Goran and I had quite the run of alpine climbing in 2013 and 2014, but he moved to the Bay Area and it had been a long time since we'd teamed up. He flew to Seattle for a long weekend and we had our sights set on a number of routes near Eldorado—Dorado Needle, Early Morning Spire, and the West Arete of Eldo itself. Unfortunately, we saw quite a bit of snow at elevation in the week leading up to his visit and temperatures stayed low, so we had to go through some gyrations to find fun routes that were possible, given the conditions.
On Friday, we'd woken up early, expecting to approach the Eldorado area, but upon catching a view from Marblemount, decided to turn around and head for the Mountain Loop Highway. We rolled into the Sunrise Mine trailhead and left the car at 1:15pm—a bit late to head up for a 7-pitch alpine route!
We were roped up and starting the first pitch before 3pm, hiking quite fast to get there. The climbing was generally quite fun, though easier than advertised in Blake's new guidebook in our opinion. The dihedral pitch was the most memorable, though it was pretty short-lived. We summited by 5:15pm and quickly did the series of single-rope raps back to the base before scooting out to the car by 8pm, just needing headlamps from the river crossing to the car.