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HattrickSwayze

Thoughts on Eldorado forecast

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Hello all,

Just wondering if I could get some second thoughts here. I'm still a liyyle new to climbing, particularly in the Alpine. I have a permit for Friday - Monday for Eldorado, but the weather this week is giving me a little pause. I'm seeing a lot of above freezing rain and snow, with a possible 2-4 inches of snow accumulating Wednesday/Thursday. I was originally going to go up Friday and come down Saturday, but I'm thinking about just bagging it this weekend. To me (in my limited knowledge from AIARE 1) I'm seeing a recipe for potential wet snow slides, although I'm not sure the potential level of snow accumulating pushes it into avalanche territory. At the very least it looks wet and miserable and slushy. I did that last year on a Shuksan attempt and it wasn't super pleasant.

 

Basically just trying to bounce some thoughts off folks and see if my head is in the right spot. I don't have any mentors or anything to ask, so here I am. The other potential plan is to go up Sunday if things stabilize. Any thoughts?

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It should be fine from an avy standpoint.  The final slope on Eldorado isn't super steep, at least where you can't mitigate the hazard by moving to the edge of whatever slope is of concern.. Of course, you'll have to make those calls when you are up there since you can't know if you don't go. 

That said, being a weather weenie will serve you well in your climbing career (it has for me).  I typically always have a east side backup if the weather is crap on the crest.  Silverstar, for example.

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I've been watching the weather and canceled a rainier trip this week because of it.  Reading the forcast discusion, the low pressure will be pushing east on Friday, so it looks like Friday will be partly cloudy, Saturday much better.

I agree with Jason, not enough accumulation to worry about slides.  Smaller cracks might be thinly covered though with the wet snow, so be wary about that.

 

 

 

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Thanks for some feedback guys. I've just checked the weather again and now the weekend is looking to be wet and snowy as well. Earlier today it was showing Saturday afternoon and Sunday to be dry. Now the slush is forecast into Sunday as well. I think we'll monitor it up until Thursday and then pull the plug if need be. Kind of a bummer, this was the only permit we got for Eldo! At least it's not going anywhere anytime soon....

 

Jason, you are right about being a weather weenie! I'm not against the cold (I actually prefer it to heat), but those above freezing rain/snow days can be miserable. We made an attempt on Shuksan in similar conditions last year and ended up in the tent for two days, woke up to 6 inches of fresh snow on the third, and then bailed. It's a bummer to take time off work and spend it miserable in a tent, even if it does build character... Haha. Doing some cragging in the sun and then drinking beer by the river might end up on this weekend's itinerary instead.

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Posted (edited)

Jason is spot on, avalanches should not pose a problem, but a low cloud cover and rain/snow sounds like a miserable time.   You can climb anytime in Washington, you just need a backup plan in case of inclement weather, permit issues, washed out bridges/roads etc. Stubbornly following a fixed itinerary, forecasts be damned, is a recipe for a lot of 'character building' experiences.

Pack the rock gear and if the weather is inclement at Cascade Pass keep driving further East over Rainy Pass to Washington Pass where the weather is often better.  Sample what Beckey called 'Dolomites of the Cascades'; the Early Winter Spires, Conchord Tower, Lexington Tower, Liberty Bell, Vasiliki Ridge, Juno Tower, Kangaroo Temple, Half Moon, the Wine Spires, and Cutthroat Peak.   If the weather is still iffy keep driving to Mazama and the Goat Wall, Fun Rock, and Prospector's Rock.  So many quality routes available from 5.4 to 5.13 with some of the easiest approaches in Washington.

Edited by DPS

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Safety aside, this is an inconic summit worth doing when you have views and can appreciate the ambience of the summit snow arete. Slogging up there in drizzly, mushy conditions to a summit socked in the clouds won't give you the "special finish" you'd like for this outing. For that reason alone, I'd suggest waiting for a better weather window.

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