telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
www.turns-all-year.com
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
12/12/19, 08:13 PM

Become a TAY Sponsor!
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
 
FOAC Snow
Info Exchange


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  June 2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  June 3, 2006, Eldorado Peak
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: June 3, 2006, Eldorado Peak  (Read 1720 times)
Mabie
1Member
Offline

Posts: 1


June 3, 2006, Eldorado Peak
« on: 06/06/06, 01:41 PM »

Jeff Smoot tells us in Climbing Washington's Mountains that Eldorado “is feasible as a one day climb if you start early and climb fast.”  Friday night, four friends and I left Seattle for the North Cascades.  Keeping Smoot’s advice in mind, we decided on a trailhead bivy and an early morning start.  Initially, the plan was to wake up at three to begin our climb very early but we decided to get up at 4:30 or so to take advantage of pre-sunrise light.  Waiting until light was definitely a good move as the gnarly climber’s trailhead was difficult to locate even in the light.  In addition to the obscure trailhead (which is actually described really well by Smoot - I should have read more carefully), the first 200 vertical feet of trail are very overgrown – very pesky for a ski carry; as the trail steepens however, grabby branches became less of an issue.  All that to say, I am definitely glad that we started after first light. After the groggy pack-up, breakfast, and a little bit of early route finding difficulty, we were hiking on the trail across the river by 5:30.

We had a lot of concerns about snow bridges on the talus field – we had heard rumors of six foot tiger traps, broken ankles, and generally impassible terrain.  None of our fears were realized.  Though the passage through the talus fields was slow going in AT boots, we made it through without any incident more serious than occasionally punching through snow to the knee.   We encountered the first patches of snow around 4600 feet but we didn’t skin up until just below the treeline at about 5600 feet because of rock, alder, and running streams. 

Our descent off of the ridge at the top of Eldorado creek was a little bit scary (a wet and muddy rock slab) but a little dry tool self belay with the mountain axe provided the necessary purchase.  The moat between this ridge and the Roush Basin was just beginning to show, but the crossing was not difficult.

We saw no open crevasses on the Eldorado glacier and made quick work of the climb up to the Inspiration Glacier.  I decided to stash my skis at about 8100 feet fearing the slope would be too steep for me to skin up; I soon regretted it.  The slope wasn’t nearly as steep as it looked from below.  The other skier in our party continued to skin up to about 8400 feet while I joined the two climbers.

We saw just one open crevasse (right about 8400 feet on the Inspiration Glacier) but our route was already taking us left (south) of it anyway.  We arrived at the ledge just below the “knife edge” at 1:15.  The group decided not to rope up for this last portion and I, not feeling comfortable going at it unroped, decided to forgo the final ridge while they went up. 

No regrets about the final ridge – the views were spectacular as the morning’s clouds had burned off.  The hike down to my skis really ticked me off but once I got to them, the joy of delayed descent was blissful.  Morning clouds held the slush at bay and we had great corn in the sun on the trip down.  After the quick carry back up Hammered Ridge, I skied back down to the trees in Eldorado Basin.  With some creativity and some good skiing, the other skier linked enough patches of snow in glades to make it down to 5400 feet or so. 

The hike out was silent as we were all exhausted.  We arrived back at the car at 6:30 pm dehydrated, sunburned, and dead tired. 

For some reason, I thought I could do Ruth Mountain the next day after a quick recoup in Bellingham.  I spent the last 45 minutes of the hike out to the car trying to come up with legitimate excuses so that I could bail on the other skier in the group for the next day.  No excuses were needed.  Neither one of us had any desire to ski the next day and we both laughed at our inflated view of our bodies’ ability to withstand punishment.  Instead of skiing Ruth, I slept in until 11:00 and made a wobbly ascent of the two stairs at The Salmon Bay Café.


Side Note:

On Friday at 11:30 am, I heard an interview with the head of UW’s meteorology department on NPR.  Basically he gave a 15 minute DETAILED weekend weather forecast for all of western Washington.  This forecast was absolutely dead on.  I had never heard this guy before but the person interviewing him said that he is on every Friday to give the weekend forecast.  I had never heard of him before but he is a great resource – way better than weather.com.  Hopefully he really is on every week.
« Last Edit: 06/08/06, 02:08 PM by Mabie » Logged
zenom
5Member
Offline

Posts: 96


Re: June 3, 2006, Eldorado Peak
« Reply #1 on: 06/06/06, 05:44 PM »


This forecast was absolutely dead on.  I had never heard this guy before but the person interviewing him said that he is on every Friday to give the weekend forecast.  I have never heard him but it is a great resource – way better than weather.com.  Hopefully he really is on every week.

That was Cliff Mass. He is on every week and he usually is correct. I try to tune in too when I remember.
Logged
mej
Member
Offline

Posts: 132


Re: June 3, 2006, Eldorado Peak
« Reply #2 on: 06/06/06, 08:28 PM »

I'm an Atmos. Sci. major at UW.  Cliff taught the Atmospheric Sciences capstone that I took the final for yesterday.  He knows the weather of the Puget Sound area better than probably anyone else on the planet.  If you can think of a weather phenomenon that occurs here the chances are he wrote a paper about it.  Its fun to hear him get frustrated when the news stations are calling for hell and high water and he knows nothing is going to happen.
Logged
walkingstick
5Member
Offline

Posts: 6


Re: June 3, 2006, Eldorado Peak
« Reply #3 on: 06/07/06, 09:35 AM »

Nice report!  Here's a few photos to go along with it...
(*note: edit to take a few photos out per guidelines--sorry about that)

Working the way up:


Glacier conditions looking good:


The ridge at the top:


Here are links to the rest:
Talus Field
Just beyond ridge with ElDorado in the background
Not so nice weather on part of the way up
Eldorado ridge in the b/g
The view on the hike down
Departing shot on the drive home
« Last Edit: 06/07/06, 04:23 PM by walkingstick » Logged
Jeff Huber
Member
Offline

Posts: 771


Re: June 3, 2006, Eldorado Peak
« Reply #4 on: 06/07/06, 03:12 PM »

Excellent photos, great report, and welcome to the site walkingstick and mabie (I see it is your first posts here).

One of the guidelines for this site is to only include 3 photos per thread. You can put links to the rest of the photos.

Look forward to more great reports from you,

Jeff
Logged

walkingstick
5Member
Offline

Posts: 6


Re: June 3, 2006, Eldorado Peak
« Reply #5 on: 06/07/06, 04:22 PM »

Thanks Jeff!
Funny--I was just looking over the guidelines and was updating my post when I saw your note--thanks for the heads up!  Will keep it to 3 in the future.   Wink
-Cheers.
Logged
JibberD
Member
Offline

Posts: 608


Re: June 3, 2006, Eldorado Peak
« Reply #6 on: 06/07/06, 06:36 PM »

What a great first post!!  Nicely written, informative, honest and interesting.

Keep 'em coming and thanks for sharing Smiley

And yes, that Cliff Mass is fun to listen to on KUOW on Fridays.  He seems like he's definitely tuned-in to the outdoor crowds interests.
Logged

-Doug O
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Contact turns-all-year.com

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.