Alpine Rock Climbing (European Style) Silverton, CO

Chicago Basin Alpine Climbing

Eolus 14,083 ft, Windom 14,088 ft., Sunlight 14,059 ft.

Chicago Basin in the Weminuche Wilderness is home to what many would call Colorado’s most iconic 14,000 foot peaks. Sunlight Peak (14,059 ft.), Windom Peak (14,082 ft.) Mt. Eolus (14,083 ft.) are the typical objectives for backpackers and peak baggers. However, for the more adventurous, there are countless other possibilities for of all abilities.

Chicago Basin programing is offered on both a schedule and private basis. The PRE-SCHEDULED dates are either on Friday to Sunday OR Tuesday to Thursday. This allows you to choose the schedule that works for you. For those who want more personalization, all programs are also available on a private and custom basis. Friday to Sunday trips tend to be more popular for personal scheduling, but can be more crowded in Chicago Basin. Weekday trips are typically substantially quieter and less crowded, but are during the week. There are positives and negatives to each option. KMG owner and lead guide Josh Kling has been climbing in Chicago Basin and the Weminuche Wilderness for close to 20 years. Please do not hesitate to getting touch with us for questions on what itinerary works for you.

Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Rail Road (D&SNGRR)
Kling Mountain Guides is the only Durango based mountain guides service. Our office is just blocks from the historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train station. By utilizing this historic steam train to access the Weminuche Wilderness we are able to cut the hike to camp down to under 5 miles!


Price Includes

  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide or AMGA Certifed Alpine Guide  (depending on program)
  • Group climbing equipment (ropes, harnesses, all other technical climbing equipment, climbing shoes, first aid kits)

Price Does Not Include

  • Travel to Silverton, Colorado from your location.  All private trips are required to provide their own transportation.
  • 5% federal land use surcharge
  • Items of personal nature
  • Individual travel costs, delays, etc.
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Personal clothing or gear
  • Personal snacks
  • Hotels before and after trip
  • Recommended Travel/trip cancelation insurance.
  • Guide/ Staff gratuity


  • Climbing Boots: Good alpine climbing boots such as the La Sportiva Trango Tower GTX and La Sportiva TX 4 are both ideal for this program.
  • Socks: Two pairs of mid weight wool socks
  • Synthetic boxers or briefs: Cotton does not dry or insulate when wet. Underwear should be synthetic. Two pairs will suffice
  • Softshell Climbing Pants: The Patagonia Alpine Guide Pants  work well. You will be wearing these everyday while on the mountain. Regardless of the brand they should be non-insulated Schoeller-type fabric.
  • Wicking t-shirt: Synthetic wicking t-shirt.
  • Long Sleeve base layer: Mid Weight synthetic, wool, or silk top. Patagonia Men’s Cap 3 works well.
  • Sweater Layer: This is layer should fit over both of the two previous layers. The Patagonia R1 hoody is wonderful.
  • Softshell Jacket: Like the softshell bottoms, this is your go-to jacket that will be worn the most. The Outdoor Research Alibi jacket is what we’re wearing this season.
  • Hardshell Jacket: This should be extremely lightweight and packable. Something like the Patagonia M10.
  • Insulated Parka w/hood: Our route and camp keeps us at high elevation for the duration of the trip.  A mid weight down or synthetic parka with hood will suffice.
  • Wool or fleece hat: Make sure it covers your ears.
  • Light weight liner gloves: Light-weight synthetic gloves. Please not fingerless. When it’s hot on the glacier, these are a great weight.
  • Sun Glasses: These should be good dark sunglasses. The Smith Guide’s Choice are great.

Camping Equipment

  • Pocket Knife: A Leatherman or Swiss Army knife work great.
  • Headlamp: Bring one set of extra batteries. The Petzl Tikka XP2 and Black Diamond Storm with both light up your night.
  • Insulated Mug: Some sort of insulated mug for coffee, coco, etc. Check out either the Alladin insulated mugs. or the Klean Canteens with the cafe cap.
  • Plastic bowl and spork: Tupperware with a lid. A spork is the more versatile than a spoon and fork.
  • Camera
  • Personal Toiletries & Medications: Prescription medications, ibuprofen, small package of moleskin for blisters, etc. Ear plugs are great for in the tent
  • Water bottles or hydration system: 2 liters capacity. Wide mouth and no Camelback/hydration bags.
  • Sleeping pad: Full length inflatable or closed foam.
  • Sleeping Bag: Down or synthetic rated to between zero and 15 degrees. Make sure it has a compression sack.
  • Backpack: A 45-60 liter pack is the recommended size for this climb. It is imperative that your backpack is large enough and tough enough to handle the load. A separate summit pack is not needed. We recommend the Cilo Gear 45 Worksack. This is a truealpine climbing pack. It is extremely lightweight and versatile for it’s size. An added bonus, Cilo also stitches all their packs in Portland, OR!

