Peak(s):  Sunlight Peak  -  14,059 feet
Windom Peak  -  14,087 feet
Mt. Eolus  -  14,083 feet
North Eolus  -  14,039 feet
Date Posted:  09/07/2019
Modified:  09/08/2019
Date Climbed:   09/05/2019
Author:  SpringsDuke
 #45 - #48 Sunlight Peak, Windom Peak, Mt Eolus, North Eolus   

#45 - #48 Sunlight Peak, Windom Peak, Mt Eolus, North Eolus

Three day two night camping trip. Drove to Durango and stayed in a hotel to wake up and do the train ride into Chicago Basin.

The beginning.

3 miles up the cross bridge and halfway point to the Chicago Basin camping area.

First view of the Basin and Peaks. I camped about halfway up the camp sites. Some were lower and some camped higher but plenty of places.

Getting off train and setting up camp I went for some summits but was rained off Eolus. Sunlight looked good but by the time I got up the headwall I was rained out there as well. This was around 5pm. Lot of wasted energy going for those on day 1 but oh well. I did feel like the dirty child form Charlie Brown though that always has the rain cloud directly over him as it seemed to be raining only on me.

Woke up and left the camp on day 2 to summit all 4 14ers at 630am.

My favorite pic. Went for Sunlight first.

Notch on Sunlight. Similar to Wetterhorn once you pass this notch and start scrambling it doesn't take long to summit. Less than 20 minutes for me.

After the notch. Going up I went more direct route but was okay. The cairns go around further left than I did. Easier to find them on the way down.

Sunlight climbing

The hole to climb through

View right after climbing through the whole.

Summit blocks. Why does everyone go up the right rocks with the gap and say it is easier? The left rock is much better in my opinion, up and down.

Looking down the summit block. My blue bag is down on the geological marker.

Sunlight summit photos

Windom Peak from Sunlight. Heading over there next.


Going over to Windom Peak from Sunlight. Crossed the large snowfield and boulder hopped to the ridge and then more and more boulders to the summit. Windom Peak was my least favorite of the 4. Just a massive boulder field.

Going up Windoms boulders. Pay attention cause I believe this mountain has more risk for injuries then all the other just cause of all the boulder hopping.

While Windom is miserable the summit is pretty cool. Spent the most time on this summit chatting with a lady who was waiting for her team to come over from Sunlight.

Windom Peak summit views.

Chicago Basin from Windom Peak.

First two down looking back at Sunlight and Windom.

Now looking forward to Eolus and the ramp.

Entering the ramp.

Top of the ramp. Cairn can be seen top right at the exit of the ramp.

Climbing up to the saddle of Mt. Eolus and North Eolus.
Climbing up to the saddle of Eolus and North Eolus.

Gain the saddle and head over to Eolus first as the clouds came in fast. They do that in the Chicago Basin. Same as day 1 when I was rained out the clouds come in quickly and stay for a long time.

On the catwalk moving fast

North Eolus form summit of Mt. Eolus

Eolus summit views

Looking back up Mt. Eolus. Just like Sunlight I went up some areas that were not 100% on trail. Close enough though and never got into any bad lines but on the way down I found many more cairned with pink ribbon I did not see on the way up. I only saw one pink ribbon cairn that cant be missed at the summit but on the way down found 4 pink ribbon cairns and an easier route. So if you don't see a cairn turn to look around fully and above you as they should be pretty frequent.

Still down climbing Eolus looking over at the catwalk and North Eolus.

Still down climbing Eolus looking over at the catwalk and North Eolus. A cairn can be seen on the ledge near the middle of the photo.

Back on the catwalk going for Eolus North to finish all 4 Chicago Basin 14ers in a day.

Looking back at Mt. Eolus. My favorite of the 4. Sunlight next, North Eolus third just cause its so short as the rock on it is so nice it would be #1 if it were longer. Windom last that peak is miserable.

Going up North Eolus.

Going up North Eolus. Took 5 minutes up and 1.5 minutes down. Those are real time. Thunder started very heavy while climbing it so moved very fast. No lighting seen but thunder and rain started non stop from here till I was back at camp.

North Eolus summit views and storm that got me. This time around 1pm so earlier storms today than on day 1.

Mt. Eolus from North Eolus. Rain all the way down. Hurt my left knee as well and lost some mobility. Maybe from moving fast on the wet rock or just from overall wear from the last 2 days. Round trip time to summit all 4 peaks from camp at 11,000 feet was 9 hours. That includes 1 hour of time on all 4 summits. Helping two different people route find on Windom and the twin lakes area. And easily an hour lost down climbing Eolus and twin lakes trail back to camp with a bad left knee getting back to camp at 3:30pm.

Day 3. Having completed the summits I slept in till 9am! Yes! None the less the left knee went out again at the halfway bridge back to the train so the 6 miles from camp to the Needleton Train stop for pickup took me 2.5 hours, ouch, very slow and painful. But no worries the knee was fine after getting home on flat ground.

Leaving the basin for the long train ride and even longer drive back home.

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

09/07/2019 18:09
How were the bugs? Bug spray needed?

09/07/2019 20:09
Bugs bad on the approach hike because of horse poop bringing them all in. As long as your moving they don't bother and once you get to camp they wont bother you though.

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