Gabriel and I spent three sunny, glorious days in the Enchantments scrambling some peaks over the weekend. Since there are numerous recent, and great TRs of the area, I'll keep it brief
Colchuck lake trailhead to basecamp situated high on a rocky mound directly between Inspiration and Crystal lakes. We relaxed and hung out at camp to catch the sunset.
Headed up and over Prusik Pass and contured down and west in a big sweeping arc following cairns part of the way. We swung way too far east and topped out on a ridge that was not druid plateau. "Hey, Cannon is way over there!" The connecting ridgeline looked nasty, so down and around we went, eventually making it up to the proper DP, and the summit of Cannon. We descended directly to Lorelei lakelets where we filtered some water (after breaking through the ice), and headed back towards Prusik Pass. From the pass we made quick work up to the NE summit of Enchantment Peak. There was a group of 4 on the summit, so we tagged the top and headed over to check out the SW summit. Couldn't find an obvious, safe route to that sucker, so we headed down. Passed by a certain NWhikers tent on the way, and left him a note in case he wanted to join us for some scrambling the next day.
Another great sunrise!
Packed up camp and headed over towards Dragontail area. Cached our overnight gear at the base of some slabs and began working our way up to the ridgeline. We intended to approach Dragontail via the plateau since the glacier route is pretty much out for the season unless you like ice climbing! Not having learned our lesson from yesterday, once we reached the plateau, we kept heading due west instead of north to pop back over and descend to the col. After reaching an impasse, we saw the proper route and headed back. I guess that silly compass only works if you take it out of the pack and actually hold it in your hand!
Once back on route, we were soon at the summit of Dragontail looking down at Colchuck lake waaaay below.
We had a snack then headed back down to the col and then back up to the plateau. We retraced our steps from earlier in the day part way down before traversing over slabs, huge boulders and finally a permanant snowfield which deposited us at the base of the scramble route up Witches Tower. The obvious ramp leading to the summit scramble looked spooky from afar, but we found it to be low angle and with good purchase. Once past the slab, easy 3rd class scrambling leads to the summit. This peak was our favorite Too bad we couldn't spend more time up there! We needed to get a move on if we were going to make it out before dark.
After much boulder hopping and enjoyable slab walking, we returned to our cache, packed up our gear and headed to Aasgard.
The only notable issue on the descent was ice covered boulders down by Colchuck lake, which made for an interesting traverse back to the main trail
We ended up having to use headlamps for the last 2 miles or so.
The larches are done larching, and most of the upper lakes are frozen solid or nearly, with the exception of Isolation.
Ah yes... the Witches Tower... last year in July rodman and I walked by it on the way from Annapurna to the Dragontail Plateau and then over to Dragontail Peak... in the back of my mind I figured that we might try the Tower on our way back out, but instead we were able to use the Dragontail Glacier to close the loop and we never got back to the Tower... sounds like a good excuse to get back up there!!
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