Sunlight Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2021-11-22, By: calhack7
Info: Summited Sunlight Peak today. Perfect weather, not a cloud in the sky and no wind at all. Hiked in to Chicago Basin yesterday afternoon, summited this morning, then hiked out. Purgatory flats to the junction with Needle Creek is bone dry. From there to Twin Lakes there are occasional patches of snow/ice, never more than a few inches deep or a few feet long. The Twin lakes and Needle Creek drainage had a mix of firm snow I could walk on and soft snow that I post holed past my knees in. Once across the drainage the snow was patchy until about ~13,500. From there to the summit it was almost completely dry. Skipped Windom b/c that side of the valley had a lot more snow, and it was getting too late in the day to attempt Eolus/N Eolus. Brought spikes/axe but didn't use either. 
6 3
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2021-11-09, By: nicoinco
Info: I hiked into Chicago Basin over the weekend via the Purgatory Flats approach. Ended up summiting Sunlight, Windom, and North Eolus, but decided to turn around at the “catwalk” of Eolus due to what appeared to be unconsolidated and sloping snow on the ledges of Eolus. Sunlight was mostly dry and grippy above the gulley. Ended up with just under 45 miles and 13,000ft round trip for the weekend. I brought crampons, microspikes, poles, and an ice axe into the basin with me, but didn't end up using any traction. The poles were helpful for some post-holing at and above Twin Lakes, and I used my axe on Windom for added comfort traversing some short snow slopes towards the top. There was evidence of some sliding on the north face of Windom, so I'd be wary of any further attempts at the crossover from Sunlight with any new snow. Overall, less snow than expected and an excellent weekend alone in the mountains. 
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2021-10-05, By: arete66
Info: Snow Thurs (9/30/21?) left it's mark on the high pks above Chicago Basin. Just returned & tracks combined with personal interviews prompt this update. Many have climbed North Eolus and 4 or more made it up Windom (the snowiest of the 4) Sunlight has melted out more and is actually reasonable but the cairns play an outsized role. Eolus seen from N. Eolus looks forbidding but I made it by stitching short sections together. Despite being called aridge route, the route is almost entirely on the left (SE) side of the ridge thus it's less snowy; airy but doable. Thanks to NC Heather and her companions who did the hard work of pounding out a boot pack on Windom. I completed all four wearing low top guide boots with dang good gaitors. 
3
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2021-08-21, By: coopereitel
Info: Started at 4:00am after the crazy rain the day prior. Up at Twin Lakes we realized it was snowy up on the peaks but decided to go take a look. It was pretty icy and snowy past the saddle and my partners and I weren't feeling it so decided to just bail and come back when it would be more fun of a climb (it looked super cool). Looked like some more parties may have summited, and I bet that the snow won't last very much longer with the nice weather (it may have already melted). I will be back! 
3
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2021-07-10, By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: No snow from Chicago Basin ~11k' to summit. Early morning was helpful in loose gulley for damper conditions in the gravel/rocks to make it less slippery. Beware on the way down as rocks went rolling if people were above you. No snow in class 3 section. 
2
Route: Chicago Basin Approach
Posted On: 2021-07-09, By: swesleyc7
Info: Confirming: Summer conditions at peak of Sunlight. No snow on trail to Chicago Basin. Minor snow fields located at Twin Lakes. Otherwise, ascent from Twin Lakes to Sunlight summit is entirely free of snow as the summit is getting copious sun. Geographic changes to trail (i.e. rock-fall, etc.) unremarkable. Weather excellent at this time of year with rain likely after noon, as expected. Attached photo shows Twin Lakes, taken from the summit. Climb on! 
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2021-06-25, By: Will_Quillman
Info: Summer Conditions on the standard south face route. Did not use traction or gaiters. Class 4 seems a bit overrated on this route, but that is just my opinion. We started from higher up in the basin around 5 am Sunday morning, took us 3 hours to reach the summit and then we headed over to Windom. Submitted a trip report for Windom too. 
5
Route: Purgatory Flats
Posted On: 2020-10-08, By: mickknu16
Info: Bluebird week in Chicago basin! Incredible conditions for October, no traction needed. The winds of Aeolus cleared the smoke out this week for us, but it rolled in this morning thick as we were packing out. Small fire at Purgatory was a big cause. Fall colors are in full swing. Get it while it's clear! Windom is still holding snow in some spots, but all are easily passable. 
3
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2020-09-15, By: shsdawg58
Info: The Chicago Basin 14ers are open for business. I summited all peaks without traction or ice tools. Go get it! 
1
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2020-09-15, By: shsdawg58
Info: The Chicago Basin 14ers are open for business. I summited all peaks without traction or ice tools. Go get it! 
