Madaleine Sorkin

When I think of Eldorado Canyon, I see rainbows and unicorns flying off the rocks and the occasional cauldron of an evil warlock tucked behind a loose rock.  Eldo’s wildness inspired my imagination when I first climbed there in 1998 with an adventure camp program.  When I moved to Boulder in 2007, it was Eldo that made the Front Range seem like a place that I could live well.  Its uniqueness perhaps comes from both the proximity to busy metropolitan life and the possibility for adventure in a phenomenal natural landscape. 
Eldo’s colorful climbing history of bold ascents and rowdy monkeys and the fiddly nature of the movement and protection engage my attention and ask for my respect.  As an ambitious young climber in 2006 I remember being so thrilled to onsight the historic Naked Edge.  I also remember thinking that perhaps I’d have a shot at free climbing a much harder route that month in Zion National Park (Moonlight Buttress). This is how intimidating I found Eldo climbing to be.  With more time, I learned the subtle movements with the rock in this canyon and ways to move more confidently.   
Eldo continues to be a place for me to return to regularly, to be wild and engage my climbing ability that day.  It is also my favorite area to work as a climbing guide as climbs of every level offer time high up on the walls watching the birds fly, hearing the river below, and committing to an insecure movement as the air kisses your skin.  A deep appreciation for places like these inspire me to be a steward through thoughtful development and maintenance of routes and trails, treading lightly and discussing stewardship with other visitors of the canyon and simply picking up trash. Perhaps most importantly I aim to listen to the people who love the canyon and the other beings who call it home as guidance for how to care for it.