Windom Peak
(Needle Mountains, Colorado)

30 Jun - 1 Jul 2003 - by Tim Edinger

Peak Name: Windom Peak
Rank: 34th
Height  14,082
Date:  30 June 2003
Ascent: Northwest Face
Descent: West Ridge initially; glissade down NW Face
Difficulty: NW Face (Snow Climb)  Class 3; West Ridge  Class 2
Base:  10,800 Chicago Basin
Summit: 14,082
Elevation Gain: 3,282
Traverse From Sunlight Peak to Windom Peak - .5 miles
Summit to Base: 2.9 miles
Total Distance 3.4 miles
30 June  Sunlight Peak and Windom Peak
SP from Sunlight Peak at 11:30 AM
Return to Base Camp at 3:30 PM

From the summit of Sunlight Peak, we traversed SE for approximately 150 feet and then down-climbed a gully just NW of the Red Couloir. This gully seemed a bit more stable than Sunlight's Red Couloir, but in retrospect, the Red Couloir is a better descent route. The gully emptied out above some slick rock ledges and cliffs that were easily down-climbed as well. At approximately 13,200 elevation, we began a slow ascending traverse to the SE to arrive at the base of the snowfield that currently covers the NW face of Windom Peak. We then ascended this snowfield with ice axes. The snow was somewhat soft by midday and we could easily kick steps into the snow while ascending. Crampons may have provided some stability, but were unnecessary to safely climb. We gained the west ridge of Windom and then climbed over Class 2 talus to the summit blocks. We met another climbing party; a father and son team from Syracuse, NY at the summit. Once at the summit, we took photos, ate lunch, and then down-climbed the west ridge to a notch approximately 250 feet W of the summit and then dropped into the snowfield for a glissade. We glissaded the snowfield over mature corn snow down to approximately 12,600 elevation. We then returned to Twin Lakes using a mixture of glissade and snow running techniques. We took a short break at the ruins of the miners cabin at the eastern side of the upper twin lake and then returned to our base camp on the Class 2 hiking trail previously described in the Sunlight Peak ascent.

Climbing Party: Tim Edinger Mitchell Ackerman

Total Trip Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes (includes climb of Windom Peak and summit time on both mountains)

Temperature: 65 Degrees @ Trailhead; 75 degrees at summit; faint wind at summit; warm and sunny; no thunderheads

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