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Chicago Basin Conditions

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Chicago Basin Conditions

Postby rruby » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:54 pm

Driving from Mammoth Lakes, Ca to Durango next week. Wondering if anyone has any beta on the conditions in Chicago Basin. Ice axe, crampons required for the easier class 3 routes there? We got record-setting amounts of snow here in Mammoth. I suspect you also got quite a bit there as well. Also, any good hostels in Durango?

Thanks
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Re: Chicago Basin Conditions

Postby tommydurango » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:18 pm

The Chicago basin has had 2 rescues there in a week's time. There is still a small amount of snow in drainages and near the peaks. The monsoonal flow is increasing with 1-2" rain/hour and 1/2" hail predicted today. The rest of the week may not be as severe but I would expect to get wet since T-storms are expected late afternoons.
Please be sure to get a CORSAR card from any of the local backpacking shops when you get into town. Rescues are never charged for but the card helps the
Our rescue on Saturday: http://www.laplatacountyoem.blogspot.com/
Radar is of little use here (shoots over us at 30K ft) so watch the satellite http://www.crh.noaa.gov/crh/satellite/s ... s&site=gjt IR and WV are very helpful
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Re: Chicago Basin Conditions

Postby Hyadventure » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:17 pm

I was there July 1 to 3. I climbed Sunlight and Wisdom, both easy, fun 3rd class. I crossed a few snow fields with just trekking poles and never felt unsafe at all. I did use my ice ax to glasade, but that was it. Eulos (yo-les) had a much larger snow field, but two of the three people I talked to, climbed it without crampons. If they did have a hard freeze, you'd probably want them. I found the best campsites in the Chicago Basin were at or above 11k, so keep hiking on approach day.

We took the train in from Silverton, and I did see a hostel on one of the side streets there. Silverton was a lot prettier that Durango. Plenty of camping in Silverton too.

Let me know if you need more specifics?
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Re: Chicago Basin Conditions

Postby Chris » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:09 am

The monsoons have started early this year. I ran Hardrock last weekend and encountered 4 FIERCE thunderstorms over 36 hours, including middle of the night. Hours of hail (ouch!), rain, lightning, winds, etc. Pack good rain gear and have fun!
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Re: Chicago Basin Conditions

Postby rruby » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:00 pm

Thanks for the info. Very useful. Probably won't bring crampons, but ice axe might not be bad to have. I'm looking forward to seeing that part of the country.

Bear canisters required? Required all over the Sierra, but didn't see any mention of that in the website travel posts for chicago basin.

Thanks again.
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Re: Chicago Basin Conditions

Postby Hyadventure » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:54 pm

In Colorado they tell you to do exactly what your told not to do here in California: leave your food in the car and hang it when your backpacking. No bear canisters are required.
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