 minutes Catwalk to North Eolus summit: 7 minutes North Eolus summit to campsite: ~2 hours 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 8/20/2019, By: Flyingfish
Info: Dry all the way to the top 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 8/5/2019, By: pbergmaier
Info: We summited all four peaks on 8/2 and 8/3. Lots of water on trail from the junction at 11,200' to Twin Lakes. No snow until you reach Twin Lakes. Only a few small snow crossings along the trail from Twin Lakes up to about 13,200'. The larger snow field directly below Eolus' east face (photo 1) can be mostly avoided to the right, although we still had to cross about 100' of it to reach the ramp (photo 2). This snow field makes for a great glissade on the way down, however! Some slick rock on the ramp itself, be careful! Around the corner below the Eolus-North Eolus ridge, there is a larger snow field that you must climb (photos 3 and 4). Traction here is highly recommended since it is steep. I used crampons, my buddies used microspikes. I'd bet that you'll probably want traction here through the end of August at least. Another great glissade spot for the way down, though. Above this snow, there is a short section of class 3 climbing before reaching the ridge. Completely dry from here to the North Eolus summit (photo 5). Great grippy rock! 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 7/25/2019, By: daway8
Info: All 4 peaks by Chicago Basin can be done with microspikes and trekking poles, just be sure you know how to safely self-arrest with whatever you bring. Sunlight had worst conditions - snow hard in spots and sank past knees in others. Several rock outcroppings appearing - going up the rocks was easier when available. Microspikes tend to be more suited to that mixed terrain than crampons, just be aware it is steep so again, be prepared to self-arrest. Windom generally firmer with excellent glissade descent. Some were going up with no traction but only by following friends who had traction (wouldn't recommend that). Eolus and North Eolus had multiple snow fields leading up to them but hardly any snow above notch. Easily doable with microspikes. Catwalk totally dry. North Eolus was trivial, rock super grippy. Route finding going up Eolus face was some of most challenging encountered yet (at 55 14ers and counting). Rock not very grippy at all and covered with mud and damp plants, but abundant foot and handholds. Could still glissade patches going down but no longer a continuous slide along the standard route. Rain came every day between 1:30pm - 2pm and typically lasted a couple hours or so with plenty of thunder. Occasional overnight storm but mornings have been storm free. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 7/18/2019, By: Cranfillpe
Info: See detailed report for Mount Eolus from 7/15. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 6/26/2019, By: wombat
Info: See my Eolus conditions report for approach. Although N Eolus looks like snow blocks the route- it is possible to avoid snow all the way from the saddle. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 7/21/2018, By: alyannkar
Info: Summer conditions. Pretty much just a hop and a skip up. I backpacked into Chicago Basin from the Purgatory Trailhead the afternoon of 7/19 and then summitted all four peaks the morning of 7/20 and backpacked out later that afternoon. Not quite sure why the longer route to the basin gets a bad rap. It was a gorgeous and mellow trail, easy hiking. There are several trees down towards the end of the Animas River Trail in the mile before the bridge and register where the trail intersects with the Needle Creek Trail and the train stop. The Needle Creek Trail has even more trees down. Otherwise, both trails are in great condition. In Chicago Basin, insects and goats are in full swing. The lower you camp in the basin (or just before the basin), the less you will have to deal with the goats swarming. The trail up to Twin Lakes is beautiful (thanks Colorado Fourteeners Initiative!) and is in summer conditions, as well. 
