Windom Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-02, By: Lichen
Info: The attached photo of Windom's north face was taken from Sunlight Peak on 9/26/20. The extent of the snow patches when I climbed the West Ridge of Windom two days later was the same. Most of the West Ridge route follows the upper north face. I walked on snow patches perhaps ten times. They were small, with the two largest being perhaps 6-l0' long. I am posting this report to let the snow-wary know that these patches stayed hard through mid-day. Almost all of the patches were flat, and good handholds were always available. My only caution is to be especially careful if the sole of your boot gets wet from walking on the snow. If your next step is on a sloping rock, your foot may well slip. Just kick off excess snow on your boot before taking the step and maintain good contact with your hands and other foot. I am not trying to discourage anyone from doing this route, which I found very enjoyable. I am a cautious climber and was never afraid on the route; nor did I hear any complaints from others. 
1
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-24, By: jryor121
Info: Continuation from: https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/peakstatus_entry.php?recnum=17888 https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/peakstatus_entry.php?recnum=17889 Made it down from Sunlight at 11:00 AM, and traversed the tales field to the beginning of the Windom ridge at 11:20 AM. As we got to the saddle, there was some scare of thunder and rain, as to the south about 10 miles there was a mean looking cloud. About 1/4 the way up the ridge, the thunder continued, and I even saw a bolt of lightning. As I kept close to ridge proper to make sure the rain stayed far away, I continued on. Eventually the rain moved away, and made it to the summit at 11:50. We descended back down and made it to needle creek around 3:40 PM, making it a 20 mile trip. But we didn't;t want a full 10 mile hike out the last day so we packed up camp and kept moving all the way down to the Animas River, making it a full marathon day. https://www.strava.com/activities/3955220004 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-22, By: Clint the climber
Info: We traversed to Windom from Sunlight. We stayed as high as possible in the basin to mitigate elevation loss and it worked out well. After we summited Windom it was a haul back to Cascade where we spent a second night. Took 44 hours car to car to summit all four peaks with big packs. It'd definitely be more enjoyable if done in 4 or 5 days. 
3 2
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-31, By: durkan
Info: Windom/Sunlight on July 26th, Jupiter on the 27th, and North Eolus/Eolus on the 28th. SurfNTurf and I were able to bag the Chicago Basin Centennials in what felt like a sunless few days. Photo taken From Sunlight after tagging Windom. Summer, albeit post-monsoon, conditions from Purgatory Flats up to Chicago Basin and then up to the summits. Moisture and mist made for some spicy ascents depending upon the time light hit and dried up a route. We had the summit to ourselves each time, but as we left it definitely seemed the area was getting more foot traffic. Some small snow fields to traverse going up Windom, but that was largely due to the route we chose going up to Windom's saddle. They probably could have been avoided. We left all traction at home. 
1
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-15, By: CaptCO
Info: Once again, CFI trail which has great steps to the basin, different route than gpx provided. Take your first right after the lake, once at the big cairn above the headwall, snow lingers at the 13,100' split. Ascended Windom which was a very fun class 2-3 scramble depending on the line. Dropped down the 2nd from furthest gully to gain Sunlights saddle. Very loose and don't really recommend it 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-13, By: Sbenfield
Info: Summer 
 
