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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-09-21||Route: West Ridge
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.
|2015-09-18||Route: West Ridge
Info: Perfect conditions! No snow or ice. Mountain is dry. Weather was great and leaves are changing. Chilly nights/mornings, so go quickly!
|2015-09-06||Route: West Ridge
Info: Was up on top Windom two days ago. Winter is moving in quickly. Top was iced over and snow dusting. If you plan to get this peak, do it in the next week or so.
|2015-08-31||Route: West Ridge
Info: I hiked the three mountains in one day, making my total count for fourteeners this summer at 37. My goal is to climb them all this summer. It‘s looking like I‘ll miss summer by a week at this pace. You can read more about these hikes and others at Sunshineof1985.com! Enjoy! Windom Peak Route: West Ridge Sunshine Peak Route: South Face Mount Eolus Route: Northeast Ridge Distance: 12.17 mi. Elevation Gain (from Needleton Stop): 11,000 ft. elevation gain overall, and 8,000 ft. in one day. Time started: 3:00am End time: 2:30pm Time to Summit Windom Peak from Chicago Basin: 4 hours and 15 minutes Time to Summit Sunlight Peak from summit of Windom Peak: 1 hour Time to Summit Mount Eolus from Sunlight Peak: 3 hours Time to Descend Mount Eolus to Chicago Basin: 3 hours Overall Pace: 1.1 miles per hour *GEAR (to bring): Bear spray, helmet, water purifier, first aid kit, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, headlamp, flashlight, toilet paper, GPS, extra batteries, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, extra change of clothes, wear a tank top, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat, lightweight gloves, overnight pack with water sack and extra water (160oz), food for two full days (large bag of jerky, large bag of trailsmix, 4 protein bars, and 4 granola bars). *Road Condition: You need to park in the town of Durango. If you are tight on a budget like myself, park in the residential area not far from the train station for free- just be sure to look for parking signs. Train costs $100!! You can also take the train from Silverton- which I recommend. If you call them, you can get a discount- tell them you‘re being dropped off at Needleton either way. *Trail Condition: Needleton Stop to Chicago Basin (6 mi.): Trail is very well marked and an easy incliine. The best part of the hike is about 3 miles in (lots of waterfalls). Windom: Trail will be wet from streams in some places, but not bad at all. Look for cairns on slabs to lead the way. Once you reach Twin Lakes, it‘s all bouldering. Avoid taking a path that leads to the far right. Stay to the left of Windom, and travel up the valley first.
|2015-07-31||Route: West Ridge
Info: Only a little snow left here, and as other report from Eolus said, the other peaks are snow free. I‘m handicapped and I still didn‘t really even need spikes, though it can be a bit slick in the early am. If you have poles it‘s great for balance, but it‘s definitely not worth bringing an axe in. You can navigate around the snow in the basin if you want to, and it‘s free higher up anyway.
|2015-07-18||Route: West Ridge
Info: There are a few major snow sections that still need to be crossed. There is a bit of a rain crust in the morning that makes the snow very slick. I would still suggest taking an ice axe, and crampons. It is worth the weight for protection. By about 10 AM the snow is very soft, and the more shallow snow lends its self to hurt legs when breaking through. There are sections where I post holed up to my waist. So use caution for slick snow and weak snow.
|2015-07-16||Route: West Ridge
Info: Not much change from previous reports. We climbed sunlight on the 14th, Eolus on the 15th, windom on 16th. All required us to deal with snow at some point. There were people doing them with no traction or axes but we used both and I would agree that ice axe is mandatory, microspikes sufficient, crampons good and snow shoes definitely not needed. Each peak requires something slightly different and you won‘t need traction or protection for long periods but you‘ll want them at some point. Hopefully things melt out soon.
|2015-07-11||Route: West Ridge
Info: Trail clear of snow all the way to Twin Lakes. About 50% snow patches from Twin Lakes up to the saddle and about 10% through the boulders up to the summit. Warm temperatures and nightly rains are preventing the snow from setting up, very wet and soft. Post holing in many locations even in the morning hours.
|2015-07-08||Route: West Ridge
Info: No snow until upper basin @ 13000. Snow fields up to the saddle from 13000 to 13250. Avoidable or thin snow from 13250 to the top. Snowed the evening of 7/6 - 7/7 but very light. Great glissade from 13800 to the traverse to Sunlight if you go Windom to Sunlight.
