Trip Report    

Eldorado Peak/Inspiration Glacier

Tl;dr: at this time of year it makes more sense to go on the left to scramble on the rock field to the summit

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
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    Insane summit views

    A glorious day to the Queen of the Cascade River!

    Tl;dr: at this time of year it makes more sense to go on the left to scramble on the rock field to the summit. This is our recording - I forgot to record in the beginning,and turned it off to save battery on the way down - I highly encourage you to upload your tracks on trail reports because how helpful these tend to be We didn’t do the rock scramble to summit and stayed on glacier

    The approach was not eventful. Water crossing was mellow and only ankle deep. On the way back though we found one detour with ribbons on the way that could go on logs to completely without wetting feet. I'm still amazed we could do the boulder field with mountaineering boots in the dark, it seemed long and forever. We backtracked twice because of how hard it is to navigate.

    There was two bit sketchy snow bridges with large (>2m wide) deep crevasses on side to the summit block, but we eased it out

    Summit block was icy, we used ice pro and did the northeast face, instead of the knife edge. Once we were on top we discovered alternative routes on rock that looks much easier.

I've been eyeballing this peak for sometime but it's forever hard to get on a Mountaineers climb so i summoned my friends and did a one day push!

Weather reports show quite warm temperature the night before, and we thought snow should be slushy. I noticed one report (thank you for reports!) mentioning summit was icy that they had to wait for the sun to melt the ice later in the day to summit. I was skeptical, but out of precaution I didn’t bring my other lighter pair of snow crampon, but a pair of ice climbing crampon for future ice climbing classes.

Turns out it was darn icy that snow crampons won’t get much purchase on the final summit block, and it was a SAR-type runout that I still get PTSD. The knife edge was mostly icy when we get there ~9:30am. One friend's crampon was pretty worn and won't purchase at all. Our team was sketched out, so were two other parties attempting the summit.

sketchy snow bridge on the way to summit block

The 1st party (Amie, Ryan, Jocelyn) got there told me there was a guided group did it through the east snow face with ice pro. Ryan already explored it a bit. There seemed to be only 1 icy patch and overall seemed more doable. I was feeling confident I could make it, so I was thinking to set up a hand line and others would prussik up like in Mountaineers organized trips. We pieced together the gears. I got all 3 teams’ pickets, 1 ice screw from Amie in the 2nd team, and an extra ice axe from the 3rd Sara’s team. Amie offered their 60m rope and lead belayed me. I placed the 1st ice screw in my life and got a taste of what it feels like to lead ice climb. Realistically it was only a short icy section with high consequence on the east face, so 1 ice screw was more than enough. I set up an anchor with a backup on the top and we started to ascend the fixed line 1 by 1.

summit block northeast face we climbed. Alternative north dirt/rock path on right, we didn't know it was doable till standing on top. Some land sliding, but way safer than the snow face

Thinking back it would be easier to go on left side rock scramble along the west side of summit block to avoid the icy summit snow + sketchy bridges completely. That was the guided group (down-climbed rock) + another private group met on summit (both ways on rock) did. Path finding might be needed as I don't know where exactly they started the rock part. Alternatively if you didn't do rocks, on the far north side of summit block there was a thin rock/dirt field over the edge that would work too (shown in picture). I descended that north dirt path, it was land sliding all the time and could be sketchy. It might be a better choice to go on the transition between rock vs snow to avoid both ice + landslide.

It’s definitely true that “shared joy is double joy”. I’m deeply joyful that 3 teams, 8 people, including our team Pawel, Joe; Amie’s team Ryan, Jocelyn; Sara’s team Jinhie, all got to the summit! With 8 people I got 2 to the power of 8 = 256 times of joy!

Summit Gang