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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-09-28||Route: South Face
Info: Just got back from Chicago Basin yesterday afternoon (29 Sept). We had super weather on the 26th and 27th--perfect conditions with warm temps and virtually no wind--so we were able to summit Sunlight/Windom (26th) and Eolus/North Eolus (27th) with no problems. On the 28th, however, we awoke to slushy snow falling (it had rained all night) and we hiked out in steady rain. The trail, in places, was a small creek. Water draining off of the mountains everywhere (much more than the million waterfalls you normally see) and the snowline was about 11,000 to 11,500‘. It was a beautiful, if somewhat miserable, hike out to the train. If there is a significant warm spell in October, I suppose the snow might melt off, but we may have lucked out and nailed the last good window before winter conditions set in. I should have some pics and a report up on my photography website later today or tomorrow. Just Google Daniel Joder Photography. BW, the Go Pro camera videos on YouTube really make the summit of Sunlight look worse than it is. We went up to the summit block without too much problem and even stood up (very gingerly). Depends on how comfortable you are with exposure and scrambling, I guess (and we are over 6 feet tall, which helps).
|2014-09-12||Route: South Face
Info: Dry, summer like conditions still. Can‘t imagine this will last much longer.
|2014-08-30||Route: South Face
Info: Dry rock despite overnight freezing temperatures. There is a direct route down the south face that doesn‘t wind through the ridge and avoids the gully. You can see it easily on the way down (and this is a good alternative route down.) On the way up, turn left and head up from the basin in the middle of the face rather than going to the gully between Sunlight and Sunlight Spire.
|2014-07-03||Route: South Face
Info: Snow free until Twin Lakes. Several snow fields between Twin Lakes and the gully. Passable without traction or poles in the morning, we postholed on the way down. Gully is snow free. Some snow at the base of the "where the most difficult climbing starts" portion of the route description (around 13,900). We threw on microspikes just to be safe, but you could probably get buy without them. This snow was sliding a bit and may give, so be careful. Lots of snow between Sunlight & Windom, not sure if it is on the route or not.
|2014-06-29||Route: South Face
Info: Passable snow down around the lakes and getting to the gully - no traction needed. Gully is clear as it the notch and the climb up and across to the hole in the ridge. Snow just below the climb up to the chimney may limit your route choices at that point. The first, rightmost-looking at the rocks, crack/gap up the blocks before the chimney is accessible with just a few steps on the snow while the routes farther to the left would require crossing more of the snow at a somewhat exposed spot. No issues above that point to the summit.
|2014-06-21||Route: South Face
Info: Snow free and safe, save for crossing some small snowfields, until the route out of the gully up towards the saddle between Sunlight + Spire. Then, it was difficult climbing on steep snow - an ice ax was extremely helpful. We did not have crampons - only microspikes - but recommend crampons to anyone going. Snow was firm, even icy, early in the day - kicksteps were hard and slow to make - but then softened by afternoon to the point where plunge-stepping would not hold and cause you to slide downwards a bit. Again, ice ax is wonderful to have - I had to self-arrest on a small slide going down. Higher up, nearer to the saddle, snow made way for incredibly loose scree and gravel that did not hold. Large rocks abound but many that looked firm came loose in the scree. Upper rocky portion to the summit was mostly snow-free but wet boots provided some added difficulties, making rocks feel not as sticky as we would have liked. Careful glissading was possible down many of the snowfields back down to the upper basin.
|2014-05-20||Route: South Face
Info: good continuous snow. rode from as close to the summit as I imagine possible....
|2013-09-01||Route: South Face
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.
|2013-07-01||Route: South Face
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: South Face
Info: No snow until Twin Lakes. Was on snow traversing high from Windom. But after cutting over to the west side of the route, I managed to avoid snow for the upper part of the route. On my descent, I was only on snow (excluding lower angle stuff lower in the basin) for maybe 50 feet, although that short stretch is steep enough that I was facing in.
|2012-06-27||Route: South Face
Info: Everything is dry and in great condition (except for the loose rock but that‘s always there)
|2012-06-21||Route: South Face
Info: Just got back from Sunlight/Eolus/Windom. Route is almost completely snow free, no need for any snow equipment. The forest service just finished clearing 40 logs off the trail last week so it‘s also easy to get up there.
|2011-08-20||Route: South Face
Info: Route is in good condition, easy to follow, and completely snow free.
|2011-08-06||Route: South Face
Info: As mentioned in the forum, the mudslide is cleaned up and trains should be operating normally tomorrow. There was minimal snow, a few sections it would have been nice to have microspikes, but not worth the weight or the time to put them on. No snow on Eolus. Lots of people up camping during the week, but still not to difficult to find a suitable camping spot. Trip reports to come soon.
|2011-07-16||Route: South Face
Info: Chicago Basin is completely dry - as is the approach up to Twin Lakes. Once above Twin Lakes, there are some snow fields heading toward Sunlight and Windom, but they are all pretty low-angle and can be traversed w/o crampons. An ice ax might be useful for stability. The standard route on Sunlight is dry except for a small snow patch at the crux below the chimney. It does not pose any danger though. To gain Windom‘s saddle, you can ascend a snowfield or you can stay off to the left on the rocks. The ridge to Widom‘s summit is dry. The approach from Twin Lakes toward the Eolus group is dry, but to access the "ramp" that heads toward the Eouls/N. Eolus saddle you will encounter a significant snowfield that requires an ice ax at least and possibly crampons or microspikes. My advice would be to have the ax/spikes/crampons handy for most of the time up to the saddle as the snow will be there for awhile.