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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Freight train through the Enchantments!
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faelynn
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 7916 | TRs | Pics

Post Tue May 29, 2007 11:15 am    Freight train through the Enchantments!
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The original plan was to climb Eldorado, Klawatti and Austera but as most all know the forecast took a dive on Friday night. Last minute change in plans had us headed to the Chants to seek out drier weather. Well drier we got but we also had some exciting weather of our own.We ran into Donb and his daughter at the rest stop!  What a great treat to see them!

Janet and a Summit Post friend, Martin Cash joined me in this fun weekend. We had talked about doing Prusik and I am glad we/he didnít haul all that gear up Asgard  to find out conditions would have made it hard for all of us.  Postholing all the way to Prusik with the nasty weather we encountered it would not have worked out. I am glad Martin made the last minute decision to leave his rack/rope home. Another group wanting to do prusik wanted to make it up asagard but didnít  till the next day and then they turned back cause the postholing/winds were quite taxing.

So we head up the trail. Lots of blow downs the entire trail. Solid snow starts around Colchuck Lake.  We made good time up to the lake and then headed up Asgard. I have been up Asgard without a pack in the summer with a trail to follow. This time with a heavy pack and kicking steps and postholing it was draining!!  Sucked the life right out of us! It seemed to take forever!! It was like climbing a steep peak with heavy winter packs on... eek.gif  waah.gif

We reached the top and set up camp right there. It was a great evening hanging out and eating some dinner.  Off to bed with thoughts of Dragontail in the morning. NOT!!!  Woke up and it was socked in.  Went back to the tent and started to play with my camera...not a good idea cause I am clueless and deleted the first days shots by accident!  doof.gif  banghead.gif  I went back to sleep in depression about losing the shots.

We climbed out fo the tents around 9am. I have never slept that late on a climb ...ever!!  Still Dragontail was in and out of the clouds.  The winds started to pick up considerably.   As we watched Dragontail move in and out of the clouds we noticed Little Annapurna always stayed out in the open.  We decided to head over to Little Annapurna.

Post holing was a biatch to say the least! Add to that the wind 40 MPR with nasty gust ready to knock us on our asses!! But it was not so bad we could not make it. What great summit!!  Fun stuff!!  The rock is well....awesome!!  We had great views down into Ingalls creek and Teanaway.

Martin and I discussed doing Witches Tower. I saw a ramp to gain access to the summit block was covered in snow and that and the winds where blowing at 40 mph with gusts up to 50 -60 or so. I didnít really want to put myself up there in those conditions. Martin decided to head over there solo.  We watched him as we descended Little Anapurna.  He said he found a ramp that worked and he made it to the top with some class 3 and a small section of class 4 moves to the summit. Good work Martin! (After hearing from him about the approach and wallowing  eek.gif he had to do I am glad I bowed out)  Meanwhile, Janet and I headed down and did some glissading.  The wind was so cold it was freezing the top layer of snow quickly. Some spots it was so icy I could not get my heal to bite in then the next thing you know we are postholing up to our crotches or thighs. It was quite taxing between the postholing and the wind.
here are two shots of Martin on top of Witches Tower. love the zoom!

By the time we made it back to camp the winds got worse and worse and worse!!!! As I approached our camp I notice a crow flying away. That damn crow stole all of Janetís dinner and other food from her pack and all of my lunch and breakfast that was tucked under a rock!! It was an interesting dinner and breakfast.   THIEF!!  vent.gif  I hope that bugger is so sick right now!

Janetís tent was flattened by the wind while we where out too. She fixed her tent and I added rocks to Martinís to hold it down.  It was soooo cold with the wind chill too. After descending a very steep snow slope,

Martin joined back up with us and we ate some dinner in the nasty cold wind.  We all crawled into the larger tent and played word association and laughed a lot! As we sat in the tent the tent would lean so far over from the wind Janet and I would get beat up by the tent and just resort to dropping down out of the way... lol.gif . I ran outside for some picture taking and was knocked on my ass by the wind. It was crazy!!!  I could barley stand and my face was freezing within seconds!

Janet fighting the tent!! lol.gif 
We all retired ..or tried to. It was like a freight train for most of the night. The wind gust had to have been at about 70-80mph. I think all of us were wondering if the tents would hold up to the beating they were taking.   The tents would just bend right over with the gusts. It also got down to 23 degrees in the tent the night. It was a cold night for Martin who had a 40 degree bag. He wished he brought his warmer bag. None of us slept much. I slept ok but was woke up every hour or so by the attack of the killer tent in the winds.  Martin and Janet didnít sleep much at all. Martin froze and janet was fighting her tent all night!


Finally it stopped around 4:30-5 am.  All was still and clear. Perfect conditions for Dragontail. I was pumped and so ready to get Dragontail.  After breakfast Janet and Martin let me know they were very tired from no sleep. I was thinking about heading up alone but that is no fun and I really didnít want them to wait for me. We still had to get down Asgard in the icy conditions so we all decided we would head out.

Asgard was ICY!!  We stuck to the rock and some of the trail up top but after that it got a bit sketch with the ice on the rock. I put my crampons on and started to descend the steep snow gully. They traversed too the loose rock and boulders  to the right of me till they ran out of rock and had to put their crampons on and join me in the snow.  It was too icy for glissades too.

We mad it out and headed to Leavenworth for some FOOD!!!

