Windom Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-25, By: daway8
Info: All 4 peaks by Chicago Basin can be done with microspikes and trekking poles, just be sure you know how to safely self-arrest with whatever you bring. Sunlight had worst conditions - snow hard in spots and sank past knees in others. Several rock outcroppings appearing - going up the rocks was easier when available. Microspikes tend to be more suited to that mixed terrain than crampons, just be aware it is steep so again, be prepared to self-arrest. Windom generally firmer with excellent glissade descent. Some were going up with no traction but only by following friends who had traction (wouldn't recommend that). Eolus and North Eolus had multiple snow fields leading up to them but hardly any snow above notch. Easily doable with microspikes. Catwalk totally dry. North Eolus was trivial, rock super grippy. Route finding going up Eolus face was some of most challenging encountered yet (at 55 14ers and counting). Rock not very grippy at all and covered with mud and damp plants, but abundant foot and handholds. Could still glissade patches going down but no longer a continuous slide along the standard route. Rain came every day between 1:30pm - 2pm and typically lasted a couple hours or so with plenty of thunder. Occasional overnight storm but mornings have been storm free. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-18, By: Cranfillpe
Info: See detailed report for Mount Eolus from 7/15. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-07, By: chrschm
Info: Continuous snow from twin lakes to the ridge. Able to comfortably climb with microspikes and ice axe early in the morning before the sun softened the snow too much. Many may prefer crampons. Once on the ridge, snow can be avoided entirely. Just before the summit, there is a somewhat exposed section of snow that I opted to avoid - I believe the standard route would take you through this snow but I haven't done the route before so I'm not sure. Instead, I climbed a class 4 chimney then walked over to the summit bloc but many climbers chose to turn around at this point. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-06-25, By: wombat
Info: Coming up the trail, Debris fields at 10,450, 10,750, and 11k. Nothing to scoff at but easily navigable. Snow fields start at around 11k. Most of the switchbacks up to twin lakes covered in snow, but easily avoidable. Crampons essential from twin lakes to Windom-Pk 18 saddle. It's possible to take rock almost all the way from the saddle. Can take snow for a bit up ridge- but near top we didnt trust it anymore. Had to divert to climber's right side of ridge to avoid snow right before summit. encountered some class 3+ maneuvers while avoiding snow right below summit. Easier choice than Sunlight IMO. PS- bring paper for summit register. 
2 3
Route: Chicago Basin Approach
Posted On: 2019-06-04, By: Randy1983
Info: Memorial Day trip. 0/4 Summits again. Spent the night in near blizzard conditions thursday night about 3.3 miles from the train drop off. Woke up to 5-7" of new snow. Hiked/snowshoed to 5.5 miles from the train in extremely wet/heavy snow that tanked my pace to around 90 minutes a mile. Decided to call off any summit attempts based on hiking speed in those kind of snow conditions and there were several small Avalanches sliding down most of the peaks in the basin, especially Aztec. Several massive cornices still remain on many of the peaks due to the recent snowfall and high winds. The hike back to the train, I noticed that the snow had melted much higher up the trail, about 4 miles from the train drop off. Will return Labor Day weekend for round 3. 
10
Route: Chicago Basin Approach
Posted On: 2018-11-28, By: Randy1983
Info: Made an attempt on the Windom group over Thanksgiving weekend. Started from the Purgatory TH and hiked in 13 miles on the first day with little to no snow on the trail. Second day we made it another 5 miles up to the Lakes where we were shut down by Saturday's storm and very less than ideal snow conditions. Spent the night near the lakes in the most protected place we could set up and braved the negative temps and harsh winds. We had hoped that lakes basin was near the snow conditions we had on the hike in, minimal. South facing slopes of near by peaks were nearly bare. The Windom group looked spicy but still climbable, however trudging through 3-8 feet of wind blown powder was going to take us a long time nav. We hiked out Sunday morning the 18 miles back to Purgatory TH. 
