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Chicago Basin Question

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Chicago Basin Question

Postby birdhead » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:31 am

Looking for opinions on the following itinerary from folks who know the area and the logistics of riding the narrow gauge railroad to the Needleton trailhead:

Is it a reasonable itinerary to climb at least two of either Eolus, Windom, or Sunlight on a one night backpacking trip? I would ride the train from Durango to the Needleton stop on Friday and head up the trail, possibly climbing one peak that afternoon/evening if the whether is good. In the morning I would climb another one or two and head out to try and catch the train. Has anybody done something similar that can comment? Looks like I should group Sunlight and Windom together. What little I have found seems to show that the train drops off at Needleton around 11:30 am and picks up from Needleton around 3:30 pm. Can anybody verify this? The schedule is not currently on the train website.
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Re: Chicago Basin Question

Postby Scott » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:19 pm

Is it a reasonable itinerary to climb at least two of either Eolus, Windom, or Sunlight on a one night backpacking trip?

It depends on who you are. Several people have done it. One of my climbing partners has done all three from the highway on a one night trip. Some have even done all three peaks round trip from Needleton in one day.

That said, I probably wouldn't want to do it, but it can be done. Windom and Sunlight might be reasonable for a one nighter, but day 2 will be a long one.
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Re: Chicago Basin Question

Postby Wiktoria Plawska » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:14 am

Sure it would be fine,
although just being there for a longer period of time is more rewarding, especially if you already went through all of the trouble going on the train
I stayed there for two nights and climbed the surrounding peaks at a very comfortable pace and was able to enjoy the herds of mountain goats among other things.
Even Sunlight is fairly easy and besides the uppermost part, but it is such a beautiful hike that the time goes by quickly, so you should be able to do it.
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