We should have turned around! After tagging the summit and signing the register, we proceeded to race down the mountain in an effort to outrun a San Juan monsoon thunderstorm. It caught us. Two different times I heard the ice axes humming, twice we had to try and shelter under overhanging rocks to get some protection from the marble-sized hail and to avoid and any lightning bolts. We were glad that we had left our climbing helmets on as they protected our heads. That hail hurt! I crouched with a rock across my knees to deflect some of the hail. Finally, pummeled, soaked, and cold, I ran up a little ways to retrieve our packs, poles, and axes and we were soon quickly on our way down to the relative safety of Chicago Basin.
What an amazing climb! This was the most fun (and probably toughest of this class) class 2 scramble I've done! The views at the top were amazing as usual:-) The only major bummer is that as we were headed back over to Sunlight (10am), RAIN, sleet, and thunder rolled in... so of course we were unable to bag Sunlight:-( This whole trip was full of rain! No need to worry about snow anymore.... though we did do a great glassade down Windom (didn't need our ice axes)!
Lots and lots of snow. Glad I brought my Yaxtrax, but wish I would have had gators along. Summited about 9:30am then bailed off the main trail for an extended glissade to the snowfield between Windom and Sunlight. Be sure to bring your axe! Went on to climb Sunlight.
Looking to go back.
climbed with Aaron, easiest of the three fourteeners in this area. The enormous summit blocks are quite impressive.
Being as far into the backcountry as Windom is and running into as many people as I did is precisely the reason I call MT home now. Nonetheless, the Chicago basin is a spectacular area. I can't wait to head into the Needles/Grenadiers someday for an extended trip.
After descending Sunlight's South Face I walked across the basin and up to Windom's West Ridge. There was quite a bit of snow but it didn't impede progress much. The summit wasn't particularly spectacular and after doing Sunlight's West Ridge the route wasn't very exciting, but still a good time thanks to the great weather! Last San Juan 14er that I hadn't climbed as well!
32 mile day hike: left Purgatory at 12:51 AM, summited at 9:14 AM, returned to car at 6:19 PM. A storm later foiled my attempt at Sunlight and Eolus. Photos
part of 4 days in chicago basin, and oneof the nicer corners of colorado. up and over to sunlight.
Great Climb. Unpredictable wheather.
An awesome finish to a great weekend of climbing!!
After very technical climbing on Sunlight it was a nice break to summit Windom. Forth peak of the day and a great fealing to reach the summit. I slept very soundly in upper Chicago Basin after this day was over.
Summitted at 6:30 PM in dry weather after climbing Eolus and Sunlight in a 22 hour day hike starting from Purgatory at 5 AM.
Trip report and photos
Windom's got an awesome summit area! Check out my trip report for more information.
A 9:30am thunderstorm chased me from the summit. Rode out a hail storm at 14k and returned to the mountain goats at base camp in Chicago Basin. These fellas would not leave me alone!
A little harder than guide books says but a fun hike!
Did not like this one as it is mostly boulder hopping. Steep scree field on the way down but you get down quick. Did this in combination with Sunlight which seemed easy after this one.
After taking the Durango-Silverton train to Needleton and backpacking up into Chicago Basin, my husband, Jay, and I did both Sunlight and Windom on this day. As is the rule more than the exception, a storm built up by afternoon, just as we were summiting Windom. We took a chance and made it, then ran down to our campsite in the blinding rain.