Climbing Equipment

  • Harness: A comfortable mountaineering harness that will fit over all your layers. The Camp Flash Alpine is our current alpine harness of choice. It is both light weight and will fit under your pack belt. In addition, the diaper style harness will allow you to put it on and take it off with large boots or crampons on.
  • Locking Carabiners: 2 locking carabiners. The Camp HMS Nitro is an extremely light weight and versatile locking carabiner. (extra credit if you know what HMS stands for….) The Camp Photon Screw Gate screw gate is an other extremely light weight locker.
  • Non-locking carabiners: 2 non-locking carabiners. We recently fell in love with and recommend the Camp Photon Wire Gate. This is an extremely light weight and large opening carabiner.
  • Climbing Helmet: Must be CE certified and designed for climbing. Check out the Camp Speed or Camp Storm are both for a very comfortable and light weight option. You will be wearing this helmet a lot, so you want it to be both comfortable and fit well under your jacket hood.
  • Trekking poles: Three section ski poles such as the Leki Tour Stick Vario packs down extremely small. This is paramount for when we are climbing the ice pitches on the upper mountain.
  • Nylon runner: This needs to be a 48 inch nylon runner.
  • Belay Device: Tube style belay device. We like the Camp PIU 2


  • Climbers should be in great physical condition.
  • There are a lifetime worth of climbs with different difficulties in the Weminuche Wilderness. Please get in touch with us to talk about what peak is right for you. If need be, we would like to climb with you prior to climbing in the Black to help ensure that you are up to the challenge
  • If you do not possess these skills or need review, we recommend doing a skills course with us in Colorado or Utah prior to your alpine trip to Silverton, CO.


  • Day 0:  Gear check and prep day.  This will only take 1 hour.  We will conduct this at Backcountry Experience in Durango.
  • Day 1: Depart on the 8:45 Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge train.  Arrive and Needlton whistle stop at 11:45.  Hike into camp. Approximately 5 miles.  Set up camp.  Possibly do an acclimatization hike
  • Day 2: Rise with an early alpine start.  Climb Windom (14,082 ft.) and Sunlight (14,059 ft.)
  • Day 3: Rise early with an other alpine start.  Climb Eolus (14,083 ft.).  Hike back to camp and pack up.  Hike out to train.  Catch the  3:30 PM train.  Arrive back in Durango at 6:00 PM.

Registration & Cancelation

  • Unfortunately, due to extremely high demand we have a very strict registration and cancelation policy. We can not transfer you to an other program. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND PURCHASING TRAVEL INSURANCE! We recommend the TravelEx Insurance Travel Select plan with the Adventurer Plus Pak upgrade.
  • To reserve your spot on a domestic climbing or skiing program a 50% deposit if applying more than 60 days out. If your trip/ course starts in less than 60 days please submit full payment.
  • Program fees are non-transferable.
    If notice of cancellation is given in writing at least 60 days prior to the trip start date, you will be refunded your fulldeposit except for a $50 processing fee.
  • If notice of cancellation is given in writing within 59 – 30 days prior to the trip start date, a cancellation fee equal to the deposit amount will be charged. If notice of cancellation is given in writing less than 30 days prior to the trip start date, a cancellation fee equal to 100% of the program fee will be charged.

Chicago Basin 14ers


Tuesday to Thursday

  • June 12 – 14
  • June 19 – 21
  • June 26 – 28
  • July 3 – 5
  • July 10 – 12
  • July 17 – 19
  • July 24 – 26
  • July 31 – Aug 2
  • Aug 7 – 9
  • Aug 14 – 16
  • Aug 21 – 23
  • Aug 28 -30
  • Sep 4 – 6
  • Sep 11 – 13
  • Sep 18 – 20
  • Sep 25 – 27
  • Oct 2 – 4
  • Oct 9 – 11
  • Oct 16 – 18
  • Oct 23 – 25
  • Oct 30 – Nov 1

Friday to Sunday

  • June 15 – 17
  • June 22 – 24
  • June 29 – July 1
  • July 6 – 8
  • Aug 3 – 5
  • Aug 10 – 12
  • Aug 17 -19
  • Aug 24 – 26
  • Aug 31 – Sep 2
  • Sep 7 – 9
  • Sep 14 – 15
  • Sep 21 – 23
  • Sep 28 – 30
  • Oct 5 – 7
  • Oct 12 – 13
  • Oct 19 – 21
  • Oct 26 – 28


3 days


Chicago Basin, Weminuche Wilderness


(most climbs)
$1395 for 1:1
$895 each for 2:1
$250 per porter per day

Client to Guide Ratio

up to 3:1 climber to guide ratio