Intermediate Alpine Climb - Eldorado Peak/Inspiration Glacier


Intermediate Alpine Climb - Eldorado Peak/Inspiration Glacier

An Intermediate Alpine Ice climb of Eldorado's NW Couloir.

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  • Sat, Nov 20, 2021 — Sun, Nov 21, 2021
  • Seattle Climbing
  • Climbing
  • Intermediate Alpine
  • Adults
  • Basic Glacier Climb, Strenuous 3, Technical 2
  • Challenging
  • Elevation Gain: 6,768 ft

Please read the Leader Notes

This posting is for a potential climb of Eldorado's NW Couloir, an Intermediate Alpine Ice route. 

This trip may or may not happen.  I'm posting this just to see if there's interest out there.  I believe this coming weekend, Nov. 20th & 21st, has strong potential for the first (and possibly only) good weather-window to climb this route this season, and I'd like to find a partner.  This could be a Mountaineers-official climb, or just a private climb (I can take this listing down, if preferred.)  I'm open to going as a party of 2, 3, or 4.  If you're free this  Saturday & Sunday and have an interest, please email me, and let's talk.  I'd prefer someone I already know, but I'm also open to climbing with a new partner if we talk enough before committing to a  plan.  (I'll be asking about previous ice climbing experience, previous winter scramble experience, and previous winter overnight experience.  Being AIARE Level 1 certified goes without saying.)  FWIW, it is November, and I know a lot of us (myself included) are not in perfect condition anymore, especially for the pack-weights that this trip would involve.  I do expect to go slower than usual on the approach

Check out the weather forecast:

I'm hoping for a 2-day version of what many of these 2019 trip reports pulled off:

The rough gear list:

  • pair of ice tools & crampons
  • rope & rack  (60m skinny rope, rack with a bit of everything: a few screws, pickets, rock pro, pitons...)
  • avy gear  (beacon / probe / shovel, just to be safe)
  • overnight gear  (sleeping bag & pad.  I can provide a floorless pyramid tent, and an MSR Reactor for melting snow)
  • snowshoes  (which would also get carried on our packs during the actual climbing route.)

The rough details of a plan:

  • a 2-day trip
  • leave Seattle super-early Saturday morning (~4am.)  I can drive (Subaru Forester)  Road status is reportedly closed at milepost 20, which is perfect, that's where our trailhead is, so let's hope that's right.  If it's not, it means parking at milepost 18, and walking 2 miles of road first.
  • Saturday would involve getting from the trailhead at 2200' to the toe of the East Ridge, at 7700'   (so 5500' of gain.)  With heavy packs and winter conditions, I expect that approach to take longer than usual, and I would like to be up there and setting camp before we lose daylight, thus the extra-early start.
  • Sunday we'd set out from camp as early as light allows, head towards Dean's Spire, do the rappel or two into the west bowl, then climb the actual NW Couloir itself.  From the summit of Eldo, descend straight east back to camp, pack up, and hike out.

If you're interested, please email me at, and let's talk about if a trip makes sense or not.


Eldorado Peak/Inspiration Glacier

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Will discuss via email

Trip Reports