7
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2018-09-18, By: dcruz654
Info: see eolus report 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2018-09-04, By: cochsman
Info: FYI - I lost a rain fly for a back pack in my haste to get down from Windom before a storm rolled in. If anyone grabs it, please message me! Thanks! 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2018-07-21, By: alyannkar
Info: Summer conditions. I summitted Windom after Sunlight, so I cut across the basin between the two and descended the West Ridge. I backpacked into Chicago Basin from the Purgatory Trailhead the afternoon of 7/19 and then summitted all four peaks the morning of 7/20 and backpacked out later that afternoon. Not quite sure why the longer route to the basin gets a bad rap. It was a gorgeous and mellow trail, easy hiking. There are several trees down towards the end of the Animas River Trail in the mile before the bridge and register where the trail intersects with the Needle Creek Trail and the train stop. The Needle Creek Trail has even more trees down. Otherwise, both trails are in great condition. In Chicago Basin, insects and goats are in full swing. The lower you camp in the basin (or just before the basin), the less you will have to deal with the goats swarming. The trail up to Twin Lakes is beautiful (thanks Colorado Fourteeners Initiative!) and is in summer conditions, as well. 
1
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2018-06-24, By: Beas
Info: There are a few small patches of snow along the route above 13,500'. You can avoid them with some scrambling or cross them without much difficulty. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2018-06-08, By: RWSchaffer
Info: There is no snow below Twin Lakes. Above Twin Lakes, snow fields continue up the north face of Windom; see picture taken from below Sunlight's summit. Windom's west ridge is free of snow, though the route again crosses snow fields where it heads onto the north side of the ridge to skirt difficulties just below the summit. With a freeze the night before, snow was good for climbing and glissading in the late morning. I used ice axe and spikes. 
1
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2018-05-07, By: RobLowe
Info: From Purgatory Flats. Purgatory flats to Cascade/Animas junction -- no snow. Cascade/Animas junction to Animas/Needleton junction -- no snow. Animas/Needleton to Chicago Basin -- above 10,000k variable drifts of 2-6" of snow. 12'000 above -- snow. Continuous snow to the summits of Eolus, N. Eolus, Sunlight, and Windom. 
5 1
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2017-09-15, By: chicagostylehotdog
Info: Clear weather all day on Wednesday. Routes were dry on Eolus, N. Eolus, Windom, and Sunlight, with the exception of a tiny amount of snow blocking the trail between the lakes and the headwall leading to Windom and Sunlight. Thursday was good weather until noon when the clouds started spitting at us. Driving out Thursday afternoon you could see the storm rolling in. Ominous black clouds. With snow in the forecast, we may have seen the last of the dry, summer conditions in Chicago Basin. Only saw 3 goats, all together around 12,000' on the trail. One was digging at a wet spot where somebody had probably peed. Please keep your peeing off trail and on rocks so the goats don't destroy vegetation or the trail. Bagged all 4 14ers in Chicago basin in 9.5h camp to camp (camped at 11k). Leaves are starting to turn. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2017-09-09, By: kayleenann8
Info: Dry and clear! 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2017-09-05, By: STIBungy
Info: Dry the whole way. Alot more scrambling than what I was expecting. The bottom half of it from the saddle has a bit of loose soil to contend with. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2017-08-21, By: Marmot96
Info: Very little snow left, at most 50 feet of crossing at low angle and low risk. No need for axe or traction, and we did it easily without poles. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2017-07-19, By: metalmountain
Info: There is still snow to contend with on the way up Windom. The amount to contend with depends upon how you approach the ridge. Folks made it up and down without axes or traction, but we were happy to have axes on hand. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2017-07-09, By: EZsummits
Info: Still lots of snow from Twin Lakes to the saddle of Windom on July 5th. We were comfortable with microspikes and trekking poles early in the morning when it was frozen. The snow was much softer on the descent, around 11 or noon. Post-holing wasn't an issue, but it probably will be in the near future. 
3
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2017-07-07, By: glenmiz
Info: Ridge is dry. Still much snow from lakes up to ridge. Early, firm with steps and snowcups make crampons not absolutely necessary. Later, much more slippery coming down and using an axe and crampons made me feel better traversing to Sunlight on north slopes below the rocks. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2017-06-29, By: pmeadco
Info: Dry from the saddle to the summit if you stay high on the ridge. From the notch above the saddle there are two cairn lines: one that goes on the north side of the peak and another that stays on the ridge line. The north side still has some snow but the ridge is clear. See picture. As usual, there is snow from Twin Lakes up to the saddle. 
1

Return to the main Peak Conditions page



© 2022 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.