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Trip Report    

Eldorado Peak/Northeast Face

Trip took place Oct 4-5.
Team of 4 left the TH at about 10:45am Saturday morning to cloudy skies and intermittent showers. Trail climbs steeply but is in good condition and fairly easy to follow through the talus field. Approach is snowfree to the glacier. There are a few cairns below the glacier to show you an easy way across the slabs. We roped up for the lower glacier, which showed many open crevasses which we had to weave around. We were surprised to read in other trip reports that some parties do not rope up for this section. A GPS track came in very handy as we were in whiteout conditions at this point.
The bivy sites had a few inches of fresh snow. Very windy at the camp. Steady light rain as we went to bed.
The weather cleared up during the night, and the next morning was beautiful. Route is in good condition, with a few good snow bridges allowing passage. All bridges seemed very solid. Route is a mix of snow and ice, and took pickets and screws pretty well. The first 3 or so pitches were pretty easy, with only short (less than 15 feet) sections of steep ice.
For the final pitch, traverse far right. You will come to a small pond, and a steep 150 foot ice face above it. This is the money pitch, with good sustained climbing of about 60 degrees. It's in great condition right now.
You can descend by scrambling down through rocks and snow on the south side of the peak.
Times:
Trailhead to camp: about 6 hours
Camp to summit: 4.5 hours
Summit to cars: 7.5 hours

 

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