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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Lake Stuart and Colchuck for the common man 10-14-07
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boot up
Old Not Bold Hiker



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3925 | TRs | Pics
Location: Kirkland WA
Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:50 pm    Lake Stuart and Colchuck for the common man 10-14-07
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3422 total elevation gain
12.6 miles
8hr35minutes(slower going uphills because I wasn't solo)

No heroic off trail scrambles or anything outstanding on my part for this hike, but I seemed to have had a good time anyway hiking to both Lake Stuart and Lake Colchuck over by Leavenworth, looking in awe at the gateway to the Enchantments at Asgaard Pass. Larches seemed to be in prime timing.

I drove over to Leaven worth on friday with my wife, with incredible foiliage colors on the way over, which was my wife's idea of how to see it. Shared a condo on Friday night, partaking of Octoberfest and happy to leave our wives to the crowds and shopping on Saturday as we hit the trail  a few minutes away at a leisurely 7:45am.

Chilly easy start, and a pleasant easy hike up to the fork in the trail as the sun started catching the peaks. Frosty meadows with bright peaks and dots of golen larches was pleasant.  Pretty easy trail up to Stuart Lake and the fog rising off the lake added amzing atmosphere.  We worked our way around the lake, easily climbing over the considerable blowdown you find once your reach the lake.

We were in walkie talkie contact with some pro-photo friends that had driven from Munro that morning and started hiking at 5am to get the magic "morning light.  We almost caught them by they time we got to Stuart lake but they were pressing on to scramble up to Horseshoe lake. We decided we would rather backtrack to the fork and head to Colchuck lake which we had never seen before.  Listening to their progress and results on the radio convinced us we made the correct choice.

We hammered back to the fork, taking a few more photos in the changing light, then headed up to Colchuck.  THAT trail is in MUCH rougher condition, being steeper and very rocky and rooty.   After climbing it for what seemed a short while, some guy coming down told us were were almost at the lake.  That suprised us that we were making such good time, but we got our hopes up.  nice.....There is always a comedian around.  We probably weren't halfway up the climb at that point.

But when you pop out at Colchuck and see that panorma its definitely worth the trip! My camera doesn't come close to having a wide enough lens to do more than take in little bits of that panorama.

We wanted to get back to the womenfolk before they got impatient, and before the short day got dark.  Of course as we headed back down, in the late afternoon, people were still heading UP to Colchuck with little or no equipment.  Some people in trail runner shorts and not much else...except it was too rough for running.  Others in t-shirts and none with lights.  When asked, we tried to realistically explain how fast it gets dark up against the mountain. Only one group paused, their leader looked at his watch, did the math on the timing, looked at their equipment and decided to hit the next overlook and tell his group they weren't going to see the lake that day.  I was impressed by him. That group was definitely the exception, not the rule...

Perfect timing on the weather and larch for us.  What a day!

I just got an error message from flickr as I uploaded this batch of photos that only 200 shots TOTAL can be veiwed.period, ever. for the free account.  I seem to have that limit. Not sure I want to pay $25 a year for a "pro" flickr account upgrade since I ONLY use it for HERE.  So unless I can figure out another way to get photos in here, I probably won't be posting anymore.  I doubt that will be a big deal since they don't usually get noticed anyway, which further makes it hard to rationalize paying to post here.

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I hike for fun, not terror.
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yukon222
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Joined: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 1737 | TRs | Pics

Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:55 pm   
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Only your last 200 will be visible to you after you've uploaded to the Flickr account.  Your previous photos are still on their server and appear in the trip reports.  You just can't see the earlier ones yourself directly.
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Coasty
I like Salmon!



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 763 | TRs | Pics
Location: Kodiak, AK
Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:03 pm   
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Your photos of Colchuk and Stuart are great.  Glad you were able to get out.  I use Leavenworth to distract my wife too...  We like to car camp on icicle creek and she goes into leavenworth for the day and I go hiking.

Jason

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The Most Comprehensive Interactive Gear Reviews and Tests on the Planet!
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boot up
Old Not Bold Hiker



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3925 | TRs | Pics
Location: Kirkland WA
Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:12 pm   
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yukon222 wrote:
Only your last 200 will be visible to you after you've uploaded to the Flickr account.  Your previous photos are still on their server and appear in the trip reports.  You just can't see the earlier ones yourself directly.

thanks for the clarification on flickr! Of course they are in the business of selling upgrades and word their "warning" appropriately obscurely.
Looks like I can still use flickr for doing my "photojournalism" for the forum!  cooool!

Oh yah, I gave a ride to a backpacker that was doing a  through hike from the other direction and needed to get back to his car.  He came down Asgaard pass on Saturday.  We asked how that was.  He said it was slippery and he never would have gone that way if he had known how bad it would be.  I must admit that Asgaard was more impressive than I expected when I finally saw it in person.  It could indeed be a suprise to the unprepared coming from the other direction without seeing it beforehand.

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I hike for fun, not terror.
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 12296 | TRs | Pics
Location: Inexorable descent
Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:30 pm   
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Great pictures boot up.  Don't stop posting, or else... smackbum.gif
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goats gone wild
Mr. Goat



Joined: 19 Aug 2007
Posts: 2526 | TRs | Pics
Location: Vampireville
Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:43 pm   
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Your pictures are incredibly beautiful.

Snow Creek Glacier, takes my breath away.

Pay the $25.00, PLEASE!

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.....leaving me wanting to return over and over in what ever capacity that may be, even if one day my knees are too old and I can only see the mountains from my porch.

Jason Hummel
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boot up
Old Not Bold Hiker



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3925 | TRs | Pics
Location: Kirkland WA
Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:05 pm   
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goats gone wild wrote:
Your pictures are incredibly beautiful.

Snow Creek Glacier, takes my breath away.

shhhh....don't tell anybody...I am pretty sure I mis-labelled that glacier.  stun.gif  I don't usually hike that area and don't have good maps with all the detail names. (hiking buddy had the good map)

Looks like I might keep tossing in my historical documentation photos, if I am reading the flickr clarification correctly.
Thanks for the kind words!

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Hiker Mama
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Joined: 25 Jun 2006
Posts: 3028 | TRs | Pics
Location: Lynnwood
Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:09 pm   
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I especially like your first photo with the colorful leaves.  Thanks for posting!
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Dayhike Mike
Bad MFKer



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 10997 | TRs | Pics
Location: Going to Tukwila
Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:54 pm   
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Nice pics, Boot Up!

As boringly named as it is, it's just Colchuck Glacier on the left of Colchuck Peak.  hockeygrin.gif

The rocks were indeed slick at the bottom of Aasgard...the first 500 feet of gain were treacherous, as were the talus field around Colchuck. eek.gif

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"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
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Andrew
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Joined: 24 Oct 2003
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Location: Arlington
Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:00 pm   
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Nice report boot up, we may have crossed paths...if not, then probably your photographer friends (group of 4?) further up the Stuart trail at around 1:00.    Autumn color in that area is a great thing to experience.
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Sore Feet
Dr. Awesome



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 5896 | TRs | Pics
Location: I'm on a boat
Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:08 pm   
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Trevor and I were up there today too, you may have passed us as well.

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Bryan Swan
Pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanswan
Waterfalls - www.waterfallsnorthwest.com
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pimaCanyon
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Joined: 13 Jul 2007
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Location: at the bottom of the map
Post Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:26 pm   
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great pix.  I especially like the one of Dragontail with the gold larch at its feet and the closeup of  Aasgard.

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It's never too late to have a happy childhood
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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Lake Stuart and Colchuck for the common man 10-14-07  
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