One heck of a climb. Be extra careful at the top (last few hundred feet), we had a little "incident".
This mixed route is a little trickier than the standard route. The mixed rock and ice climbing, remote setting, and exposure really add to the alpine ambiance. We backed off a few pitches up as the weather really started to move in, we were already pushing the limits of our mixed climbing skills, and were nearly out of slings from the other climbs we had done in the tepeh towers. I guess I would rather back of and live to climb again.
The east ridge was in great condition and the weather was wonderful. The Knife-edge mollows out at the top this late in the season to a slightly wider style of knife before one reaches the rocky area just below the summit.
Another amazing classic in the North Cascades/Cascade Pass area. Camped at the edge of Eldorado Glacier. Ascended the East Ridge and climbed the corniced summit during a minor summer snowstorm. The clouds opened up enough to see Eldorado Glacier a few times, other then that there was no view, even so, it was more then worth it.
Wow, what a climb! After the strenuous hike to where we camped at 5700', summit day was spectacular. For only being a peak at just under 8900', the 3500'+ of elevation gain to camp will definitely stand out in my mind as "fun". We spent the night at camp before summiting and left for the summit at 0530 and were back by noon. Spent the rest of the day and evening relaxing and enjoying the North Cascades. We descended the next morning which took nearly as long due to havig to negotiate the talus fields.
Climbed out of the fog to a beautiful sunny day!
This was a two day climb. The toe of the Eldorado glacier seems to be unstable, as it was cracking and breaking underneath us in the early morning! Lots of crevasses to negotiate with. The views are breath taking from the ridge crest on. The talus field is the worst part of the climb! A must-do climb!
Great climb. After slogging up the hill to the toe of the Eldorado Glacier and sitting all night in the rain, we headed up through clouds for the summit. Just as we stepped onto the Inspiration Glacier a rousing cheer broke from our group. The summit and a cobalt sky were visible through the fog. A few minutes later we were in the sun and heading for the top...
See our photos at http://climbing.olycon.com/Frames.cfm?id=69
Eldorado Peak - ONLY successful climb of the year in 1998... and what a climb! The approach ‘hike’ was steep, scary, wet, cold, and almost not worth it until… the next morning we woke up... I never want to go into the Pickets if they'r worse than this...
But see the photo of Dirk and Miguel above the clouds at the high camp 7500ft on the Inspiration/Eldorado glacier massif just below the summit block itself.
For complete details see my account that will eventually be published on my website www.ieway.com/climbit/ that starts:
I’ll Never Do this Approach Again (or)
Did Someone Say the Pickets were Worse?
After the first six hours I began to make an attempt at amusing myself to take my mind off the pain, cold rain, overcast skies, and ridiculously steep slope of this approach. I had just been to Spain earlier in the spring and since Miguel was along as our ‘hired gun’ I figured it was as good a time as any to practice my Espanol. I led with my best. Stopping long enough to dig a toenail into the toe box of my new (e.g. painful) La Sportivas, I said Hey, Miguel. Have you ever heard the expression: ‘Cuando cerra la voca, no entran moscas.’ He looked at me with a bewilderment that quickly turned to a feisty glint in her eye. ‘Hey, I didn’t know you spoke Spanish. That’s cool! Where did you learn.... blah blah blah etc. etc. etc.’ Hey this was working! I had moved up a good 25 meters without noticing how cold and miserable I was. When we got to camp three hours later in the fog, I could only tell because 1) it was flat and 2) it was the right elevation. We were the stupidest men on earth. No way we’d see the summit (or even the mountain) the next day. I was doomed to a nine hour 5400 ft nightmare of an approach (why do we call it that, anyway - its more like sheeetty-steep-hike or stupid-no-trail-visible-through-God-knows-what-all-kind-of- loathesome-rainforest-crap-trip) without the tangible payoff of a summit. Life sucked. I stewed inside my tent internally and froze externally in the driving 40 mph sleet blizzard. Loco. Tonto. Es-Stupido. However, I would certainly pay my debt to the old saying in the morning when I woke up to Miguel saying ‘Hey, guys I think you should come out here...