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2015 Backcountry Trip Reports => March 2015 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: tabski on 03/09/15, 10:21 AM



Title: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: tabski on 03/09/15, 10:21 AM
Left car @ Eldo TH around 830am Sunday morning with J & J. Perhaps a late start, but our aim was to ski till dusk, searching out sunset-lit firnspiegel on W slopes. ~10 cars at the TH with a healthy mix of splitboarders, skiers and mountaineers encountered throughout the day.

Dry, easy-to-follow trail, and a clean transition to skinning between first and second boulder field. Followed normal route to summit where it was windless, warm and clear. We descended ~200' down normal route, then hooked a right into a S-facing gully which connects through cliff bands onto the top of the E end of the Eldorado Glacier (which, lacking other historical information, we named "Lizard Gully"). Great skiing conditions through gully and down the glacier on ~2'' penetration pseudo-corn/firn.

Back at the saddle, we made a traverse along the ridge which divides Eldorado Creek from Moraine Lake, arriving at Pt. 7252 (appx. halfway between "The Eggplant" and Torment). From here we descended the moderate SW- to W-facing slopes towards Eldorado Creek. One member of the group was able to trigger a small wet avalanche at appx. 6,900' on steeper SW aspect. Excellent firnspiegel schussing on the rolling slopes of the upper Eldorado Creek basin at sunset, before regaining the main track and finding surprisingly good skiing to snow's end. Headlamps on as we entered the forest, and an uneventful jaunt back to the car, singing trashy cumbias like "eres muy bonita, pero mentirosa..."

appendix
The only other time I climbed Eldorado was in 2010 with Liz Daley and our friend Pat. During yesterday's climb, we all talked often of Liz and how much she would have liked the perfectly sunny day in one of the most beautiful places in the world. On the summit ridge we met a solo splitboarder named Andy who told us he lived with Liz in Bellingham in 2007. "Yeah. I broke her toe at a dance party the very first night I met her," he told us on the summit, much to our delight. Jesse responded, "no way! I accidentally broke her ribs during a night out in Seattle." I asked Andy if he knew Pat. "Totally, his sister is my roommate." We played some music and had a toast to Liz on the summit before skiing down the ridge together. I have struggled greatly with understanding the risks of being in the mountains since losing Liz this summer, and thus just setting foot into the backcountry has felt nearly impossible. But yesterday I found, instead of fear or doubt, a great sense of rightness, joy and belonging in the high, snowy reaches of the mountains. Not in the attraction to the extreme or the exposed (though this still flutters in the back of my mind). But with the sense of the fabulous good fortune to have the chance to experience places of such profound beauty along with other likeminded, conscientious individuals. And to have skis on my feet to glide through it all as though in a dream. And I said to myself, as per Vonnegut's advice, "if this isn't nice, I don't know what is." 



Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: kamtron on 03/09/15, 10:46 AM
Buena salida, cabros. Recuerden, No te comas la gallina! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3f8kCJR5oM)


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: ryanl on 03/09/15, 05:11 PM
Glad you you reconnected to the higher places Hombre.

And nice line fellas!


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: Lowell_Skoog on 03/10/15, 10:59 PM
Quote from: tabski on 03/09/15, 10:21 AM
But yesterday I found, instead of fear or doubt, a great sense of rightness, joy and belonging in the high, snowy reaches of the mountains. Not in the attraction to the extreme or the exposed (though this still flutters in the back of my mind). But with the sense of the fabulous good fortune to have the chance to experience places of such profound beauty along with other likeminded, conscientious individuals. And to have skis on my feet to glide through it all as though in a dream.


Sounds about right to me. Thanks.



Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: Marcus on 03/11/15, 08:37 AM
Good thoughts Drew, thanks for sharing.


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: PhilH on 03/11/15, 08:48 AM
Quote from: tabski on 03/09/15, 10:21 AM
a great sense of rightness, joy and belonging in the high, snowy reaches of the mountains


...well said.


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: snowdog on 03/11/15, 02:55 PM
We watched you come down trying to figure out how you were going to get over or through that cliff band.  From where we were we couldn't see the gully so it looked like you were going to huck that cliff which seemed like suicide.  were pleased to see you took an excellent line though.  nice job.


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: Atraslin on 03/11/15, 03:45 PM
Looks like you had a great day in the mountains. We dragged our tired bodies up Eldorado after three days on the Forbidden tour 2 days later. Experienced my first brocken spectre as we descended the summit ridge. Can't help but think that my late uncle Petr and Liz were watching from above.


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: shred on 03/11/15, 06:58 PM
We saw your tracks, on our exit. Well played, living like Liz!


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: Kyle Miller on 03/11/15, 07:58 PM
Great write up man. Love the beauty of the Alpine.


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: Mtraslin on 03/12/15, 08:37 AM
Good one.... great to chat in the parking lot.... I was glad to have 3 clear days in the cascades. Just enough time to finally get up Eldorado peak.


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: Jason_H. on 03/12/15, 09:44 AM
Well said Drew. The human condition with its fragile grasp on time and space, is ominous and inconsolable at times. I like to think that if I were a ghost I'd be attracted to these mountains, such as on Eldorado. It seems logical then that Liz, who's cut of the same cloth as all of us, would be giving high fives and singing along with you guys throughout the day. Good luck finding your balance out there. The glaciers and rock, rivers and lakes, forests and slide alder (yeah, even them) are much more attentive and healing than the cities I find.


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: baileygranstrom on 03/13/15, 11:43 AM
Beautiful thoughts and words.


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: Oyvind_Henningsen on 03/16/15, 08:23 AM
Nice Drew, most enjoyable read and memory trigger.  Had one of my finest days in the mountains up there skiing a 3-fer many years ago with Monika.
Lizard must be skied to be enjoyed.


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: Griff on 03/17/15, 07:57 AM
^^^^^^YES!!!!^^^^^^


Title: Re: March 7, Eldorado, Lizard Gully + Pt. 7252
Post by: skibacks on 05/13/17, 12:20 AM
Well put Drew!  The mts give and the mts take, but for me, at the end of the day
they have given more than they have taken. 


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