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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Enchantment trip 9-27 to 9-29
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Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)



Joined: 02 Mar 2002
Posts: 1936 | TRs | Pics
Location: ex Kennewick, Wa & Lehi Utah
Post Fri Oct 04, 2002 3:03 pm    Enchantment trip 9-27 to 9-29
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Golden Week in the Enchantments up.gif  agree.gif

When Tom put up the notice that he had two extra spots available on his Enchantment permit I jumped at the chance to go.  The timing was perfect for the Larch trees turning their famous gold color and I had always wanted to experience this first hand.  Tom and I set up arrangements and were on the Stuart/Colchuck trail friday.  We made it up to Colchuck and then worked our way around the south side of the lake to start up Aasgard.  I don't know why but Aasgard always kicks
my butt but Tom was a great hiking companion and took my slowing him down in stride.  The first thing that hit me going up the Aasgard route was above us you could see tier upon tier of Larch trees that had already turned gold, giving us hints of what was yet to be seen in the middle Enchantments.  The Larch is only one of two pine trees that drop their needles and fortunately there are several areas in the Cascades where they put on their annual display of color.  The Stark's referred to this as "the golden week".

After making the top of the pass, we took our time going down through the upper Enchantment lakes and were particularly impressed by the beauty of Brynhild (Isolation) Lake.  This was Tom's first visit into this area even though he had climbed nearby Dragontail back in August.  The photo possibilities in this area have you reaching for your camera and that is just what Tom and I did. We snapped a lot of pics and hopefully well have some decent ones to share with each other and with the  group.  I think photography is one of the things that keep me motivated to return again and again and it was nice to have a hiking companion who seems to be cut from the same cloth.  No fishing poles, no golf clubs and no mini tvs on this trip, just our cameras.


Just after we made it past the Brisengamen Lakelets, I stopped to make a call (yeah I know, cell phones in the back country aren't approved by all) but since I am a dentist by profession I try to make certain no emergency situations are being left just to my wife and staff to deal with.  I also tried to get my wife to order a pizza for us but she just laughed at me.  Oh well.  We made our way down to Talisman Lake and found a place to hang our Hennessy Hammocks and set up camp.  For dinner, we had a Mountain House that we both actually really liked, Lasagna.  I'll do that one again.  Lights out came early and we settled in for a comfortable night in our hammocks. One nice thing about hammocks is you don't need level ground, you just need two trees the right  distance apart.  I slept far enough away from Tom so my snoring wouldn't keep him awake.

Hammock sleeping is so comfortable that it was twelve hours later before we got up and started to start utilizing a day that promised perfect weather conditions.  With full sun, you could see that many of the larch trees had fully turned while others were still in the process. Beautiful.  Prussik Peak towered over us to the northeast and Rune Lake was close at hand.  After breakfast we made our way up to Prussik Pass and then climbed a trail on the east side of the pass that took us up to where you could get a great view of almost all the Enchantment lakes as well as Shields Lake and the lost world plateau in the other direction.  We noticed several climbing parties on Prussik and it was fun to watch their progress for awhile.  When the photo opportunities were depleted, Tom decided to head on over to climb up Little Annapurna.  I opted not to go with him since I had been up it twice before and because I had a calf muscle that was giving me some fits.  After Tom took off I spent time wandering over to an overlook at the edge of Lake Viviane and grabbed some pics and some lunch.  Gnome tarn was also on my agenda as was visiting some of the erratics that line the ridge above Rune lake.  Golden Larches were everywhere and the weather continued to be perfect.  When I was finally through doing my thing, I headed back up to the campsite and was there briefly  when Tom pulled back into camp.  He had that look on his face, that look that said "Wow"   He felt the view from Little Annapurna was topnotch and had made his way back over to the upper Enchantment lakes to take some more pics in the day's better lighting.  He'd had a great day and had made good time.  Dinner that evening was a combination of a MSR meal and another Mountain House one that was surprisingly good.  The wind started picking up and pretty soon it was a heck of a lot colder so we hit the hammocks again for another 12 hour sleep.  The wind howled most of the night and despite this I still slept much better than I do at home in my own bed.  I need to hang a hammock in my bedroom.

