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belayerslayer

[TR] Eldorado - East Ridge 5/17/2009

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Trip: Eldorado - East Ridge

 

Date: 5/17/2009

 

Trip Report:

Working for REI has enabled me to become a connoisseur, of sorts, in the 'performance foods' section; a responsibility I take seriously whenever I get into the mountains. Companies are always cranking out new, or improved, food supplements and I like to be at the forefront of what's current - which turns into a fun self experiment. This climb's feature supplement: PowerBar's Energy Bites chocolate. These dark, roundish orbs have the consistency of dried up cookie dough and are palatable enough - though for the price you'd be better off buying a log of spunkmeyer at your local grocery store.

That tangent aside...

Climbed Eldorado's classic east ridge in a long day, taking advantage of the spectacular weather window. Drove to the trailhead saturday night with my sister and her Mountaineers friend Alli (don't tell them she forgot her ice ax). Packed and asleep by shortly after 1 am. Somehow managed a 3:30 am start.

Trail is in great shape all the way to the 2 talus fields. The lower field has patches of snow; the upper field is mostly snow-covered. Ran into a party descending, warning us of dicey conditions higher up with fresh avy activity. Followed steps up to the basin below 'hammered ridge' and indeed saw the crowns of many avalanches displayed along the surrounding slopes. Time was a little before 7 am. Took a quick break and sunscreened up - the sun finally lifted up over the ridgeline and things warmed up quickly. Met another party of 3 who had tagged the summit about 5:30 that morning. Conditions were good, if a bit soft, they mentioned. Thanks guys for the awesome steps up the glacier!

Crossed down the ridge and walked across and up the inspiration glacier to its apex and admired all the views. We didn't rope up at any point, until we reached the east ridge. Parties wanting to move fast can eschew rope and harness altogether - the steps are nicely kicked in all the way to the summit.

Took a short break at the base of the east ridge and roped up (mainly for training purposes) and began the slog to the summit. Met two skiers coming down from the summit - sure looked fun watching them descend. The summit ridge is as beautiful and classic as I had heard with nice bucket steps all the way to the summit crest - although for a true apline finish, I would have rather kicked my own steps up virgin snow. Made summit just before noon, giving us an 8 hr. time from car to summit. Quick summit photos and then a long slog back out. Back to the car a little before 5 pm - roudtrip time roughly 14 hours. The trick was to just keep moving! Great partners, great weather, insane mountain views, and powerbar bites to keep me going!

Photos:

Johannesburg Mtn.

IMG_1406.jpg

Slopes below 'hammered ridge'

IMG_1424.jpg

Slog up Inspiration Glacier

IMG_1444.jpg

IMG_1454.jpg

Eldorado and me

4183_523506252386_27501342_31241999.jpg

Summit push

IMG_1474.jpg4404_523513442976_27501342_31242308.jpg

IMG_1483.jpg

Summit Shot

IMG_1491.jpg

Summit Guinness

IMG_1500.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

sunscreen

 

Approach Notes:

thanks to those who hammered out a fine trail

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Nice TR, beautiful weekend to get out.

thanks to those who hammered out a fine trail

and thanks to you for passing on the beta!

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Nice climb; did this one last September. Were the long boulder fields on the approach covered in snow still? There is a shit ton of snow in your Inspiration basin photo. If so, early season seems like the time to do this one.

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So the RE:I'ers do actually get out... Nice shot going up the summit ridge.

 

one of the few, I know.

 

I know a few who talk the talk - on the showroom floor but can't figure out an ATC... Good to know that a few good climbers still exist in the ranks of "Really Expensive Items."

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I remember being at REI to pick up a few biners and some slings. The salesman asked if I was planning to use them for climbing (WTF?), to which I replied yes. He then said that I should only use locking biners for climbing, proudly stating that this is what he does. I didn't really know what to say in response, so I just sort of grunted and walked away.

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So the RE:I'ers do actually get out... Nice shot going up the summit ridge.

 

one of the few, I know.

 

I know a few who talk the talk - on the showroom floor but can't figure out an ATC... Good to know that a few good climbers still exist in the ranks of "Really Expensive Items."

In my case it's "Recycled Employee Income". Actually I try to be very selective and cautious in the advice I give to customers, in regards to climbing. Usually I reccomend people buy a book or sign up for a course, rather than talking shop with the good folks from REI. Just because we work around the product, doesn't make us experts :grin:

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I remember being at REI to pick up a few biners and some slings. The salesman asked if I was planning to use them for climbing (WTF?), to which I replied yes. He then said that I should only use locking biners for climbing, proudly stating that this is what he does. I didn't really know what to say in response, so I just sort of grunted and walked away.

This is the sort of thing that makes me go there less and less - luckily I have a local climbing-only shop that caters to dirtbags like me :grin: but unfortunately there is only one place to use your dividend... And I'm surprised that as each year passes that I still manage to accumulate one!

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So the RE:I'ers do actually get out... Nice shot going up the summit ridge.

 

one of the few, I know.

 

I know a few who talk the talk - on the showroom floor but can't figure out an ATC... Good to know that a few good climbers still exist in the ranks of "Really Expensive Items."

In my case it's "Recycled Employee Income". Actually I try to be very selective and cautious in the advice I give to customers, in regards to climbing. Usually I reccomend people buy a book or sign up for a course, rather than talking shop with the good folks from REI. Just because we work around the product, doesn't make us experts :grin:

 

Too funny! :lmao: If only the job paid a bit better, huh?

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Hello,

 

I know it has a good boot track, but I still wonder

if I should bring snowshoes or not? Any opinion? Thinking

of going this sunday evening to monday.

 

Thanks

Dan

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