Peak(s):  Mt. Eolus  -  14,083 feet
North Eolus  -  14,039 feet
Sunlight Peak  -  14,059 feet
Windom Peak  -  14,082 feet
Post Date:  08/19/2012
Date Climbed:   08/18/2012
Posted By:  Headwall5

 Adventures in Chicago Basin   


Me, my mom, step dad, and Mike got on the train to head up to Needleton at 9 AM, and arrived at Needleton around 11:45 AM. Me and Mike took off to go get a good campsite, and possibly try at a peak if weather was good.
Unfortunately weather wasn't good so me and Mike set up camp and hung out. We went down to the creek to help filter some water, and while we were messing around on some rocks, Mike slipped and dislocated his shoulder. My Mom went to find some help, and found a group of three that helped us a ton. Mike couldn't climb with a dislocated shoulder, so my Mom walked down with him to the train the following morning.


I woke up at 4:00AM the next morning to go get the 4 combo. I got the first glimpse of daylight after the ramp on Eolus.
North Eolus is a quick summit from the Eolus/North Eolus saddle.
I summited North Eolus and got a good look of the route up Eolus.
I went back down to the saddle, and went across the catwalk. The catwalks one of the coolest parts of this whole group.
The best way to describe how the climbing on Eolus is, is a staircase with gigantic steps.
I summited Eolus around 7AM.
I jogged back down to the Twin Lakes area, and started to walk up to the Sunlight/Sunlight Spire saddle. Sunlight spire looks intense!
I scrambled up some rocks and got to the window thing that you crawl through.
Shortly after the window comes the infamous summit block.
I climbed up the summit block, which I found to be more exposed than the knife ridge.
I went back down Sunlight, and went across a big talus field to get to Windom's saddle.
Looking at Sunlight from the Windom saddle.

Windom is a huge pile of talus.
It took me 25 minutes to reach Windoms summit from the saddle.
I headed back down to our camp from Windom and ran into a couple groups of goats.
I met up with my step dad at twin lakes and we headed back to the campsite. We still had plenty of time to catch the train so we decided to pack up camp.
one last look at Chicago Basin.

We packed up camp, caught the train, and met up with my Mom in Durango.
Mike got his shoulder back in place, and was feeling a lot better. It took 4 people to get his shoulder back in place.
This group of mountains was awesome. They were remote, rugged, and fun to climb. I know Mike plans on heading back when his shoulder gets better. Awesome weekend minus the shoulder injury!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Nice work dude!     08/19/2012 22:36
Yeah you totally beasted them out. When I got to Eolus you were already mostly out of the Eolus Drainage!


Good job guys     08/19/2012 22:54
You've been busting them out this summer, awesome work!

Looks like you only have one left. Good luck on Holy Cross - not a bad choice for a finisher!


Thanks you.     08/19/2012 23:17
Rcizzle: Thanks man, hope you had fun on Eolus.
zephyr_pelicante: Thanks! and yeah I'm climbing Holy Cross this next Sunday, hopefully it's a great finisher!


Headwall monster     08/20/2012 15:32
Wow, that a killer day. All 4 in one morning and you still made the train? Kudos to you.


Congrats, glad to hear Mike made it out ok     08/20/2012 15:34
Good to see that smile on Mike's face, he looked pretty miserable when we saw him at your camp that night (understandably). Thanks for posting this, and excellent work! Grabbing all 4 summits and catching the train in a single day is incredible!


Thanks!     08/20/2012 16:46
djkest: Yeah, I had to run on descents to make it to Neeldeton in time haha.
paully: Yeah Mikes recovered great, he is climbing Culebra and Holy Cross this weekend, and returning to this group at the end of August.


You are fast!     08/20/2012 17:44
I love this report, your pictures are beautiful and I admire your speed. Thats incredible how fast you did all of them, not only in one day but made it back to train. I planned Chicago Basin as a 4-day trip from Purgatory Creek TH, my body is built for slow pace (like a donkey) which on the other hand rewards me with staying in beautiful areas for longer time. I am glad Mike is OK, please, tell him to be careful! End of August is VERY SOON to climb after shoulder dislocations. I know its unsolicited advice, so if you don't want, forget about it, but I am telling it to you because I had both of my shoulders dislocated on Pikes Peak one winter and it took several hours before they were put back into the sockets by the ER doctors (similar to Mike). I went through 6 months of physical therapy and then, they dislocated several times again because the capsulas that keep them in place got too large. Usually the new dislocations happened by climbing in weird angle, usually a difficult and exposed section of a route. I had to have surgeries on both shoulders before I could trust them again.


You passed my dad and I...     08/20/2012 23:44
...on the red gully saddle near the summit of Sunlight. Good to hear your friend is recovering and that you made it down OK after such a long day. It was nice meeting you and good luck in the Marines!


Passed up our crew of six!     08/21/2012 04:32
Super glad to know that Mike is alright! I was with the group of six from Dallas that woke up at 3:30am or earlier and headed out at 4am for Eolus and NE. We saw your headlamp following us up the mountain - first far below, then a few hundred yards behind and then whoosh... Great talking to you, and thanks for the tips getting our group up Eolus. Glad to see you having so much fun rocking these peaks!


Thanks!     08/21/2012 22:50
milan: Thanks, I'm sure Mike will use discretion when dealing with his shoulder injury, it seems to be healing great, nothing except some soreness.
Patinator: Thanks bro, hope you had a great day up there!
Rufus3: Thanks, it was great meeting all of you on the mountain and the train back to Durango!

Mike Abernathy

Much appreciated     08/22/2012 06:28
to everyone for showing concern for my shoulder. I was stoked to read these comments. I will be sure to stay safe and smart out there. A trip report of my own will soon follow my ascents.

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