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11/23/17, 02:13 PM

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Author Topic: May 21, 2017 Eldorado Peak  (Read 1432 times)
GnarBLane
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May 21, 2017 Eldorado Peak
« on: 05/23/17, 12:03 PM »

This was my first real Spring tour this season. Having had our first child last summer I tend to only have time for one day excursions. I'm mortal so Eldorado in a day sounded like a real beast to me by the time we had finally decided where to go.

Our decision came together about 8pm on saturday after a great day hiking up to Lake Serene with our son and Friends in town from Vancouver, BC & Portland. For the ultra runners in our crew Eldorado was probably a cake walk.

So after a few beers we retired for the evening around 10:30 so we could depart Shoreline just before 1am.  Picked up a 5th in Marysville and had a full car. We were out of the car and packed up at the trailhead parking lot with full Glacier essentials just in case. Started uphill just before 4:30am

My Garmin had our transition to skis on the boulder field at about 1.4 miles. Skin track was a mix of ice and slush bouncing in & out of shade/sun. Overall it was pretty solid. When we passed over "the notch" there was a group of about 10 mountaineers ascending the snowfield (notice the group in the pic on our descent). We moved at a steady leisure pace given the sun made us feel every bit of its power. No amount of sunscreen seemed to be enough.

By the time we'd crossed the Glacier just past the high camping area I was spent. On less than 2 hrs sleep I threw in towel and parked it at the rock outcrop about 800' shy of the summit and took a nap while the others tagged it. Turned off my Garmin showing 7:20 hrs of uphill and about 5800' gain.  One of the best hour naps I've ever had, despite the temperature and sun making it feel more like I was back in the Corps training in the hot California desert!

The descent was deeper penetration than expected and heavy, heavy snow. Mixed with tired legs. Not one of our finer squiggles. The best snow was actually below the notch. Corn that we could push consistently and grooved all the way down to the boulder field.

Back to the car in right under 13hrs. Again for us mortals, my Monday was rough! Get after it out there! Lot of noise in the mountains up there that afternoon. lots of evidence of wet loose slides all across the Cascades. Glacier crossings were in good shape, in good spring form!  Creek crossing at trail start was excellent also.

Link to pics for conditons, Enjoy:
https://goo.gl/photos/yJqaYDHeKEFSdmVy9
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