Peak(s):  Windom Peak  -  14,087 feet
Sunlight Peak  -  14,059 feet
Mt. Eolus  -  14,083 feet
North Eolus  -  14,039 feet
Date Posted:  09/06/2019
Date Climbed:   08/25/2019
Author:  jbealer
Additional Members:   superdawg
 Chicago Basin in 3 days by 3 amazing ladies   

I know there are a ton of TR's out there so i will brush over the normal stuff and add what i think was missing or is worth adding more info to.

We (Jenn, Teresa and Erica) got on the train Sat, Aug 24, 2019 after driving to Durango from Denver on Fri afternoon. We picked up bagels and lunch from Durango Bagel right near the train, good food. The train ride is great, and we were dropped off with a slew of other people that late morning, we got on trail around 11:45am. I am not a fan of hiking in the heat and that always slows me down along with a heavy ass pack (just over 50lb with water) but what i was not ready for was the biting flies! they were everywhere the whole hike into camp, no amount of bug spray would stop them, or i was just sweating it all off.

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4.5hrs later we found a good camp spot just before losing the trees and below the trail split.

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camp for 2 nights, water near by

We made dinner and were visited by a family of goats

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when you got to go, you got to go

We talked about our plan for Sun, and the idea of hitting all 4 peaks in one day, Teresa and I need all of them, Erica just needed the Eolus's. We got on trail at 3:40am and were the first ones up for the day, but were passed just below twin lakes. We opted for Windom first as it was still dark and the route finding would be simpler in the low light then on Sunlight, that and the other 2 were headed that way. We did have to put spikes on to cross 2 snow fields that were frozen, so glad we packed them. Windom was uneventful and we made summit and hoped for the sun to warm us up. Teresa and I were going to head to Sunlight next and Erica would hike back down to the lakes and wait for us. We crossed high right at the saddle on Windom and bee-lined it over to the gully on sunlight.

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we crossed between the upper snow field over to the large green rock area, skirted the snow to the left and
crossed next to the wall and snowfield at the base of the rock area over to the next rocky area and up the slope.

Sunlight was well marked, so keep your eyes open, we had the whole trail to ourselves thanks to reversing the order in which people do those 2 peaks. I found the TR with the pictured details on how to do the summit block super helpful (https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=19582). And after a few moves and breaths i was on top! Now the hop down was a hail mary and i scooted my butt as far down on that rock as i could and i was still inches away from touching the lower block (i am 5'3") i pushed off and landed! Now that that is over, back to enjoying the rest of our hike.

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Teresa and i hustled as fast as we could down that shitty gully and met Erica at the lakes. We started with about 2.5L of water and needed to refill at the lake and eat some food. we were feeling good and thanks to amazing weather we could move on to the last 2. There was another group of 4 girls also moving on, as far as i know the 7 of us were the only ones to do all 4 that day.

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I enjoyed the climb of Eolus, we went right up the narrow gully/crack mentioned on the route

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the ledges up the face were not bad, but there are rock cairns everywhere so pick your path wisely. We just kept heading center / left up the wall.

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Ledges

Before we knew it we were on the 3rd summit for the day check out Sunlight and Windom behind us!

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The other 4 girls joined us on the summit just a short while later and we learned they started 1.5hs after us, oh to be young again! We gave them some space and they left the summit before us headed to North Eolus where we would meet again as we were heading up and they coming down. We hung out on North Eolus realizing what we had accomplished for the day, and dreaded the fact that we still had to hike back to camp, but we did it, all 4 in a day!
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Pointing over to Eolus where we just were
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and looking back to Sunlight and Windom
We ended up being the last ones up there that day, and you know what, all the critters come out to play when the people leave!
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the flowers were also incredible on the Eolus side.
We made it back to camp after being on trail for 16hrs, covering 11.2miles. Yes we were tired and our feet hurt BUT our backpacking dinner never tasted so good and damn we just did that! I did not see many reports about doing them in a day and i wanted to let people know it is possible to do it (great weather window) and not be a ultra runner or super fast person, granted the other 2 girls i was with are runners but they kept my pace and i was thankful for that. All 3 of us train in many ways so we are fit, a little crazy and love big goals to push us. If you are not afraid of big days and plan to be out for a long time (water and food) it is doable. The place is amazing and i would love to go back and enjoy the area with out the peak climbing. Of course we started talking about the hike out the next day, which we were planning on the 3:30pm train and somehow that turned into lets catch the 11:15am train to Silveton to catch a bus back to Durango, because we had read in a TR you could do that.
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waiting on the 11:15am train, is it really to early to start drinking????
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Well this is one point i want to add and make clear, its not as easy as you think....the buses were sold out that go with the train, you really need to book ahead if you think that's something you want to do. Other wise there are other bus company's but the tickets were $65! so after running around for an hour trying to get on a bus and it not happening Erica talked to the train docked from the first run of the day, they would let us on so we could still get back to Durango sooner then the 3:30 train. We had all of 10min to grab food at this point and headed to The Brown Bag, AMAZING service, fast and great food, i had the chicken salad. We took the first car on the train and had it to ourselves for the ride back. By now you might be wondering why not just wait for the later train, why leave a great camp site so early... We had gotten it in our crazy heads we could leave Durango and drive to Wilson Peaks TH Mon night to hike it on Tue, wait, what!?! did you not just backpack in, do 4 peaks in one day, backpack out, catch a train and now you want to drive 2.5hrs to another TH that night for peak #5 on Tue, Yes, Yes we did exactly that! We pushed our tired asses up Wilson Peak on Tue, being the first on the summit.


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Wilson Peak
10hrs later we were back to our cars and driving back to Denver. It was a whirl wind of a trip in the quest for me to finish this season and i was so grateful for the company of Teresa and Erica for the whole crazy ride. When my mother calls me crazy i just remind her that i can always find other people willing to join me so we must all be a little mad for adventure.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
superdawg

Great report!
09/06/2019 14:47
Let's not forget how amazing it is that we managed to accomplish all of this without a single man to help us! ;)


drchele

Forces of Nature!
09/06/2019 16:44
Love this! Planning a girl power trip of our own next week. Thanks for the TR.


tygr
Girl Power
09/07/2019 08:49
Nice job ladies...appreciate you sharing your trip and those great pics!


shelly+

because that's how....
09/07/2019 14:25
the girlfriends rock on!!



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