One of the clearest views of Sunlight Peak we had all day, from the west ridge of Windom Peak.
The trek begins at the Needleton train stop (8,200 ft.). Photo by Trisha Conlon.
The start of the climb--taken on the way out. Photo by Trisha Conlon.
Trisha on the Needle Creek trail.
This cascade is on New York Creek, just before it empties into Needle Creek.
Trisha on the bridge over New York Creek.
One of the many nameless tributaries of Needle Creek, and one of many waterfalls.
More violent water in Needle Creek
Nameless peaks loom to the south above the Needle Creek trail.
We found something resembling Spanish Moss on many of the trees.
Wildflowers along the Needle Creek trail.
The view up into the lower part of Chicago Basin.
These huge plants were everywhere. Suzi says they are something in the lily family.
The noisy waterfall near our campsite (about 11,100 ft.).
Home sweet home for two days: the Hotel Coriolis.
Mt. Kennedy (13,125 ft.) loomed above our campsite.
Dawn silhouettes peaks above Chicago Basin on Thursday morning. We were already underway.
Trisha on the Needle Creek trail, early Thursday.
The obligatory mountain goats.
Our first good look at Sunlight Spire (14,000 ft.).
Trisha above Twin Lakes, with Sunlight Peak (l) and Sunlight Spire (r) in the background.
The short but steep climb above Twin Lakes, with Sunlight Peak and Spire in the background.
Interesting rock pinnacles along the west ridge of Sunlight.
Looking up the red gully, our ascent route to the Peak/Spire saddle.
A close-up of Windom Peak from approx. 13,700 on Sunlight.
Roughly our closest look at Sunlight Spire.
Trisha drops her pack as the really serious climbing begins.
A more distant view of the Spire, from farther back and farther up.
The one place where we gave up a bit of elevation on the way up. The "keyhole" is visible to the left.
One of several big steps that have to be negotiated; you definitely use your hands!
Trisha climbing through the tunnel, almost to the summit.
Trisha signing in. Note the benchmark and register canister lower left.
The true summit of Sunlight Peak.
Number 37 for me.
This was the clearest weather of the day.
"There's no sensation to compare with this: suspended animation, a state of bliss..." Photo by Trisha Conlon.
"Gotta keep my mind from the circling sky..." Photo by Trisha Conlon.
As always, Elmo made it, too. He had a little trouble spanning the gap with his short little limbs, though.
Looking through a gap in the ridge south of the summit. I believe that's Sunlight Lake below.
An unusual cairn we encountered a couple of hundred feet below the summit.
Trisha about to leave the red gully and begin climbing to Windom's west ridge.
A view of Chicago Basin from the west ridge of Windom--roughly 13,400 ft.
Looking back to the west at the saddle where we gained the ridge.
Sunlight Spire in the mist: You can tell I'm fascinated by this pinnacle.
The Needle Ridge to the west of Sunlight Peak, from the west ridge of Windom.
Heading up Windom.
A closer view of the Spire.
The rocks got bigger as we approached Windom's summit. After that, my camera started acting up.
A rare glimmer of direct sunlight illuminates the pinnacles of the Needle Ridge. Photo by Trisha Conlon.
The summit benchmark on Windom Peak. Photo by Trisha Conlon.
Trisha gets the fourteener number to match her age--something I could never do.
Probably the state's only summit-in-a-canyon!
Me on the true high point of Windom. Photo by Trisha Conlon.
Sunlight on Mt. Eolus, early Friday morning. Looked hopeful...
Sunlight Peak and Sunlight Spire from near Twin Lakes. Photo by Trisha Conlon.
Windom Peak (l), and its sub-peak, Peak 18 (r). The heights look reversed because of distance. Photo by Trisha Conlon.
The summit of North Eolus.
Me on North Eolus. Photo by Trisha Conlon.
Trisha at the wilderness boundary on the way out. Less than mile to go to the train stop.