Route: Chicago Basin Approach
Posted On: 2020-07-11, By: s mckinney10
Info: Hiked in from the Purgatory trailhead. Everything was in full summer conditions. There are a couple small snowfields to cross, but no traction is required for the ascent or descent. Lots of marmots and goats in the basin and around the twin lakes. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-08, By: emily_m
Info: Traverse from Sunlight has snow, but is soft enough where you don't need microspikes or an axe. You won't posthole as long as you stay away from rocks poking up from the snow. There is one small (maybe 150 ft) section you can glissade down (fine without an axe) below the saddle. The ridge is dry, apart from a couple very small remnant snow patches that are very easily avoided. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-09, By: tiffts16
Info: Route over from Sunlight was a bit sketchy before the sun hit it (about 8:30/9am this time of year.) Microspikes before that would have been helpful but it depends how cold it gets the night before. If it is cold and the snow refreezes highly recommend microspikes. If it is pretty warm then the snow would be soft enough to hike over no problem. The trail up and down the west ridge is a bit hard to find at times but it is pretty easy to get up and down the west ridge. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-10-06, By: TieDye
Info: Sunlight: S Face still totally dry. Windom: Fresh snow dustings are starting to stick around on the portions of the trail on the NW Face which lie in the northern shadow (Photo 1). Was fine without traction but watch your step. These snow dustings are accumulating on the NW Face (Photo 2) and on top of the leftover snowfields. Went straight up a snowfield to the W Ridge instead of dropping all the way down. Fine in trail runners in the afternoon. Eolus: Similar to Windom, fresh snow dustings are starting to stick around on the ESE Face where the trail drops down from the ridge. No traction necessary around 6 PM. Watch your step. N Eolus: Totally dry. The snowfields from this past winter aren't going anywhere. All manageable without equipment at the times I was on them (times listed for reference). Everything else dry (approach, catwalk, whatever doesn't get caught in shadows all day). Still overwhelmingly summer conditions. Get it while you can! Overnighters said it got down to 17 F at whatever elevation that is Friday night into Saturday. Purgatory TH - 710 AM Animas River bridge at Wilderness border - 930 AM Twin Lakes - 1200 PM (15 minute lunch) Sunlight - 215 PM Windom - 400 PM Twin Lakes - 510 PM Eolus - 635 PM N Eolus - 705 PM Twin Lakes - 800 PM Animas River bridge at Wilderness border - 1045 PM Purgatory TH - 240 AM 41 mi, 11.1k vert, 19:30 TH to TH 
2 1
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-09, By: bludwig
Info: This will be a copy/paste for all four of the Chicago Basin peaks: There is some snow by Twin Lakes on the route to Windom/Sunlight, it is hard and no traction required. The flies/mosquitoes are pretty bad and pretty aggressive. Although, the cold nights may start killing them off. Because of the very unpredictable weather in the Weminuche, I wanted to include my rough split times between the mountains so you can determine how to break them up. Doing all four in a day can be very difficult due to the temperamental weather. Order: Windom, Sunlight, Eolus, North Eolus. I recommend doing North last since it is very easy to bail out on if needed and recommend Windom first because route finding in the dark is straight forward. From campsite (11,000 feet) to Windom: 2.5 hours Windom to Sunlight: 1.5 hours Sunlight summit to Eolus turnoff: 1 hour Catwalk turnoff to Eolus: 40 minutes Eolus summit to catwalk turn: 40 minutes Catwalk to North Eolus summit: 7 minutes North Eolus summit to campsite: ~2 hours 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-20, By: Flyingfish
Info: The upper traverse between Sunlight and Windom has some snow but it is soft enough for easy grip even on north aspects. Leave the micro spikes and ice axes at home 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-05, By: pbergmaier
Info: We summited all four peaks on 8/2 and 8/3. Lots of water on trail from the junction at 11,200' to Twin Lakes. No snow until you reach Twin Lakes. From Twin Lakes to the basin between Sunlight and Windom, you will encounter several very large snow fields that probably will not completely melt out this summer (photo 1). Traction still highly recommended, especially for early mornings. I used crampons, my buddies used a mix of both crampons and microspikes. I'd bet that you'll probably want traction through the end of August at least. We saw a few folks manage without, but again I wouldn't recommend doing so. The route up to the Windom saddle is still pretty much all snow (photo 2). No snow from the saddle to the summit. If attempting Windom AFTER Sunlight (as we did), there is a bootpack that contours across the snowfield from the bottom of the Sunlight gully to the Windom saddle (photo 3). This path stays above 13,300'. 
3
 
Route: Chicago Basin Approach
Posted On: 2019-08-05, By: pbergmaier
Info: Completely free of snow from Needleton to 11,200'. The avy debris fields are easy to maneuver across. Plenty of hungry goats near the camping areas. 
1
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-29, By: S-Parx
Info: View my report under Eolus from Purg flats to all 4 in a day 7/28/19 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-29, By: MAKB
Info: Looks pretty snowy Photo from N Eolus 
1
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-25, By: daway8
Info: All 4 peaks by Chicago Basin can be done with microspikes and trekking poles, just be sure you know how to safely self-arrest with whatever you bring. Sunlight had worst conditions - snow hard in spots and sank past knees in others. Several rock outcroppings appearing - going up the rocks was easier when available. Microspikes tend to be more suited to that mixed terrain than crampons, just be aware it is steep so again, be prepared to self-arrest. Windom generally firmer with excellent glissade descent. Some were going up with no traction but only by following friends who had traction (wouldn't recommend that). Eolus and North Eolus had multiple snow fields leading up to them but hardly any snow above notch. Easily doable with microspikes. Catwalk totally dry. North Eolus was trivial, rock super grippy. Route finding going up Eolus face was some of most challenging encountered yet (at 55 14ers and counting). Rock not very grippy at all and covered with mud and damp plants, but abundant foot and handholds. Could still glissade patches going down but no longer a continuous slide along the standard route. Rain came every day between 1:30pm - 2pm and typically lasted a couple hours or so with plenty of thunder. Occasional overnight storm but mornings have been storm free. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-18, By: Cranfillpe
Info: See detailed report for Mount Eolus from 7/15. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-07, By: chrschm
Info: Continuous snow from twin lakes to the ridge. Able to comfortably climb with microspikes and ice axe early in the morning before the sun softened the snow too much. Many may prefer crampons. Once on the ridge, snow can be avoided entirely. Just before the summit, there is a somewhat exposed section of snow that I opted to avoid - I believe the standard route would take you through this snow but I haven't done the route before so I'm not sure. Instead, I climbed a class 4 chimney then walked over to the summit bloc but many climbers chose to turn around at this point. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-06-25, By: wombat
Info: Coming up the trail, Debris fields at 10,450, 10,750, and 11k. Nothing to scoff at but easily navigable. Snow fields start at around 11k. Most of the switchbacks up to twin lakes covered in snow, but easily avoidable. Crampons essential from twin lakes to Windom-Pk 18 saddle. It's possible to take rock almost all the way from the saddle. Can take snow for a bit up ridge- but near top we didnt trust it anymore. Had to divert to climber's right side of ridge to avoid snow right before summit. encountered some class 3+ maneuvers while avoiding snow right below summit. Easier choice than Sunlight IMO. PS- bring paper for summit register. 
2 3

Return to the main Peak Conditions page



© 2020 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.