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North America, United States, Washington - Cascade Mountains, Eldorado, West Arete

Eldorado, West Arête. On August 24, 1969, Richard Emerson and I made the first ascent of the 2800-foot arête that leads directly up the west face to the summit of Eldorado. (Pete Schoening’s 1951 route is to the right (south) of this climb – Editor). We camped just southwest of the notch between the Triad and Eldorado. On the day of the climb we crossed through the notch, dropped down 1000 feet and traversed under the west face to the arête. By eight A.M. we were roped up and climbing. Shortly thereafter we were enveloped by fog. The arête, although nowhere really difficult, required constant attention. There are few route-finding problems, however, as one is generally forced to stay on the crest. The first tower was passed high on the left, the others were either climbed or passed high on the right. A short rappel was made in getting off the last tower. As one nears the summit, the ridge eases off to class-three climbing. Three pitons and a number of slings were used for protection. We reached the summit at six P.M., just as the fog lifted and shortly before it started to rain. This climb compares extremely favorably with such classic climbs as the north ridge of Mount Stuart and the northwest arête of Forbidden.

Walter R. Gove