|2015-06-19||Route: West Ridge
Info: Our father/son group spent the past few days in Chicago Basin camping and attempting our first 14er. Knowing that we would hit snow and not having snow shoes, we proceeded going as far as we could. Due to perfect weather conditions, we were able to use ALL of the sunlight available and have two in our group summit Windom. It was a long day with lots of post-holing. The snow is melting, but if you want to summit Windom and don‘t have snow gear, it is possible. safe travels.
|2015-06-17||Route: West Ridge
Info: The trail is clear from trees and snow- all the way up to Twin Lakes at 12,500. Below this elevation due to the snow melt the trail is a little washed out and carrying water. Once past Twin Lakes there is a lot of snow pack still. Early in the morning you won‘t need flotation- but after 9am with the summer warmth then you‘d want your snowshoes. We climbed up a snow chute on the north side of Peak 18 on our way to the saddle of Windom. Compared to Mt Princeton in March, there was much more snow above 12,500 ft- and an ice axe is required if you plan to climb in the next couple weeks. Cramp-ons and snow shoes were a brilliant thing to pack into Chicago Basin also. We saw a few other groups that were not able to summit because they did not bring the right gear for the weather.
|2014-09-12||Route: West Ridge
Info: Dry except for one spot of ice in the shade just below the west ridge at about 13,100. Ice can be avoided carefully. Saw the normal goats, but also a moose at about 10k and a coyote up in the basin.
|2014-06-30||Route: West Ridge
Info: No traction required but poles are helpful. Passable snow down by Twin Lakes and in the upper basin above the headwall. Some passable snow getting up to the saddle which is mostly avoided by staying on the actual trail through the rocks. It looks like a good number of folks have been climbing the snow all the way up to the saddle when they could skip most of it. Avoidable snow in a couple of spots along the ridge if you stay on route and follow the cairns carefully -- if it looks like you need to cross significant snow to get to another cairn, look above or below to see if you might have missed one or two. Summit notch and summit are clear. Given the season and the moisture from the melt, watch out for loose rocks -- even big ones -- coming down from the saddle. I had one about the size of a filing cabinet tumble out and down unexpectedly almost pinning me against the slope. The traverse from Sunlight is still fully snowed in and, from a distance, looks like it would probably require traction & axes to be safe, particularly at the Sunlight side.
|2014-06-17||Route: West Ridge
Info: No snow at all until Twin Lakes, then some hard-packed snow around the lakes and into the upper basin shared by Sunlight and Windom. The ramp headed up to the ridge on Windom was a posthole adventure at 9:30am. Once on the ridge, it looked to be mostly just rock to the summit.
Info: Pow motherF@#$%^ only in the couloir though. only hit one rock but others will pop up soon in the middle. Decent from top of the cornice back into the drainage
|2013-09-01||Route: West Ridge
Info: The climbing conditions were perfect. We were also surprised that there were so few mosquitoes given all of the water around. I saw 2 mosquitoes in 4 days there. We arrived Friday evening and set up camp. Many people who came in after us had trouble finding a camp spot. I expect that it was more crowded than normal being Labor Day weekend though, and there were plenty of campsites lower down in Chicago Basin. On Saturday we climbed Eolus and N. Eolus. Clouds started gathering around 11am and thunderstorms/rain began at 1:30, cutting short our attempt to summit Sunlight the same day. I climbed Sunlight/Windom on Sunday. Clouds began gathering at 11am, but there was no rain or thunderstorms that day. Instead it rained at night. Monday the weather also held all day. Overall, the weather was kind of hard to predict, but winds were almost nonexistent and anyone who was able to peak by noon would‘ve gotten their peak.
|2013-07-29||Route: West Ridge
Info: Day 1: Wet Day 2: Wet Day 3: Just when you think it can‘t get any wetter...it does.
|2013-07-01||Route: West Ridge
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).
|2013-06-11||Route: West Ridge
Info: No snow until Twin Lakes. Must ascend some snow to gain the ridge, but can stay on rock, if desired, for much of the ascent to the ridge. Once on the ridge, just a few small patches of snow that are avoidable.
|2013-05-25||Route: West Ridge
Info: The Chicago Basin area is free of snow for the full approach trail up to about 12k feet. While I skied Windom and Jupiter, the ridges on the 14ers (Eolus, Sunlight, Windom) can be done in boots without crampons. There is still snow from 12k to the ridges for the most part, but it‘s better than scree and now is probably the best time to visit the basin (no bugs, few people, easy climbing, good weather).