Eldorado Speed Climb - Sub 5 hrs RTDate:
I speed climbed Eldorado Peak in 4:58 roundtrip. I started at 8:03 am, summited at 11:06 am, and was back at the car just after 1 pm (3:03 up, 20 minute summit break, 1:35 down). This was my fourth time climbing the east ridge route in the past five years so I knew the tricks of doing the approach fast (unlike Lemah Mountain
the following day). Location (Elevation): Time Elapsed / Split / Real Time
Eldorado Parking Lot (2,160 ft) : 0
First Talus Field (4,000 ft) : 39.53.45
Cross Stream [Small Waterfalls] (5,000 ft) : 1:10.54
Ridge Pass (6,150 ft) : 1:33.56
Eldorado Glacier (6,500 ft) : 1:59.28
Base of East Ridge (7,800 ft) : 2:30.52
Arrive Summit (8,868 ft) : 3:02.57
Depart Summit (8,868 ft) : 3:23.16
Base of East Ridge (7,800 ft) : 3:40.34
Eldorado Glacier (6,500 ft) : 4:02.34
First Talus Field (4,000 ft) : 4:37.54
Eldorado Parking Lot (2,160 ft) : 4:58.43
I was a bit too pumped for this climb and 10 minutes into it my head was spinning and I had to take a break against a tree. I toned it down after this and once I got to the boulder fields I found my rhythm and felt great thereafter. Lesson learned - don't start out too aggressively!
I was shooting for around 6 hours, but a very fast descent of the Inspiration and Eldorado Glaciers opened up the possibility of a sub 5 hour roundtrip. I knew it would be very close, so I picked it up down the boulder fields and the final section in the woods.
Some marine clouds made for nice views.
Global warming has manifested itself on Eldorado as the famous knife-edged snow arÍte has melted into an easy plateau. I remember having to descend slightly from the snow ridge to the summit rocks and now those rocks are the high point.
Pickets from Eldorado Gear Notes:
Axe, crampons. This was my first climb in La Sportiva's Exum Ridge trail runners and they had excellent traction on the boulder fields and steep trail. Approach Notes:
In good shape.