A Return to Chicago Basin

Peaks: Jupiter Mountain (13,830′), Windom Peak (14,082′), Sunlight Peak (14,059′), Mount Eolus (14,083′), North Eolus (14,039′)
Dates: July 2-3 2016
Trailhead: Purgatory Flats (8,740′)
Distance: ~ 40 miles
Elevation Gain: ~ 11,000′
Time: 36 hours
Group: Andrea Sansone, Andrew Hamilton, Charlie Nuttelman, Danielle Joy, Elizabeth Stevens, Dillon Sarnelli

My first trip into Chicago Basin was in the summer of 2013. Back then the objective was simple. Check off Colorado’s 4 most remote 14ers and make it safely back to the train in one piece. By all accounts the weekend was a success, but one thing was certain. I’d be back in the Wemi sooner than later. Over the years that followed I’ve made good on that promise, with each trip a constant reminder that the Weminuche, the granddaddy of all Colorado’s wildernesses, is hands down in a class all by itself.

Recently I had the privilege of sitting next to Elizabeth Stevens and Ryan Kushner at dinner during our annual reunion with the Jansen family. At the time Elizabeth mentioned she had 15 or so 14ers remaining and could use some partners as Ryan would be off in Pakistan for 2 months climbing something I can’t even try to pronounce. 🙂 Not being one to ever really turn down a Wemi trip, I gladly accepted the invitation.

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The Grenadier’s Finest – Vestal, Arrow & the Trinities

Peaks: Vestal Peak (13,864′), Arrow Peak (13,803′), West Trinity (13,765′), Trinity Peak (13,805′), East Trinity (13,745′)
Dates: August 27-30, 2015
Group: David Yarian, Jason Blyth, Rick Thompson, Dillon Sarnelli
Vestal Basin – Google Map

Continue reading The Grenadier’s Finest – Vestal, Arrow & the Trinities

The Presidential Traverse and Beyond

(L to R) Mount Jefferson (5,717′), Mount Adams (5,798′), and Mount Madison (5,367′) as seen from Mount Washington (6,288′).

Location: White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
Dates: June 26-28, 2015
Participants: Dana Sanford, Miguel Gonzalez, Nate Watts, Ray Priebe, Dillon Sarnelli

Once upon a time way back in 2012, Dana, Migz, Nate and Ray got off a plane at DIA and within 24 hours found themselves on the summits of Chiefs Head (Sheeps Head if you ask Dana) and Alice in Rocky Mountain National Park. At the time I figured these would be some excellent “acclimation” peaks since a sunrise summit of Longs was on tap for the following day. It would be the 1st outing of what has since become a somewhat annual hazing tradition.

Skip ahead to 2014 and the reunion tour found us climbing some of Colorado’s finest peaks in Ruby Basin – Pigeon, Turret and the Animas Group –  all the way from Purgatory TH, a trip that Nate has since coined the Dillon Death March.

In 2015 it was their turn to return the favor… on their turf. And they sure did.

Continue reading The Presidential Traverse and Beyond