What a fun trip even though we had funky conditions and last minute plans. It was great to get out with Martin who is a fun, great guy!! Thanks Martin...we had a blast!!

Thanks for such a great fun weekend you two!!!

Still need to learn how to use this camera. There are so many features to learn and play with.

Stats conditions & gear....

16-17miles rt or there about.
5100' gain give or take...PIB do you have the exact?
Ice axe
crampons
helmets (didnít use)

Blowdown on trail the whole way. Should be cleared before permits start.
Solid snow starts at Colchuck lake.
Asgard pass is still full of snow.  Should be melted out in a few weeks though.
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faelynn
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 7916 | TRs | Pics

Post Tue May 29, 2007 11:46 am   
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Thanks for the stats. I thought it was long due to the stats I have here saying Dragon tail is 14 RT. hmmm maybe that book is wrong. No matter. It was fun  stuff!!

the sound is perfect! just turn up the volume folks and there ya have it!

Great shot of that sunset PIB!!!!  all are great!! thanks again!
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Opus
Wannabe



Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 3250 | TRs | Pics
Location: The big rock candy mountain
Post Tue May 29, 2007 11:51 am   
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You guys rock!  up.gif   80mph winds?  And here I was complaining about the cold breezes down at Gallagher lake. hmmm.gif   I'd love to get up into the Enchantments during the spring one of these days.
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Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)



Joined: 02 Mar 2002
Posts: 1928 | TRs | Pics
Location: ex Kennewick, Wa & Lehi Utah
Post Tue May 29, 2007 11:55 am   
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What a report and what great pics.   up.gif   .  I'll save my Enchantment trip for when I don't have to posthole,  I've done enough of that this year, time to let winter fade away gracefully.   wink.gif

--------------
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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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 6908 | TRs | Pics
Location: Wenatchee
Post Tue May 29, 2007 12:02 pm   
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Nice stuck.gif . NOAA had predicted 40 mph winds for East Slopes, the wind down in Wenatchee was around there uprooting recently planted flowers. I'm glad all our trees are staked out still. Looks like nice snow play though. up.gif
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dicey
custom title



Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 2844 | TRs | Pics
Location: giving cornices a wider berth
Post Tue May 29, 2007 12:08 pm   
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Tazz wrote:
The original plan was to climb Eldorado, Klawatti and Austera but as most all know the forecast took a dive on Friday night.

What?
hockeygrin.gif

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I'm not always sure I like being older but being less stupid has advantages.
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naturealbeing
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
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Post Tue May 29, 2007 12:16 pm   
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WOW! Another great TR and pics, I can't sit still, I'm thinking I'll be MIA as far as work goes. I just got to find myself up there before the weeks over. Shame on you two for teasing us with your escapades into the Enchantments.

Here's how I remember Colchuck Lake when Steve and I made it into the Enchantments on 10.12.06.
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ActionBetty
Im a dirty hippie!



Joined: 06 Jul 2003
Posts: 4798 | TRs | Pics
Location: kennewick, wa
Post Tue May 29, 2007 12:27 pm   
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The chants look so sweet all covered in snow... what kind of trip would it be if you didnt have those infamous freight train winds winksmile.gif

Nice work Ladies and Gents.. up.gif

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"If you're not living good, you gotta travel wide"...Bob Marley
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MCash
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Joined: 29 May 2007
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Post Tue May 29, 2007 12:48 pm   
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Great writeup and pics from both of you!  Had a really nice time.  Thanks.
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Randy
Cube Rat



Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2823 | TRs | Pics
Location: Near the Siamangs
Post Tue May 29, 2007 12:53 pm   
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Too bad I missed out on all the fun!  embarassedlaugh.gif

Fun report and the pictures tell a great story as well. I like the one with Martin on top of WT. In the food pic, you guys almost look too tired to eat!
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Joe
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Joined: 29 Jun 2002
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Location: Kent
Post Tue May 29, 2007 7:31 pm   
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Fabulous photos  slobber.gif .  I was waiting anxiously for the photos to be posted.  borank.gif

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Joe
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Damian
*******



Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2718 | TRs | Pics

Post Tue May 29, 2007 8:11 pm   
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Wow Putz & Tazz.  Talk about the dynamic dorks, I mean duo!

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Be kind to others, for everyone carries a heavy burden.   -Rev Dale Turner
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GeoTom
Representin' the 425



Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 3064 | TRs | Pics
Location: 1123.6536.5321
Post Tue May 29, 2007 8:31 pm   
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When I read the TR title I was upset that you took some sort of motorized transportation into the Enchantments.  rant.gif  Then I read the TR thoroughly  dizzy.gif

Nice job all!  up.gif

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faelynn
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Post Tue May 29, 2007 9:08 pm   
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lol.gif  Geo!!!

Martin I am glad you posted!!  Thanks for such a great time!!  I promise I will work on my snow (freak out) skills!! winksmile.gif   Icy Asgard was  great practice for me.   Until next time.... up.gif

Fun stuff folks!!  Now I have to go back and hit Dragontail in a day...  Yana?????    winksmile.gif
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Don
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Joined: 25 Apr 2005
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Post Tue May 29, 2007 9:14 pm   
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Good stuff Tazz!  Next time?  Don't pitch your tent at Camp Windy...er...Asgaard Pass!   lol.gif

Loved the pics by both you and PiB!
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