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| | |-+  Jan, 2010, 30-31 El Dorado
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Author Topic: Jan, 2010, 30-31 El Dorado  (Read 2817 times)
sukiakiumo
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Jan, 2010, 30-31 El Dorado
« on: 02/01/10, 12:14 PM »


Summary: This Sunday, Jon Toner and Jake Turgeon got up El Dorado in a whiteout.

In Detail:
We arrived up the completely-open Cascade River Road. We Set off at about 10:10a on Saturday and huffed and puffed for about 1800ft along the climbers trail until we got to the boulder field. Intricately weaving our way around boulders and snow-cave-ins the clouds occasionally parted leaving views of Jon's fav mountain, J. Berg, . We made it to the beautiful Cirque just as a bit of snow and heavier clouds socked us in occasionally. We skied down to the snowfield underneath El Dorado Glacier, and had no difficulty skinning up the rest of the way to just below the flat part of the Glacier. We got there at about 4:30 as the light was waning quickly. Because we decided to go 'light' we did not carry a 5lb tent and instead dug ourselves a snow-cave. This was particularly difficult because we did not choose a high enough angle slope and had to dig down to form our cave. By about 7:30-8:00 our cave was done, we were able to eat and go to bed.

Our plan for the following day was initially to climb Klawatti (if we could see it) and then El Dorado. Weather windows were anticipated at around 3 in the morning, and it was to be a full-moon. Alas, the clouds still socked us in at 2:00a and we waited until 8:30 in the morning to get moving. With El D. only occasionally appearing within the dry-clouds we meandered in 'straight' lines that would have us turning from going directly north, to directly south if we didn't follow compass or GPS compass. We skinned 2/3 up the way the ridgeline to El D finding wind-groomed snow to fluffy drifts of several feet. The last portion we boot packed, and wallowed up the last 300 ft in drifts of 2-3 ft. The summit was anticlimactical, somewhat resembling those in pictures we've seen, but as we were unable to easily distinguish clouds from the summit, the GPS and lack of any more 'up' indicated that we had summited.

We took our summit-pic and headed down with Jake an myself skiing from the top and Jon going a few hundred feet to a more reasonable starting point. The snow was awesome for skiing. The visibility was wretched. More than a few times all of us took falls because we couldn't see what was a few feet in front of us. I hope Jon share's his story about this matter. We made it back to the flat El dorado Glacier, and navigated purely by GPS to get back to our snow-cave and sleeping gear. We melted more snow and left by 1:30. The best part of the trip was the ski down to the ridgeline above the boulderfield. Jon got his first b/c gnar with 8-12inches of dry snow on top of heavier pow. It was delightful.

After a bit of technical skiing amongst the boulder fields we got to the climber's trail by 4:30ish and back to the car by 6. It was raining as we went down with snow level at about 5000ft. 

All snow below 5500ft was isothermal mush, and would suck to get stuck in it. All snow above about 6500 was nicely consolidated, with 2-3inch soft slabs on top of a crusts that were dependent on aspect (though probably wind). Some crevasses on the lower portion of El Dorado Glacier were open, as well as one towards the top. I think spring skiing will be short around there Sad

We did not need crampons or ice axe, nor other (minimal) glacier gear, but all was brought.

I'll put up pics as soon as I can.
« Last Edit: 02/01/10, 12:20 PM by sukiakiumo » Logged
Jason_H.
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Re: Jan, 2010, 30-31 El Dorado
« Reply #1 on: 02/01/10, 01:02 PM »

Awesome. I remember my eldorado/klawatti link up fondly, especially the boulder field and creek. Way to get up in there.
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trees4me
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Re: Jan, 2010, 30-31 El Dorado
« Reply #2 on: 02/01/10, 01:09 PM »

Way to tag that summit!  Hopefully you got a couple of pics between the cloud cover Wink
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chill people, skiing is fun
Big Steve
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Re: Jan, 2010, 30-31 El Dorado
« Reply #3 on: 02/01/10, 01:16 PM »

Eldo ski tour in January.  Good work!  The lack of views is a pisser, but hey that's an excuse to go back.
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Snow Bell
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Re: Jan, 2010, 30-31 El Dorado
« Reply #4 on: 02/01/10, 01:19 PM »

Cool trip.  Thanks for the conditions update.
That one has been on my mind this season but it hasn't come together yet.

I also remember the boulder field from this last spring but fondly is not the adjective that comes to mind. Wink

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Life is going to slide by you one way or another
Stugie
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Re: Jan, 2010, 30-31 El Dorado
« Reply #5 on: 02/01/10, 10:32 PM »

Nice summit!
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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
sukiakiumo
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Posts: 67


Re: Jan, 2010, 30-31 El Dorado
« Reply #6 on: 02/02/10, 07:37 AM »

Thanks all. I can't wait to get up there again and actually see the summit and surrounding views. And perhaps snag several other peaks right there as Steve suggested.

When we were coming down we met two fellows (forgot their names) doing the isolation traverse Northward. Hopefully the clouds parted for them!

Limited pictures can be found at
http://picasaweb.google.com/sukiakiumo/100131ElDorado?feat=directlink
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alecapone
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Re: Jan, 2010, 30-31 El Dorado
« Reply #7 on: 02/03/10, 09:16 AM »

Very nice! Way to get some.

Thanks for the report.

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scott
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