Thanks to Backpacker Joe offering his permit on this website, my husband and I were able to celebrate our first anniversary in the Enchantments! What an amazing place!!
Day 1 Monday-Colchuck Lake
Hot hot hot. With HEAVY packs. After studying the weather forecast, we were prepared for winter camping! I prayed that the weather forecasters would be wrong about the big "change" in the beautiful summer weather pattern.
But nonetheless, it was a beautiful hot day on Monday. Due to some work responsibilities, we left Seattle late in the morning and got a late start. We made it to the south end of Colchuck Lake about 4:30 pm. We were staring up at Aasgard Pass debating whether or not we should hike up tonight. It was about 90 degrees and Aasgard was in the sun. It was NOT going to be fun.
Since this was vacation we opted for fun! So we looked around for a nice camp and found a wonderful spot right on the water and took a swim to cool off.
We lounged around camp in our sandals and ate dinner in our crazy creek chairs. It was a great night.
Day 2- Tuesday- Into the Enchantments we go!!
We woke up to blue bird skies! Maybe the weatherman was wrong!! It’s going to be nice and sunny and warm!
We began packing up camp, and I could see the clouds start rolling in! Hurry up; let’s get up to the Enchantments before the weather rolls into town.
So we started up Aasgard Pass about 11:00am. It was still pretty nice out. But as we headed up, the wind really kicked in. It was so exciting to hike up though. This was our first time into the Enchantments and we could not wait to get to the top and see what was in store for us!!
Alas, we made it up the pass and were frolicking about like school children. It was so beautiful and amazing! It was so much fun to hike along and wait for the next lake to pop out at you!
Then we got down to serious business of finding a camp site. The weatherman said the wind was going to be gusting 30mph + so we were looking for a sheltered site. We found a great spot with granite boulders protecting us along Perfection Lake.
We set up camp and it was about 3:30pm. The weather was still pretty good so we decided to go hike up Little Annapurna before dinner. This is a great fun hike. There is cairned route that is relatively easy to follow up the northeast spur. The summit was so flat! It took us a little over an hour from camp to the summit.
We were so lucky to have sunshine on the summit, but on our way down, the “change” was coming. We arrived back at camp, boiled up some water, filled our dehydrated food packets, and ate in the tent. And for desert we had a few sips of Glenlivet 12 year from the flask. That’ll warm you up!
Day 3- Wednesday is Wintertime
The weatherman was right, darn. Tuesday night was restless night with 40 mph winds blowing us around all night. There was snow on the ground during a middle of the night. Luckily we brought our 4 season tent. I lied awake that night concerned about others who may have not been so prepared. I’m sure it will be a night for them to remember.
In the morning we were excited to unzip the tent and see what was awaiting us. Bare ground! But there were flurries! And wind. But there were also sun breaks! We had a casual morning, made coffee and oatmeal and decided to hit the trail.
We headed up Prusik Pass. It was windy and snowing. I was wearing just about every item that I had packed (About 4 layers). This is August…
From the pass, we decided to head up Enchantment Peak (One of WA 100 highest.) This was an awesome scramble. We followed a very fun easy ridge from the pass. Just below the summit, is a flat broad sandy beach! It was cool topography. The final summit is easy rock scrambling with a few final class 3 moves at the end.
After Enchantment we scrambled over to Gnome Tarn below Prusik Peak.
We headed back to camp, giddy from our scramble. We made tea and soup and then played some cards in the tent. We dashed outside to quickly whip up dinner, than dashed back inside to eat. It was going to be a cold night. The good news was that Chris’s altimeter was losing elevation! Yippie! High Pressure, come back!
Day 4- Planned to do Cannon but sadly leaving
It was a cold night (thermometer in the tent read 39 degrees!) The wind finally stopped in the middle of the night. We were awoken from our slumber by the sound of hooves on rock. I unzipped the tent to find a family of three mountain goats.
It was a beautiful, cold, blue bird day! Unfortunately we had to make the difficult decision to leave the beautiful Enchantmenants one day early. We packed up camp, and took our time hiking out.
It was a terrific hike out. We were really impressed by the 76 year old man we passed on our way down. He was hiking up Aasgard Pass with his children and grandchildren. I hope we are so lucky when we reach his age!
We ran into several folks once at Colchuck Lake. Everyone was giddy with excitement! What a fantastic natural playground. We cannot wait to go back and do the complete loop to Snow Lake and tag the summit of Cannon Mountain.
-------------- And the end of all our searching shall be to return to the place where we started and know it for the first time.
- T.S. Eliot
Joined: 02 Mar 2003 Posts: 10996 | TRs | Pics Location: Going to Tukwila
Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:24 pm
Thanks for the TR!
-------------- "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
Joined: 16 Dec 2001 Posts: 12315 | TRs | Pics Location: putting on my Nikes before the comet comes
Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:01 am
Wowee Zowie! That "natural dam" pic in the Upper Es almost makes a girl think there's something to all this crazy global warming stuff! That's a lot of water up there now.
I was up in the Cascade Pass area earlier today (yesterday now) and there was a little dusting of new snow visible on Formidable and a couple of nearby peaks. Seems snow is forthcoming, good news for the firefighters, maybe a little bit of bad news for hikers still intent on hitting the high country before summer is gone for good.
We're heading up Aasgard next week and would like a good place to set up our camp. We stayed near Sprite Lake in 2002. Your camp looks like a great spot. Can I get directions? Is it on the way to Prusik Pass? How close were you to water?
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