2
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2020-08-24, By: jryor121
Info: Continued from: https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/peakstatus_entry.php?recnum=17888 After coming down Elous's, we made it back to the Twin Lakes by 8:30 AM, and began our slog up to Sunlight's summit. The rocks up the south face are very loose for a good couple hundred feet. I would recommend sticking to the right side of the gulley until just near the saddle, when it's easier to cross on less loose rocks. After getting to the saddle, the rest of the climb was fine. On the descent, stuck to the same side of the face that we went up, making the descent much easier as we continued on towards Windom. https://www.strava.com/activities/3955220004 
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2020-08-22, By: Clint the climber
Info: Sunlight is a great little climb! The summit block is unique, the exposer is overhyped. 
3
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-16, By: IsaacD
Info: Climbed all 5 Chicago Basin 14ers. Summer conditions all around. Pro tip: don't leave anything that has sweat on it in the basin between peaks. We left some climbing shoes, helmets, and headlamps down in the basin after our ascent of Sunlight Spire and came back to find helmets and shoes were chewed by marmots. Headlamp and one climbing shoe were completely gone. 
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2020-08-11, By: nathanpt1
Info: Completed all four 14ers around Twin Lakes on standard routes. Beautiful day, wild flowers are out, and the weather held, did experience a short burst of graupel top of Windom. Lost a mens medium black Exofficio rain jacket on Sunlight, i suspect the block over the chimney scrapped it off my pack, please contact me if found. 
Route: Ridge Direct
Posted On: 2020-07-15, By: CaptCO
Info: Gained the saddle from Windom around the "bowl" to avoid snow, gained ridge direct class 5+, took it over past the "hole" and up the summit block. Descended standard where I encountered CFI steps on the bottom of the scree slope 
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2020-07-13, By: Sbenfield
Info: Summer 
Route: Chicago Basin Approach
Posted On: 2020-07-11, By: s mckinney10
Info: Hiked in from the Purgatory trailhead. Everything was in full summer conditions. There are a couple small snowfields to cross, but no traction is required for the ascent or descent. Lots of marmots and goats in the basin and around the twin lakes. 
Route: Elous, N Elous, Windom and Sunlight
Posted On: 2020-07-06, By: hjellmre
Info: Route for all four peaks is almost entirely snow free. Four minor snow fields to pass over, the most significant being in the connector between Sunlight and Windom. No traction needed. 
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2019-10-06, By: TieDye
Info: Sunlight: S Face still totally dry. Windom: Fresh snow dustings are starting to stick around on the portions of the trail on the NW Face which lie in the northern shadow. Was fine without traction but watch your step. These snow dustings are accumulating on the NW Face and on top of the leftover snowfields. Went straight up a snowfield to the W Ridge instead of dropping all the way down. Fine in trail runners in the afternoon. Eolus: Similar to Windom, fresh snow dustings are starting to stick around on the ESE Face where the trail drops down from the ridge. No traction necessary around 6 PM. Watch your step. N Eolus: Totally dry. The snowfields from this past winter aren't going anywhere. All manageable without equipment at the times I was on them (times listed for reference). Everything else dry (approach, catwalk, whatever doesn't get caught in shadows all day). Still overwhelmingly summer conditions. Get it while you can! Overnighters said it got down to 17 F at whatever elevation that is Friday night into Saturday. Purgatory TH - 710 AM Animas River bridge at Wilderness border - 930 AM Twin Lakes - 1200 PM (15 minute lunch) Sunlight - 215 PM Windom - 400 PM Twin Lakes - 510 PM Eolus - 635 PM N Eolus - 705 PM Twin Lakes - 800 PM Animas River bridge at Wilderness border - 1045 PM Purgatory TH - 240 AM 41 mi, 11.1k vert, 19:30 TH to TH 
1
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2019-09-09, By: bludwig
Info: This will be a copy/paste for all four of the Chicago Basin peaks: There is some snow by Twin Lakes on the route to Windom/Sunlight, it is hard and no traction required. The flies/mosquitoes are pretty bad and pretty aggressive. Although, the cold nights may start killing them off. Because of the very unpredictable weather in the Weminuche, I wanted to include my rough split times between the mountains so you can determine how to break them up. Doing all four in a day can be very difficult due to the temperamental weather. Order: Windom, Sunlight, Eolus, North Eolus. I recommend doing North last since it is very easy to bail out on if needed and recommend Windom first because route finding in the dark is straight forward. From campsite (11,000 feet) to Windom: 2.5 hours Windom to Sunlight: 1.5 hours Sunlight summit to Eolus turnoff: 1 hour Catwalk turnoff to Eolus: 40 minutes Eolus summit to catwalk turn: 40 minutes Catwalk to North Eolus summit: 7 minutes North Eolus summit to campsite: ~2 hours 

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