Ascent of Eldorado Peak on 2014-06-15

Climber: Aaron Farmer

Date:Sunday, June 15, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Eldorado Peak
    Elevation:8868 ft / 2702 m

Ascent Trip Report

Two day ascent of the East Ridge. Very cloudy the entire way to the summit. Brief periods of visibility throughout the second day in the late morning after we summited. Had rain, snow, wind, sporadically throughout the entire weekend.
Snow began at the second boulder field, with lots of post holing, pretty dangerous.
Due to the cloud/whiteout, and some slightly inaccurate altimeters, it was difficult to route-find, especially when trying to figure out where to cross the ridge between Roush Basin and Eldorado Basin. The snow on that ridge was corniced in places. We camped below point 7733, which was very sheltered, a pretty great spot. Woke up at 5am the next morning, but didn't leave camp until 7:30. Hiking through whiteout conditions (visibility was a few hundred feet, we estimated), we eventually saw the East Ridge. Snow was soft, so we didn't bring crampons. There were a couple crevasses opening up mid-way up the ridge, but easy to navigate around. Once up on the East Ridge, snow got very soft, making for very tiring climbing. Eventually, we found the knife-edge, which was icy/firm - wish we had crampons! Using pickets on the steep ridge, we finally made it to the summit. Couldn't see much, unfortunately.
The descent was uneventful, with some good plunge stepping. From camp back down to the first boulder field, there was lots of easy plunge stepping, and glissading.

TH to camp: ~7 hours
Camp to Summit: 2.5-3 hours
Summit to camp: 1-1.5 hours
Camp to TH: 3.5 hours
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Rope, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Breezy, White-out

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