Sunday morning was a different kind of day from the previous one and our plans to climb Enchantment peak and perhaps Cannon were put on the back burner for a bit as we waited to see what the weather would do.  We had wind which is fairly normal but it was the fact that we were at the base of a heavy cloud cover that made us realize that should we climb up Enchantment peak, we'd have no view.  We'd save this for another day.  As the morning wore on, the weather was getting worse and when it started to snow it was time to pack up and get down.  We left the Talisman camp at near noon and headed down the Snow creek trail route, passing Lelprachuan, Viviane, Snow Lakes, and Nada Lake.  The wind was really howling at the outlet of Lake Viviane and it made walking across the outlet logs a bit of an adventure but as soon as we dropped several hundred feet in elevation the wind really died down and was no longer a problem. Basically it is a ten mile down hill slog from the middle Enchantments to the Snow creek trailhead parking lot and this route out is about three miles longer than going out Aasgard.   After experiencing both routes, I think Tom will opt for  Aasgard both ways next time while I  prefer going in Aasgard and out another way.  We made good time down to the car and after shuttling Tom back to his car which we left at the other trailhead, we hit the BK in Leavenworth for some good fat laden fries/onion rings and burgers.  After getting our fill, Tom headed back to the Seattle area and I headed for the tri cities.  All in all, another great trip into the Enchantments but I wish we'd had that one more day that the weather took away from us.   cool.gif

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Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 21482 | TRs | Pics
Location: Cle Elum
Post Fri Oct 04, 2002 4:09 pm   
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Great report C.H..  How about this, next year lets make it a NWHIKERS Enchantment trip?  I think that would be great.  Even if we didnt get a huge amount of people, a few of us would be fun.  Think about  it.

TB biggrin.gif
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Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)



Joined: 02 Mar 2002
Posts: 1936 | TRs | Pics
Location: ex Kennewick, Wa & Lehi Utah
Post Fri Oct 04, 2002 4:21 pm   
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I'm game. Sounds like fun to me agree.gif

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Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160
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Sore Feet
Dr. Awesome



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 5881 | TRs | Pics
Location: I'm on a boat
Post Sat Oct 05, 2002 11:33 pm   
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I'm definitely in too.  Just got a backpack, now all I need is my hammock. agree.gif

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Bryan Swan
Pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanswan
Waterfalls - www.waterfallsnorthwest.com
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Tom
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Joined: 15 Dec 2001
Posts: 14238 | TRs | Pics

Post Sun Oct 06, 2002 12:14 am   
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Finally got my pictures up.  Still need to add captions and filter out of the non-keepers - I've whittled it down to 70 so far rolleyes.gif.
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Newt
Short Timer



Joined: 21 Dec 2001
Posts: 3188 | TRs | Pics
Location: Down the road and around the corner
Post Sun Oct 06, 2002 6:26 am   
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Awesome place.
Great write up.
Sharp photos.
Glad you had good weather.

NN up.gif  up.gif
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Sore Feet
Dr. Awesome



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 5881 | TRs | Pics
Location: I'm on a boat
Post Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:22 am   
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How can there be NON keepers from up there?!  huh.gif  (yeah, server space and all, I just hope you're throwing everything on a CD for offline viewing).

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Bryan Swan
Pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanswan
Waterfalls - www.waterfallsnorthwest.com
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Tom
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Joined: 15 Dec 2001
Posts: 14238 | TRs | Pics

Post Sun Oct 13, 2002 9:00 pm   
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OK, getting around to captioning my enchantment pics and I'm not 100% sure on a few of them so looking for some help.

Does the plateau behind Lake Earle have a name?

Is the "scaly" looking peak to the left of Enchantment Peak one of the Black Dwarves (i.e. Dwarves Tower) or just a shoulder of Enchantment Peak?

What do folks normally refer to the block of crags to the right of Prusik?  The High Priest?  The Temple?

Does the peak to the right of Little Annapurna have a name?
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Freeman
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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Post Mon Oct 14, 2002 1:43 pm   
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Hi Tom

The plateau is Edward's Mesa, aka the Lost World Plateau.  A very magic place.  From L'worth it forms the Sleeping Lady's profile.  The big blocky peak on the left the the Mole - also visible from Icicle Creek.  If I told you any more.....

Can't answer the Enchantment Peak question - I've climbed it but I don't remember the sub peaks

The entire ridge to the east of Prusik is the Temple Ridge - crags include Box Top, Pogo, High Priest, Professor, and Black Pyramid (among others)  see Becky for all the details.  Temple is the highest point, but a little obscure along the ridge.

The peak west of Little A has a name altho again I can't think of it.  It is really just another high point along the ridge to Dragontail.  Witches Tower stands out below the ridge.

Tom, I got led to this forum through a thread in the CascadeClimbers.com bbs.  We had been discussing the best ways thru the Enchantments and one thing led to another.... Here I am

Three of us did our annual day hike thru the Enchantments yesterday - this year we went up Aasgard, thru the upper lakes (knocking off Little Annapurna on the way), over Prusik Pass, by Shield and Earl Lakes and our Temple Canyon.  A truely spectacular day in the high country.

Thanks for the pics

Freeman
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Mt. Frank
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Joined: 17 Jan 2002
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Location: Renton, WA
Post Mon Oct 14, 2002 2:12 pm   
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Three of us did our annual day hike thru the Enchantments yesterday - this year we went up Aasgard, thru the upper lakes

(knocking off Little Annapurna on the way), over Prusik Pass, by Shield and Earl Lakes and our Temple Canyon.  A truely

spectacular day in the high country.

