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. ūüôā 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

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Emerald from Missouri Gulch – With a Side of Belford and Lackawanna

In January I summited California Peak with Zambo. While descending the summit ridge I became dizzy and disoriented. “Zambo, is this what altitude sickness feels like?!?” An¬†extra strength ibuprofen got me back to the car.

Fast forward to¬†March, I attempted Shavano and Tab with Danny. At about 12,500′ in the Angel my head began to pound and my legs¬†stopped functioning on all cylinders. “Is this really happening again?” After some egging, I was able to convince Danny to go ahead and get the summits. I took a nap on a rib of grass as Danny bulldozed upward. 45 minutes later I painfully dragged my sorry self¬†to the summit of Shavano. On the 7 mile descent back to the car I was a zombie and an ibuprofen had no effect. Danny’s good company¬†and sense of humor are¬†the only reason I’m not still crawling back to the jeep.

Continue reading Emerald from Missouri Gulch – With a Side of Belford and Lackawanna

Purgatory to Ruby: Pigeon, Turret and the Animas Group

The Animas River at the junction of the Purgatory Trail and the Animas River Trail. Gordie Lachance, Chris Chambers, Teddy Duchamp and Vern Tessio would have surely appreciated a short jaunt along these tracks.

Peaks:¬†Pigeon Peak (13,972′), Turret Peak A (13,835′), Monitor Peak¬†(13,695′), Peak Thirteen (13,705′), Animas Mountain (13,786′)
Dates:  August 14-17, 2014
Trailhead: Purgatory
Approach:  Ruby Basin
Distance: ~ 40 miles
Elevation Gain: ~ 12,000 ft.
Group: Nathan Watts, Ray Priebe, Miguel Gonzalez, Dillon Sarnelli

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