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Ascent of Eldorado Peak on 2011-07-04

Climber: Bri Wilson

Others in Party:Rich Evans
Piotr Chadovich
Adam Ungar
Vinay Patel
Glen MacDonald
Date:Monday, July 4, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Eldorado Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:8868 ft / 2702 m

Ascent Trip Report

Headed out on July 2 with a party of 6. Goal was to summit Eldorado either Saturday afternoon/evening or Sunday early and then head onto inspiration glacier and get Austera as well. Headed up the trail around 830am--it is nice-ish climbers trail, but very steep. There is a large and long boulder field to get through. The most strenuous part of the climb is the climbers trail and the boulder field. The snow line was 4300' on the approach and 4100' on the descent (due to bad weather on Sunday). We reached Eldorado Basin around 130pm around 5500' and decided to camp there. Sunday was white-out weather all day until 330pm. Not totally clear until 530. We spent most of the day in the tents waiting out the whether. Headed for the summit at 445am on Monday the 4th with about 3000' to go from camp. Beyond perfect conditions. We used crampons on the entire approach (snow pack very solid and did not warm quickly). To transfer from Eldorado basin onto Eldorado Glacier you must get up and over the ridge--the only way to pass this was by plunge-stepping down a fairly solid moat, transferring onto rock (about a 6-7ft gap between moat and glacier) and climbing down and back up onto the glacier. The rest of the route is in great condition and beautiful. Only ran into 1 other party of 3 (the park ranger) at high camp (7500'). Summited around 930-10am. The knife edge was probably only about 50ft long. Since it has been a heavy snow year the "catwalk" was not too sharp and the top was gentle enough to take an hour break and fit all 6 of us comfortably at this point in the year.

We did not observe crevasses and glissaded most of the way down the Eldorado Glacier!

Note: the descent down Eldorado basin is breaking up snow-wise. Large holes and unstable snow bridges beginning to form. We were able to get through it fairly easily, while being careful in some sections. But anytime after that day take extreme caution until it melts out more thoroughly.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:6768 ft / 2062 m
    Route:Inspiration Glacier
    Trailhead:Cascade River Road mi 20  2100 ft / 640 m
    Grade/Class:Basic Glacier
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Perfect Summit Day!
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:10 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:8 Hours 0 Minutes



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