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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|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).
|2011-08-20||Route: West Ridge
Info: Main route is completely snow-free and easy to follow. In the high basin it shares with Sunlight, there are snow banks that remain. They are very hard and icy early in the day. They are avoidable with some class 2 boulder scrambling.