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| | |-+  8-16-08, Eldorado Peak + torment atttempt
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Author Topic: 8-16-08, Eldorado Peak + torment atttempt  (Read 5910 times)
danhelmstadter
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8-16-08, Eldorado Peak + torment atttempt
« on: 08/17/08, 01:58 PM »

I left the camper around 8am, it was already hot and muggy, making for a sweaty hike up the steep Eldo climber's trail. By the time I reached treeline zone, I was a grimy mess. A beautiful waterfall surrounded by gentle smooth rock, was too good to resist, so I stripped and showered - The cold water and hot sun felt amazing, (perhaps this is what summer skiing is all about!).
I left the trail and traversed across the high undulating alpine bowl, entirely covered with various wildflowers and Mountain Heather. The ridge separating the nameless bowl from Torment Basin was fairly easy from the west, but was steep and twice as much el. on the Torment Basin side. Only a little ways up to the easy col just west of Torment. I considered scrambling Torment and topping down the NW glacier, but decided it would be too risky considering the likely-hood of exposed ice on the surface of the glacier - much better to climb and know what's there. I descended a ways down to where I was planning on just a cakewalk traverse to gain the glacier. Turned out there was a deeply in-cut water channel, with some slippery nasty looking exposed scrambling to gain the base of the NW glacier, which was just a stones throw away. This feature would likely be easily negotiable earlier in the season when everything would be covered under deep snow.  I did have a picket, an ice screw, and 40meters of spaghetti rope with me - which I could have cut accordingly to make a rock sling, but there were no rock horns. Better to come back in the spring - gotta remember to make good decisions in the hills.
The decision of retreat was not all that difficult, as the mighty entirely snow covered Eldorado with it's massive glacier loomed to the west; I would not return to the parking lot in shame after all.
The traverse over to Eldorado Peak was about 2 miles of easy glacier - except for a sketchy broken section low down on the eldo. The conditions in this section were very sketchy - Many barely visible sags, and sinister cracks, I put a foot through innocent looking snow, it had not the faintest hint of the slow death waiting below - It was a big ugly looking hole from what I could see too. Finally I met some tracks near the regular route. One easy bergshrund negotiation, then smooth sailing to the summit. What an amazing summit it was too. The North Cascades are by far the most rugged mountain range I have been to.
I skied off the summit in light shorts and t shirt, the snow had only minor suncups. The spray of snow felt great on my legs, and the turns were worth the effort.
I was able to ski --with one short carry-- to about 6200' -- a total ski of 2600'v. I took my time down the trail, and made it back to the parking lot(2K above sea level) just before seven; took a much needed bucket bath, and guzzled some cold beer.








* eldo_taken_from_near_the_end_of_traverse.jpg (77.72 KB, 751x564 - viewed 1385 times.)

* yellow_area_is_approximate_poinnt_of_retreat.jpg (87.83 KB, 539x719 - viewed 1436 times.)
« Last Edit: 08/27/08, 08:21 PM by danhelmstadter » Logged
danhelmstadter
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Re: 8-16-08, Eldorado Peak + torment atttempt
« Reply #1 on: 08/17/08, 02:03 PM »

...


* flowers_purtty.jpg (137.88 KB, 621x466 - viewed 1371 times.)

* hairy_goofball.jpg (63.91 KB, 564x751 - viewed 1396 times.)
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skierguitarist
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Re: 8-16-08, Eldorado Peak + torment atttempt
« Reply #2 on: 08/17/08, 02:33 PM »

Nice tr!!!!!!!!!!!!  Pictures are way cool too!  Glad you are out there keeping us aprised in case we want to do the Dan deal and get out there...nice you are out there doing all the research sir.......
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Stugie
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Re: 8-16-08, Eldorado Peak + torment atttempt
« Reply #3 on: 08/18/08, 07:17 PM »

Wow!  Nice vert and great pics!  Definitely worthy a few cold ones!  Cheers to keeping the incredible stoke up in August!  What a trip!
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"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals; the houses where I practice my religion." - Anatoli Boukreev
Lowell_Skoog
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Re: 8-16-08, Eldorado Peak + torment atttempt
« Reply #4 on: 08/18/08, 07:26 PM »

The north side of Torment looks like bare ice in your second photo. Good decision not to drop in from above. When I was there in June 2003 the base of the face had a big wall-to-wall bergschrund that's not visible from Eldorado Peak. That probably would have stopped any climb from the north and would have required a rappel during the descent. Nice photos!
« Last Edit: 08/19/08, 06:01 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
Jason_H.
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Re: 8-16-08, Eldorado Peak + torment atttempt
« Reply #5 on: 08/18/08, 07:36 PM »

Awesome Dan! Eldo late season makes a surprisingly good ski.
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skierguitarist
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Re: 8-16-08, Eldorado Peak + torment atttempt
« Reply #6 on: 08/19/08, 03:30 PM »

"Harsh toke" on punching through......... Angry Grin Roll Eyes
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