Eldorado, Cascade Pass, Washington — Weekend Ski Shenanigans


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | May 31, 2018      
Julia taking in the views

Taking in the views.

On May 13th, we headed to Cascade Pass, Washington. Eldorado was our objective for the day. After a long approach and a gorgeous descent, I can say the area is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been.

Starting the weekend early, Louie and I surprised our moms with early Mother’s Day visits, and then returned to Washington Saturday evening. As per our usual adventure shenanigans, we scrambled and piled everything into the car within an hour of getting home, and began the long drive north. We arrived at the trailhead around 11:30/pm, with our friends Steph and Chelsea, meeting us shortly after. In the back of the car, we settled in for a brief nap.

We woke up at 3/am and were crossing the creek next to the road by 3:45/am. It wasn’t horrible, but proved to be challenging in the dark. We didn’t find the second crossing right away and spent time bushwacking. (Beta: the second log crossing at this time in 2018 follows directly straight onto a large flat log from the first one.) That episode was followed by a few hours of steep hiking that I quite honestly don’t remember. Maybe I was asleep.

The famous river crossing, not as fun to cross in the dark

The famous river crossing, not as fun to cross in the dark.

The part I do remember quite well is the boulder field, which is unfortunately no longer covered with snow. We boulder hopped for too long, putting skins on around 4300k. Cascade Pass provided spectacular views as we pushed onto the Eldorado Glacier.

Boulder field hopping with magnificent views.

Boulder field hopping with magnificent views.

The skin up to the Eldorado Glacier was quick, with a small descent down a narrow chute. We opted to just boot pack as it seemed more efficient; it’s maybe 150 feet long. Eldorado Glacier had enough snow that we didn’t see any crevasses. At 9/am it was still a bit icy in places.

Skinning in the sun, soaking it all in.

Skinning in the sun, soaking it all in.

We took a short break for lunch in the middle of the Inspiration Glacier, enjoying the sun and spectacular views. We headed up the East Ridge of Eldorado, reaching the boot pack to the summit about noon. There is one small crack that was starting to show on the upper part of the ridge that was easily avoidable — we did bring a rope and glacier gear; wore our harnesses but did not rope up at any point.

Gaining the ridge to the summit with many gorgeous peaks all around

Gaining the ridge to the summit with many gorgeous peaks all around.

This year there were two small cornices on the summit ridge that we avoided, following a nicely dug out traverse (thanks to the guide who did this!) followed by a steep section that lands you on top. Not quite the knife edge summit I imagined from the photos, but still a fun spicy section to remind you that you are in the alpine. We experienced wind throughout the day, but once on the summit the wind died down completely. What a gorgeous peak!

After taking in the views, we skied off the top and headed down the glacier. The snow was a bit overcooked, but skied much better than I expected. After lots of thigh burning turns, we were down in the boulder field putting our trail runners back on. I’d say downwards boulder hopping is not my favorite, especially with skis on my back. If you find yourself about to downclimb the wet, rocky section – don’t. I’ve been told there is a much better way skiers right of that descent. I can’t confirm the other option, but I can say that downclimbing a two move wet V0 with tired legs carrying skis is harder than it looks. Thought of burgers and beers for dinner helped me make it through!

Chelsea skiing of the top of Eldorado in nice and soft corn snow.

Chelsea skiing of the top of Eldorado in nice and soft corn snow.

Look at those peaks! Julia enjoying turns off the summit as well

Look at those peaks! Julia enjoying turns off the summit as well

The perfect lady crew! Crushing!

The perfect lady crew. Crushing!

Drop in from the summit from a different angle - sure is a bit steep!

Drop in from the summit from a different angle – sure is a bit steep!

Chelsea enjoying low angle glacier turns

Chelsea enjoying low angle glacier turns.

I’m stoked to have been able to finally make it into the Eldorado area. With endless mountains to explore, I will go back to ski all the other peaks!



IF YOU'RE HAVING TROUBLE VIEWING SITE, TRY WHITELISTING IN YOUR ADBLOCKER, OTHERWISE PLEASE CONTACT US USING MENU ABOVE, OR FACEBOOK.

Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


Comments

3 Responses to “Eldorado, Cascade Pass, Washington — Weekend Ski Shenanigans”

  1. Lisa Dawson May 31st, 2018 1:31 pm

    Can’t beat the Cascades for spring skiing. Gorgeous!

  2. John B June 1st, 2018 10:08 am

    Thanks for the photos. Looks like a cool trip, besides the talus walking.

  3. Michael June 1st, 2018 5:52 pm

    awesome stuff, thanks





Anti-Spam Quiz:

 

While you can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box above, you must leave a brief comment to do so, which records your email and requires you to use our anti-spam challange. If you don't like leaving substantive comments that's fine, just leave a simple comment that says something like "thanks, subscribed" with a made-up name. Check the comment subscription checkbox BEFORE you submit. NOTE: BY SUBSCRIBING TO COMMENTS YOU GIVE US PERMISSION TO STORE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS INDEFINITLY. YOU MAY REQUEST REMOVAL AND WE WILL REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITHIN 72 HOURS. To request removal of personal information, please contact us using the comment link in our site menu.
If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.

:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
  
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.

  Your Comments


  Recent Posts




Facebook Twitter Google Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed



 



  • Blogroll & Links


  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to WildSnow.com and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version