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| | |-+  December 8-9, 2011, Eldorado
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Author Topic: December 8-9, 2011, Eldorado  (Read 3740 times)
zwinters
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December 8-9, 2011, Eldorado
« on: 12/13/11, 04:21 PM »

***Lost Ice Axe: dropped between the creek and the boulder field on the trail. 65cm red REI Yeti with a black leash. Let me know if you've found it please!***

After miserably icy conditions on the Coleman Pinnacle and with a promising forecast, Louie D, Colin G, and I decided to give Eldorado a shot. This trip was the first time any of us had been to the top of Eldorado, so we were all stoked and motivated despite the terrible skiing conditions.

Expecting to have to skin several miles up the road to the TH, we left Thursday night, but to our surprise we were able to drive the Jeep all the way up to the trail at Eldorado Creek. We weren't too confident in our ability to follow the un-skin-able trail in the dark, so we got a leisurely start Friday morning and hiked up to the camp at a relaxed pace. We woke up before sunrise to the surprise of a lunar eclipse, which Louie and I both failed at photographing.

With the exception of a few shiny ice patches, we were able to skin until we were on the East Ridge, where we switched to crampons. The firm snow made for an easy walk up to the summit ridge, which certainly lived up to it's reputation as an aesthetic and exposed feeling knife edge.

We down climbed the first 20 feet or so of the knife edge to transition. We would have loved to ski off the summit, but deemed it safer to not remove the crampons until we were off of the narrow icy edge. The snow made for an impressively terrible ski descent, but we focused on the views instead of the snow and managed to enjoy ourselves. At the bottom of the East Ridge we found ourselves in a vertigo inducing white out. We managed to navigate back to camp, though GPS was critical. The slopes below camp yielded some of the nastiest breakable crust I have ever experienced.

Made it back to the Jeep to discover it wasn't in the mood to start for us. And since we weren't in the mood to walk to Marblemount, we summoned help via Spot. After an exciting night of tow straps and guard rails, we finally made it back to Bellingham by about 7:30am.

Warming the toes on the East Ridge

Fun steep climbing

On the famous ridge

Summit stoke

Colin skiing near the top

Zach snowboarding near the top

Louie managing the snow

Snow was worse than it looks

Photos by Louie Dawson (mostly) and Zach Winters
« Last Edit: 12/14/11, 12:56 AM by zwinters » Logged
ryanl
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Re: December 8-9, 2011, Eldorado
« Reply #1 on: 12/13/11, 05:53 PM »

The snow made for an impressively terrible ski descent, but we focused on the views instead of the snow and managed to enjoy ourselves.

Love it. Way to go boys....
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toby_tortorelli
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Re: December 8-9, 2011, Eldorado
« Reply #2 on: 12/13/11, 05:55 PM »

Way to enjoy the sun.
The invincible Jeep got moody? What SPOT message did you use? A pre-programmed car trouble message?
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Gregg_C
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Posts: 341


Re: December 8-9, 2011, Eldorado
« Reply #3 on: 12/13/11, 06:38 PM »

Beautiful photos.  Way to get out there and tag an iconic summit.  Louie jinxed his jeep with his previous comment.  Hope it wasn't to difficult to fix.

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ColdSmokeWrangler
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Re: December 8-9, 2011, Eldorado
« Reply #4 on: 12/13/11, 08:40 PM »

Great pics! On a side note, if your ice axe doesn't get returned, someone is selling one on the yard sale page for $60.
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Jason_H.
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Re: December 8-9, 2011, Eldorado
« Reply #5 on: 12/13/11, 09:26 PM »

Nice trip all. Glad to see you got out!
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MW88888888
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Posts: 499


Re: December 8-9, 2011, Eldorado
« Reply #6 on: 12/14/11, 11:18 AM »

Is that THE Louis Dawson?  Gracing the pages of TAY?  I always knew this was a classy place.  Now confirmed.
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zwinters
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Re: December 8-9, 2011, Eldorado
« Reply #7 on: 12/16/11, 08:35 AM »

Thanks all! The jeep is back in business now, not to worry. The truck that our friend wrecked on his way to get us, on the other hand, totaled. Yikes.
Toby, I used a generic "non-emergency help request" message. From the GPS coordinates, our contacts were able to determine that we were at the road. They came prepared for anything, but had a pretty good guess that the issue was car troubles.
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