Peak(s):  Windom Peak  -  14,082 feet
Sunlight Peak  -  14,059 feet
North Eolus  -  14,039 feet
Mt. Eolus  -  14,083 feet
Date Posted:  09/04/2012
Date Climbed:   09/02/2012
Author:  Mike Abernathy
 Sweet Revenge....the Final Four  

Image #44 (not yet uploaded)

Two weeks ago (8/17/12) I went to Chicago Basin to climb these four peaks, but had a minor set back. I dislocated my right shoulder after slipping on a rock at the river. After a long painful night, the hike back to the train, hitching a ride from Silerton to the ER in Durango, 22 hours later and the strength of 4 people, my shoulder was back in place.

My friend Jordan from Colorado Springs and I took off from Pueblo at 8:00 P.M. arriving in Durango at 12:30 A.M. We woke up the next morning ready to board the train. After a long train ride we found our selves in Needleton at 12:30 P.M. ready for a 6 mile hike into the Basin.

I hurried into the Basin after 2 hours to claim a good camp site next to the river with a great view of Windom and Sunlight.

An early start at 4:00 A.M. gave us a nice jump on the day to insure success.

After reaching Twin Lakes a winding trail and tall rock cairns led us toward large piles of talus stretching to the summit of Windom.

Once over the initial class 2 blocks 2+ terrain started to become a factor when big stretchy moves were key to climbing higher and higher to our goal.

A couple steps up the final moves lead us back and around to the summit, Success! Our first Peak of the day was done.
My 1st Summit of the Day on Windom

A proud Jordon with his 6th Summit

The next task was Sunlight, we headed off Windom quickly with our goal in sight.
A great view of the intimidating "Sunlight Spire"

Jordan and I made it to the base of the peak in no time. Jordon, being new to the 14er experience was not yet comfortable with class 4 and made a smart move to opt out of Sunlight and headed over to get an early start on Eolus. I made my way up the steep scree to the solid rock egding my way closer.

I found the scrabling sections on solid rock to be a lot of fun until and slight drizzle moved in causing me to be a lot more careful to keep firm grip on the slick talus. I was now to the small hole and crawled my way through.

Once through the hole I glared over to the final summit moves cringing when I saw another climber about slip down a large boulder.

Ironically that same climber helped me out a lop with the super slick moves to the final block. As I made my best attempt to stand on the summit rock I found the way off to be just as hard as the way up.
A scary stance of the slippery summit block

Stoked to have finished Sunlight I peered over to Eolus as I made a fast decent to meet Jordan and press on with our day.

Soon after meeting Jordan at Twin Lakes we started up the exhausting approach as I began to realize I would have to go out with a fight, these last two would not go down easy.

Some long switchbacks lead up to a tall wall of solid rock that landed us onto the Eolus-North Eolus saddle. The quick class 3 scramble was a blast and helped us reach North Eolus in no time after the saddle.
North Eolus with a great view of Eolus

Jordan on North Eolus

A great view of my final peak was present at this point and I was ready as I could be.

The catwalk loomed ahead and Jordan again realizing his limitations let me press on to claim my next and final 14er.

Eolus proved to be a good challenging scramble pressing on and up with every step. The last moves were bitter sweet as my journey lead me to this final summit. I had done it! That was definitely an emotional moment as all my hard work had just paid off.
My Final 14er!

I hurried down to find Jordan and let him know the great news. Stoked as we could be Jordan and I headed back to camp after a very successful day for both of us.

Soon back at camp we claimed some well deserved food and rest.

The next morning we took off around 10:30 A.M. to insure making the train in time. We reached the bridge around 1 P.M. The train arrived at 3:45 and we awaited a long ride back into Durango. Once back at the station Jordan and I grabbed our bags and headed to my car ready for a long drive back to Pueblo and Springs for him feeling great and a bit tired.
I can hardly believe I have met my goal of climbing Colorado's 58 named 14er's. August of last year I had three 14ers under my belt and that same month after summiting Shavano and Tabeguache with my uncle Jay and best buddy Zach. Zach and I took on Yale that same day. It was then and there we knew we would do them all. This has been a dream summer of mountian climbing! I would like to thank God, my family, my climbing partner zach, marian for helping me through my shoulder injury and everyone who made this possible. I would have never thought I would accomplish this big of a goal at the age of 18.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice Job, Mike!
09/05/2012 01:35
Way to bounce back from that injury and finish the job! Big congrats! What's the next challenge?


Congrats Mike
09/05/2012 01:36
It has been fun watching you tear it up this summer. Way to perservere and finish strongly. Congrats once again.


09/05/2012 02:10
Great job bro! Good to see you writing some TR's; I know we'll be talking this Friday about whats next! Once again congrats bro!

Mike Abernathy

thanks a ton!
09/05/2012 04:55
Zdero1: thank you! I know your a huge supporter Of Zach and, I that's awesome! I want to start on the Centennial and do a ton of snow climbs, Rainier is another thought, but eventually I'm going to school to be a mountain guide.

Mike Abernathy

09/05/2012 04:57
Jduncan: thanks man I'm stoked to hear that!

Mike Abernathy

09/05/2012 05:00
Gnar bro! Its been amazing buddy we had the best times, it hard to see you go but I'm very proud of you, cant wait for the 7th


09/05/2012 07:09

You guys crack me up! You and Zach are incredibly talented mountaineers and I look forward to following in your footsteps. My avatar pic was taken on the Summit of Rainier, and based on your performance this past year or so it should be absolutely no problem for you. If I can do it I know you can. The climbing community would be lucky to have you as a guide. These 14ers aren't getting any easier for me I may need to hire you man!

Makes me smile to think of your strong friendship with Zach. Hope he stays safe while serving our country so bravely and it will be an amazing day when you guys see each other again. Seems like you have an unbreakable bond that was formed in the highest peaks of this state, and that's awesome. Congrats again!

Stee Vee Dee

09/07/2012 11:45
Great to see you bounced back so soon. A great testimony to faith, fortitude and determination. I've only done 34 and have the hard ones left so maybe I need a guide, too, LOL. Too bad Zack wasn't there for it.

Mike Abernathy

Thank you
09/07/2012 16:24
Steve: thanks man that means a lot, good luck with the rest of your you can get em. Yeah it was a bummer but things seemed to work out well either way so I was glad.

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