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Basic Glacier Climb - Eldorado Peak/Inspiration Glacier

Successful Intense Basic graduation climb of Eldorado Peak via the Inspiration Glacier.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The river crossing was straightforward with a stable log crossings and no water shoes were necessary. West of the parking lot is the drainage pipe where there are a few logs which can be walked down and another log that can be used to cross. This log had have water flowing over the top of the first foot or so but was easily stepped over. Other logs provided handholds  for this crossing. Once over this part of the river we headed North and got on-top of another flat log. There was a cairn indicating this log. We walked along this log across another fork on the river and we got off on a sandbar. Continuing North on the sandbar there was a final log on the right which we used to get to the far bank.

    Each log crossing was stable but the route is worth exploring in the daylight if doing an alpine start. The trail begins right at the far bank of the river.

    At the camp at ~7600' there is a drop toilet. 

    After the camp heading NWW there are a few crevasses which need to be navigated around. 

    Knife edge was ~2' wide narrowing to ~1' wide toward the top. Room at the top for our group of 6, more folks could fit if necessary.

    On the return route a climber post-holed to their knee. Upon further inspection they punched through into a crevasse in an appearingly un-crevassed section of the route. Using a pole we were able to determine that the crevasse only went down ~4'. This was on the Eldorado Glacier just below Eggplant (~7300').

    Running water is available at ~5000' and the waterfall at 5200'. Once above the treeline the trail is near a stream until about 6000'. After crossing into the Roush Creek basin there is plenty of running water prior to the glacier. 

     

We started hiking just after 3AM with a plan to reach the summit between 11AM - 12PM. We got off trail within the first 1000' or so and as we were traversing back to the trail we encountered a bees nest. A number of us were stung but after an assessment by the medical lead everyone felt comfortable continuing.  The medical lead monitored everyone's status throughout the morning to watch for change in symptoms.

We continued to climb up and reached the waterfall at ~5200' at 6:30AM where we got water and watched the sun hit Johannesburg. Continuing to follow the trail we traversed into the Roush Creek basin and made our way to the Eldorado Glacier. We roped up at about 8:30AM and were at the camp site before 10AM.  By this point the sun was very warm and only continued to get worse throughout the day. Continuing towards the summit we had a few large crevasses we had to navigate around. Following the boot path we dropped our packs just before the knife edge and went for the summit. After a few photos we left the summit right at noon and stopped at our packs for a summit snack.

The team made our way down back to the cars with no events besides a few minor slips on the scramble section (4000-5000') and one climber had some overheating. We return to the cars by 6:30.

While we were rewarded with a beautiful cloudless day the sun was quite harsh and all the climbers felt the heat.

Round trip time: 15.5 hours.

 

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Tony Tsuboi
Tony Tsuboi says:
Mon, Aug 12, 2019 1:47 PM

Super helpful, thank you!