Route: Chicago Basin Approach
Posted On: 6/24/2018, By: Beas
Info: There are dozens of downed trees on the Purgatory, Animas, and Needle Creek trails, however, they are all easily bypassed. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 9/9/2017, By: kayleenann8
Info: Dry and clear. Scrambling on this is super fun! 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 8/21/2017, By: Marmot96
Info: No snow whatsoever on the Eolus/N Eolus Route, and a very easy route to follow. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 7/3/2016, By: thebeave7
Info: Ascended the NE ridge from North Eolus. Ridge is clear and no snow on top. I climbed up to the tarn between North Eolus and Glacier Point via the obvious couloir from Twin Lakes from the high basin. Snow was continuous on 6/29, but getting thin and soft for the last 200ft at the top and might be melted out by now. Snow in the basin between North Eolus and Glacier Point was bottomless much with knee to waist deep postholing. The standard approach to Eolus from the Twin Lakes junction had some snow in the lower basin below the SE face. Both approach slopes to the high basin and ridgeline between Eolus/N Eolus were solid snow. I used microspikes and ice axe, some may prefer crampons. These slopes make for a good glissade. Sorry no photos. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 9/23/2015, By: WillRobnett
Info: Climbed N. Eolus, Eolus, Windom, and Sunlight. Fall colors are mostly holding back in the basin. Starting to show pretty well on the Silverton-Durango train. Fall colors are near peak coming into Silverton from both Durango and Ouray. Hwy 550 south from Ouray has construction road closures. Hwy 550 is closed Monday-Friday 8:30AM to noon and 1PM to 5:30PM. Last night (9/22) it snowed in the Silverton/Chicago Basin area. Climbed Sneffels today 9/23. Sneffels was clear of snow on the standard route. From Sneffles we could see Chicago Basin, Pigeon, Turret, anything near Chicago basin had snow down to at least 13,000 on north aspects in the morning. Sneffels had snow on the north face as well. Thin layer most likely melting fast. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 7/3/2014, By: aweilert
Info: A small bit of passable snow down by Twin Lakes at the trail turnoff. The ramp is still fully snowed in and quite lumpy. Some groups managed without traction but micro spikes or trail crampons were helpful even with the hard snow early and the spikes and ice axes made for a much surer ascent. Many of the cups/boot-tracks slope down the hill and were quite slick; so, the tendency was to slip out and down the hill. The class 3 above the ramp is clear to both Eolus and N. Eolus. As the snow softens later in the morning, but before it‘s soft enough to posthole, the hike back down the ramp can be iffy even with spikes. My climbing partner‘s spikes slid on the softer covering snow and he ended up needing to do a self arrest; so, the axe was certainly a good thing to have at that instant. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 6/25/2014, By: kmccormi
Info: Hike up basin from Twin Lakes and NE ramp were covered in snowfields filled with suncups. In the early morning, these firm cups provided relatively good steps to ascend on, though an ice ax was helpful. We also had microspikes but members of our party would probably have felt much safer with crampons. Coming down this snow later in the morning, it was softer and didn‘t hold as well. Ice ax was even more helpful there. Higher class 3 terrain after the notch to summits of both Eolus and N. Eolus were snow-free and straightforward. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 5/21/2014, By: freeinthehills
Info: no summit decent, but great snow E off the ridge 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 7/4/2013, By: nyker
Info: Climbed Sunlight & Windom on 7/1 and Eolus & North Eolus on 7/2; conditions on Sunlight, Eolus and North Eolus are snow free on standard routes, if you‘re traversing over to Windom from Sunlight, you will have to cross over a small snowfield or two if you drop down earlier - but they provide no real problem even early morning since they are short and if steps are not kicked in already, poles should get you there fine. No need for an axe or traction IMO. Stream crossings lower down are very easy. Hail and some snow fell up high above 12k on the morning of Jul 2, but nothing accumulated and was short lived (just a bit scary sitting there @ 13k+ waiting out the dark skies and weather!). Marmots and Goats very active below basin - guard your stuff and watch where you pee (goats will follow you). 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 7/13/2012, By: cardinal010
Info: The "ramp" leading up toward Eolus and North Eolus is wet, especially on the rock, so take care. North Eolus itself is good. You may be tempted to try out what I guess is the north/northeast ridge, especially if you are tired and don‘t want to deal with steep terrain, but it‘s not a very viable route. I got to just below a false summit to the north and was stuck and had to backtrack quite a ways. The south ridge is actually not that bad. 

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