How about a trip report Freeman?
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Freeman
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Post Mon Oct 14, 2002 3:14 pm   
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How about a mini trip report?  Ironically it was very close to being totally different - at 9:00 the night before I had received a call that the military was going to do a night pick off of one of your regular contributors (I guess there is a thread on this one also) from Temple Ridge - I was told he had two broken ankles.  Would I be on standby to go the next morning if they couldn't do it?  The middle of the night I got another call that the rescue had gone off - so the hike was back on.

We left one car at Snow Lk trailhead, drove the second to Colchuck.  We had been considering the Cannon Mtn ridge this year but because we had a newbe with us I opted for the "normal" Colchuch to Aasgard approach.  Left the car a bit before 7:00 - still slightly dark.  By the time we got to Colchuck it was obvious that the newbe had bitten of a bit more than he had anticipated - he hiked to the head of the lake with us, then turned back.  Of course, this meant the car shuttle was no longer an issue.

The way around Colchuck and up Aasgard has changed so much in the years I've been doing this - just follow the cairns and the well beaten path.  We didn't see the goat family going up the pass this year (probably because I brought the big camera and long lens) and the creek was beautifully frozen into a sheet of veriglas.  Fortunately the path avoids the iced over rock - one year when I did this in running shoes we tried to climb the frozen creek.

Although the sun was out on top the wind was howling - we changed from shorts to long pants and took a break at the top. About this time a man and his son (sevenish) came strolling by - I don't want to hear any more excuses out there <g>.  We wandered down to the middle of the Upper Lakes, then up the slabs and scree to Little Annapurna.  This is a special place to me - I was introduced to it in 1972 by a dear friend and mentor, and that was my introduction to the mountains.  In 1979 when I was faced with a promotion and transfer to the east coast I sat for a full day on Little A, then went home, turned down the transfer and quit my job.  I challeged a young man with us yesterday to someday bring yet another youngster, maybe one whos direction in life isn't quite clear, to this spot and give him (or her) the best gift in the world - a love for the mountains.

But I digress, we sat on top for 20 minutes or so - looking down at the Nightmare Needles and Pennant Peak (which I climbed last year) and the Flag Pole (which I didn't!), then headed back down to the mid lakes.  Up over Prusik Pass, we could hear a team on the West Ridge, that "route of purity on mavelous granite", and down into the Rat Lakes.  The larch in the Enchantments were just slightly past their glory; in the Rat Lakes they were at their peak.

Where there were many boot treads on the Enchantment trails, there were none hiking aroung Shield and Earl Lakes.  There is a little known and very faint trail up a little canyon to the east right between Earl and Mesa lakes that tops out on a ridge above Temple Canyon.  Once into the canyon we picked up the climbers trail, occasionally seeing fresh boot prints (Sefan's partner hiking out for help the day before?).  Our goal by that point was to get down the Nada Lake rock slide before dark - we found the cairns at the top leading to the class 3 traverse to the right (south), then down the brushy gulley to the Lake.

At that point I put my head light in my pocket, knowing I would need sometime in the next couple hours, and we put the old legs on auto pilot down the trail.  At about Snow Creek Wall the lights came on and we stumble down the switchbacks to the car.  I could hear one of my buddies chanting the mantra the last couple miles "Red Hook, Red Hook, Red Hook".  As we were changing out of our boots the half moon was rising up the Snow Creek canyon.,

Arrived back at Wenatchee in time for a bowl of ice cream with fresh raspberries - and a good nights rest.

Trip time - 13 hours car to car.  Total milage - 18 or so.  Vertical gain and loss - a gazillion feet.  I'm happy at work today but thinking about next weekend....
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Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)



Joined: 02 Mar 2002
Posts: 1936 | TRs | Pics
Location: ex Kennewick, Wa & Lehi Utah
Post Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:07 pm    Great report
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up.gif Great TR.  Thanks for sharing it with us.

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Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160
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Mt. Frank
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Post Tue Oct 15, 2002 6:50 am   
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Thanks for the report Freeman. I liked the part about your friend and mentor introducing you to the mountains. I had a friend (and boss) who also introduced me to the mountains in 1972. And the desire to live near mountains has also influenced my career. No move to San Diego in '84 thank goodness!
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Freeman
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Post Tue Oct 15, 2002 9:34 am   
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The three greatest gifts you can give a child are books, music, and the mountains.

And the freedom to enjoy them
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Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)



Joined: 02 Mar 2002
Posts: 1936 | TRs | Pics
Location: ex Kennewick, Wa & Lehi Utah
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:26 pm   
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Remember this BPJ?
Quote:
How about this, next year lets make it a NWHIKERS Enchantment trip?  I think that would be great.  Even if we didnt get a huge amount of people, a few of us would be fun.  Think about  it.



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Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160
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