Mountaineering, Chicago Basin Peak Bagging Extravaganza, Day 1

CMC Hikers Ready to Ride the Rails
Pictured: Dave, Wesley, Dennis, Clare, and Kay

Dennis & Clare in Chicago Basin
The Chicago Basin is Beautiful!

On September 6th, I led a CMC mountaineering trip into the Chicago Basin. As part of the 100th Anniversary Centennial Celebration, it was my 3rd, and final, trip to help the club attain all 100 of the highest peaks in Colorado over the course of 2012.

The posse of people I assembled to conquer the mountains were: Wesley, Dave, Kay, and Dennis. Dave was attempting to climb all the 14’ers in one summer and is a super fit guy from Texas. Wesley had done most of them already and had climbed Ellingwood Ridge of LaPlata with me in July. Kay had just done Little Bear. But most of all, I was psyched Dennis was hiking this trip! It was nice to be sharing a tent with my hubby vs some random CMC person.

I was also excited to ride the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for the 2nd time. It was totally neat-o the first time so I was sure I’d have fun on the train again!

Here are pictures from Day 1. We rode on the train for a few hours and got off at Needleton stop. Then, we hiked for 6 miles into the Chicago Basin, setting up camp by 4pm. We made dinner and prepared for an alpine start at oh-dark-thirty the next morning:

All Ready to Board, Destination Chicago Basin
Clare and Dennis ready to board the Durango & Silverton Train

All Aboard Durango & Silverton Train
All Aboard, destination: Needleton Stop for the trail to Chicago Basin
(All except for Betsy, Dave’s wife, who enjoyed the day in Silverton before heading back to Durango).

Crossing the Bridge at Needleton
Crossing the Animas River at Needleton

Clare & Dennis Hiking to Chicago Basin
The Chicago Basin Trail Follows this Creek for awhile!

Crack Climbing Potential Near Chicago Basin
Crack Climbing Potential on the way to Chicago Basin

Chicago Basin Gawking
The trail into Chicago Basin is gentle and well worn!

Dennis Hiking Into Chicago Basin
Dennis Hiking in Chicago Basin.

Chicago Basin
This place is seriously gorgeous!

Chicago Basin Base Camp
Our Home for the Weekend!

Dave's Slumber Spot in Chicago Basin
Dave’s Spot!

Dave Noshing on Backcountry Grub
Fried Chicken in the Wilderness? Only a Texan would dream of such luxurious fatty deliciousness! We were all jealous of his crunchy morsels.

Ultimate Mountain Men
Wesley and Dave with Windom and Sunlight in the Background. These guys are awesome!

Kay Enjoying the Chicago Basin
Kay Excited about tomorrow’s peak bagging extravaganza

Chicago Basin at Sunset
Chicago Basin Mountains All A Glow!

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