North Eolus, Eolus, Sunlight, & Windom

19 мая 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Silverton 30

Cost of Food Misc Expenses: $120

Total Cost: $500

Hiking Climbing

3300 ft

July 4th: Camp to Sunlight to Windom to camp then back to Needleton,South Slopes and West Ridge, class 4,11.5 miles,

3800 ft

Total Mileage and Elevation: 23 miles, 10,000 feet (22 miles, 9200 feet for Jen, 19 miles, 6800 feet for Brian)

July 1st-3rd Heading to the basin and climbing North Eolus Eolus

After a couple years where I put the 14ers on the back burner and focused on becoming a more technical rock, snow, and ice climber I decided to return to them during the spring and summer of 2007 with the goal of finally finishing them. To be totally honest the main reason I became a technical mountaineer is because of the 14ers and and the only way I feel I can be true to that heritage is to finish the goal that started me down this path. I’d always felt that the Chicago Basin 14ers would prove the most troublesome for me because of how incredibly lazy I am when it comes to long drives and backpacks. I managed to hike up Columbia earlier in the season which completed all of the mountain ranges except for the San Juans.

Silverton 30

Jen and I tackled Uncompahgre and Handies during the middle of June which brought my total count up to 53 of the 59 14ers — Description courtesy of Layne Bracy -Start with the 53 ranked 14ers (those with 300′ prominence). This includes Challenger Point, which the CMC apparently disregards. Add the 5 named 14ers with under 300′ prominence: North Eolus, Mt Cameron, El Diente, North Maroon and Conundrum Peak. Add North Massive (soft-ranked with estimated 280′ prominence) and voila 59 14ers.

We decided to tackle the Chicago Basin from the 2nd to the 5th of July. These dates were chosen because I had been planning on being away the prior week for an attempt at Mt. Rainier (didn’t happen but I did do the Bell Cord and Notch Couloirs) and there was a great UFC event over the following weekend. As it turned out these dates were perfect and we managed to avoid most of the crowds, traffic, and bad weather.

We drove out to Sally Blanchard’s gallery/store on Sunday the 1st of July and dropped our birds off. If it wasn’t for her kindness in boarding our macaws as well as our downstairs neighbor, Pat, who looked after our cats for us we would never be able to get away from home. We returned home and packed up and went to bed. We awoke around 5:30 Monday morning and headed over to my friend Brian Morsony’s place by 6:15. Brian wanted to come along but more for the back pack and camping than the peak bagging. His plan was to join us if he felt like it and hike around on his own if he didn’t.

We all drove down to Silverton by way of Grand Junction to avoid the slow drive down 285 and over Monarch Pass and arrived in about six and a half hours. None of us knew where the train station was but beta from suggested that the town is so small that we would have no problem locating the train. This proved to be true and we quickly located the ticket office where we picked up our tickets and then drove over to an area next to the train where tourist buses were parked. Apparently Silverton is very laid back about parking and, as long as it is not explicitly forbidden, you can park anywhere. We parked right next to the buses and wandered into town to get a gift for Sally (A DVD of the area and train) and get a quick cup of coffee. After our short journey through town we headed to the train where we handed our bags to a conductor. He threw them in the freight car and told us he’d come for us as we neared Needleton.

We boarded the 2:45 train and it set off. We had chosen to go in from Silverton because it was only an hours ride and it avoided us having to drive down to Durango the night before to catch the 9:00 AM train. For those interested, it costs 65 dollars for a round trip ticket and doesn’t matter what stop you get off at. If you are going to Needleton you must tell a conductor because they don’t stop there otherwise. Here is the train’s website. Once on the train we enjoyed the scenery along the Animas River for 45 minutes. We stopped briefly for the train to fill up with water right before the Needleton stop. After this the conductor ushered the three of us towards the front of the train so we would be close to our packs when it stopped. The rain arrived at Needleton around 3:45 and we got off and were handed our bags. As we got off we noticed a horde of bedraggled backpackers boarding the train. I was guessing we’d be looking equally miserable in a few days time. The backpackers boarded the train and it left for Durango.

We noticed one bag was left and thought it was curious but could do nothing about it so packed up and headed out. We immediately ran across the owner of the bag. Apparently his partner had sprained an ankle and the train wouldn’t wait for them so he had gone back to carry her pack the rest of the way. He seemed pissed off about the situation but had enough food to spend another night and catch the next day’s train. I offered his companion medicine but they had enough so we waved goodbye and headed out. While I sympathize with their situation, I understand that the train is carrying hundreds of people on a tight schedule and is unlikely to stop unless there is a real medical emergency. When you are hiking out to catch the train plan on several extra hours to account for any eventuality. It won’t wait for you.

Silverton 30
Silverton 30
Silverton 30
Silverton 30
Silverton 30
Silverton 30
Silverton 30
Silverton 30
Silverton 30

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