Waking up to clear dark skies is one of my favorite things, the cool crisp air, and the hot coffee. I crawled out of my tent, and quickly ate breakfast, excited to start climbing after a day being stuck in my tent.
I began hiking a bit later than I had intended, I realized that I had camped in an area that wasn’t easy to exit in the dark, there was a stream crossing and some bush whacking.
Trail up to Twin Lakes- the jumping off point for the Chicago basin peaks.
The trail from the basin to the lake is a little over a mile, and gains around 1300′ from camp. I realized I lost my camera, two days earlier, and I figured it was gone for good…but the nice fellows I met on the train had found it on the trail heading up to the basin. They recognized me, and returned it to me half way up to twin lakes. That poor little camera is not even a year old, and has gone through hell and back– Pretty sure it’s dead now- after this trip.
I made it up to the lakes, then turned left towards Mt. Eolus, following a beautiful single-track trail to the base of the beautiful class 3 scramble!
Looking towards Mount Eolus
Mt. Eolus, approaching the scramble.
I scrambled up the steep switchbacks towards the ridge between Eolus and North Eolus, at around 13,400 there is a beautifully pristine alpine lake!
Alpine lake, looking at Sunlight, Windom, and Jupiter across the basin.
Once up the ramp standing between the two peaks, I angled towards “the catwalk”, which was a lot wider than described.
Looking across the catwalk at the summit of Mt. Eolus.
I scrambled across the catwalk, and continued along the face, to the left, then up to the summit. The rocks on this peak were like giant cubes, very geometric- but generally stable. It’s like climbing up building blocks, except solid.
Looking back towards North Eolus.
I made a friend on the summit of Mt. Eolus– he popped out from under the rocks!
Standing on the Summit of Mt. Eolus 14, 083′, and #14 on the #30by30.
I relaxed on the summit for a few minutes with a group of teenagers, who were cool enough to shoot this photo for me, then took off over the side with them in hot pursuit. They were confused how to get down, so they asked me if they could follow me to the saddle, which was fine by me- rather than them getting lost or hurt!
Back at the saddle looking at North Eolus.
The offshoot up to North Eolus was very easy, and very quick- just some minor scrambling.
North Eolus 14,039′, #15 in the #30by30.
I scrambled down from the summit of North Eolus, and made my way back towards twin lakes where- it was LUNCH TIME. I hadn’t eaten much, which isn’t smart.
Relaxing after my climb, enjoying the beautiful weather.
I spent a good chunk of my afternoon snacking, and relaxing by the lakes, enjoying the relative silence.
Once back at camp, I decided to dry out my tent a bit- so I left the doors open, and read a book in the filtered sunlight. I had some fluffy visitors, including a few babies who were in a very playful mood.
Mt. Eolus/ N. Eolus were a lot of fun, I enjoyed the scrambling, and scenery. It was the first time I’d done a class 3 solo, but it was amazing to silently move across the rocks toward a goal. Can’t wait to get back out tomorrow!