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[TR] Dorado Needle - NW ridge 07/03/2022

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Posted (edited)

Trip: Dorado Needle - NW ridge

Trip Date: 07/03/2022

Trip Report:


The old Cascade River crossing by the parking lot at Eldorado is gone.


Newer river crossing is available ~100' downstream from the parking lot with two logs that intersect from the road side with another log leading to the island in the river.  

Flow was high and there are strainers downstream of the crossing so be careful.   

Another party mentioned finding a log crossing upstream from the parking lot ~200 feet, upstream from where Eldorado creek hits Cascade river and then crossing Eldorado creek back to the climber's trail.  

Multiple parties on Eldorado.  One party skied off the summit!  (DM me if that was you and I'll send video!)

Dorado Needle snow ramp was in great condition.  Good boot steps all the way to shoulder.  No crampons needed for the entire trip.  Eldorado, Inspiration, and McAllister glaciers all had soft snow.  

Multiple parties on Dorado Needle.  Really cool route with fun blocky climbing and cool rock needles.  Able to make two rappels back down the route from summit with one 40m rope.  

Everyone kept mentioning a "new forecast" with "bad thunderstorms" coming in.  Didn't listen to them and camped on the McAllister glacier near the Marble/McAllister col and didn't sleep through the big boom / big flash show.  Should have listened.  

One party didn't like the lightning either and ditched their gear scattered on the glacier.  We recovered it the next morning.  If you're looking for it, please DM me and let me know where you left it and what you left and I can get it back to you.  

A true cascades experience with hail and rain all day on the way out.  As always, stay east on the boulder fields and suffer less.  Snow begins at top of boulder fields.  Eldorado stream crossing below basin and above boulder field still under snow currently, but not for long.  Gulley to Eldorado glacier quickly becoming post-hole city.



lower Eldorado glacier



IMG_1458.jpeg.8e5e65abff5f7dbce3b890ed8cbd5fba.jpegForbidden and Moraine lake





Traffic on Eldorado summit ridge




IMG_1464.jpeg.89a97c383889cd6177f95864a4c4b2b4.jpegDorado Needle and McAllister glacier


IMG_1516.jpeg.d5a94f2261dde2d7e2c94a244657a07a.jpegNorth Face Eldorado




Cascade river stream crossing




Gear Notes:
pickets, gear to 2", 40m rope

Approach Notes:
cascade river stream crossing 100' downstream from parking lot

Edited by dadoufergy
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Very nice. It’s been a long time since I was up there. Beautiful terrain. We did Eldo and Inspiration on the same trip but skipped over the Needle. I’ll have to get back there sometime. 

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Hey thanks for the TR and pictures, that is such an awesome place and a fun route.

I am curious, are you saying people bailed from there bivy site due to the storm and just left there belongings behind in a retreat panic? And like didn’t come back for them? I’m thinking that stuff is yours now.


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41 minutes ago, sepultura said:

I’m thinking that stuff is yours now.

Me, as well.

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Thanks dberdinka!! I love the closure to the story (as well as your concern for those below). 

sepulturamy guess is they were traveling out trying to beat the storm and decided to drop their metal gear, judging by the lighting strike map I reviewed and what was striking near eldorado at the time.  


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post up that summit ski! upload to youtube/vimeo and then share it here.  i mean, if you wanna...


that is an awesome trundle vid @dberdinka those guys must have all the fun

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