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jeffp
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jeffp
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 10:47 am 
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I'm sure this is one of many, many Enchantments trip reports from the past weekend to come. Spectacular weather on the first weekend where permits aren't required at the height of larch season? I knew it was going to be crowded (and it was) but I couldn't give up an opportunity like this, especially since I am leaving the state in two weeks.

Since I was coming off a cold, I originally planned to relax during this trip, and started off by doing so with a leisurely hike to and camp at Colchuck. I spent the entire afternoon reading by the lake.

The next day I got up around the late dawn and headed up the pass. Aasgard was a workout, but I felt pretty good at the top. Here is where my original plan of "relaxing" fell apart a bit --- I guess I thought once I got to the Enchantments I would just "relax" there, but there is just so much to do and I had so little time.

First, I wandered around the basin for a couple hours searching for a perfect camp site. I actually went down to Perfection Lake and then came back up and then went back down again because it was getting too crowded near the top. I settled for an alcove between Inspiration and Perfection. I had a leisurely lunch and took a bunch of photos by the lake until the late afternoon. Then I had the crazy idea that I would go watch the sunset on Little Annapurna. So I went back up to the upper Enchantments one more time and sped up Annapurna where 2 parties were already. Luckily it only took me an hour to get up there, allowing me to abandoned my crazy idea and instead settle for a more practical hike back without the need for a headlamp. Another couple hours where spent in the evening taking night time photos.

I planned to visit the lower Enchantments and the Gnome tarn the next morning but when I awoke, I spent another couple hours taking photos in the good light. I raced up to Gnome tarn, only to end up a Prusik pass by mistake. By the time I reached Gnome tarn, it was almost noon, so I decided the lower Enchantments would have to wait until another trip. In retrospect, I probably could have gone out via Snow Lakes and hitched a ride with one of the many parties doing just that, but I didn't think of that in my rush.

I spent my time on the trip out of the basin (back via Aasgard), as much due to lack of energy as to enjoy the scenery. smile.gif Then, at the pass, a mountain goat showed up to pose for pictures, so another 30 minutes was lost there. The rest of the way back was uneventful, though I have to say, Aasgard is brutal with a pack. There were also 2 or 3 steep spots that were icy and required use of hands and careful feet placement on the trail. The light level dropped to pitch black even before sunset on the Stuart Lake trail so I spent 30 minutes hiking out via headlamp.

All-in-all, the Enchantments live up to their name and 2.5 days is not nearly enough time to take in their splendor.

I took nearly 20GB of photos and I'll try to add more as I process them. Here's a few:

Reading by Colchuck Lake
Reading by Colchuck Lake
Mouse steels some of my hot chocolate
Mouse steels some of my hot chocolate
Camp by Colchuck
Camp by Colchuck
Icy streams on Aasgard Pass
Icy streams on Aasgard Pass
Clearing clouds above Isolation Lake
Clearing clouds above Isolation Lake
Icy Isolation
Icy Isolation
Rock
Rock
The main attraction: Perfection Lake
The main attraction: Perfection Lake
Ile of Rune
Ile of Rune
Larch
Larch
Little Annapurna summit
Little Annapurna summit
Late at the top of Little Annapurna
Late at the top of Little Annapurna
Glacier from Little Annapurna
Glacier from Little Annapurna
Self-photo and the Enchantments Basin from Little Annapurna
Self-photo and the Enchantments Basin from Little Annapurna
Sunset hiking back to camp
Sunset hiking back to camp
Night time skyline
Night time skyline
Startrails above Perfection and Prusik
Startrails above Perfection and Prusik
Camp #2
Camp #2
Moonrise over Perfection
Moonrise over Perfection
Sunrise
Sunrise
Larchy morning
Larchy morning
Prusik at sunrise
Prusik at sunrise
Moon over larch
Moon over larch
Perfection
Perfection
On the way to Prusik pass
On the way to Prusik pass
View from Prusik pass
View from Prusik pass
Gnome tarn on ice
Gnome tarn on ice
Self-portrait on frozen Gnome tarn
Self-portrait on frozen Gnome tarn
Enchanted toilet
Enchanted toilet
Dragon tail on the way out
Dragon tail on the way out
Goat and Colchuck Lake
Goat and Colchuck Lake
Goat and Cashmere
Goat and Cashmere
What are you laughing at?
What are you laughing at?
Cashmere over Colchuck
Cashmere over Colchuck

Rest here: http://picasaweb.google.com/jeffrey.a.pang/Enchantments2008

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Backpacker Joe
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 10:51 am 
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Great report and great pics JP.  Thanks. up.gif

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

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Matt
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Joined: 29 Jan 2007
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Matt
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 10:55 am 
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Great photos, especially the evening and night shots.  I like the variety of subjects and compositions.
Surprising to see the larches still have that much color; it's been a late season for them this year.
Interesting to see how well Gnome Tarn reflects even while frozen.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Gil
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Gil
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 11:12 am 
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Great photos there!

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Schmidt Alti-Dude
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 11:30 am 
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Some really great photos.  I especially liked the pano of The Main Attraction: RUNE lake.

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Anything stated by me in no way reflects the attitudes or opinions of my wife
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GeoTom
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 11:44 am 
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Nice TR  up.gif


jeffp wrote:
but I couldn't give up an opportunity like this, especially since I am leaving the state in two weeks.

Hopefully somewhere just as scenic? Or at least close?

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TrailPair
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 12:03 pm 
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slobber.gif  slobber.gif  slobber.gif  larch....more larch!!!

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iHeartTheChallenge
Marnie and Justin



Joined: 23 May 2008
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iHeartTheChallenge
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 2:46 pm 
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Wow you took some beautiful photos!  up.gif My favorite is "Late at the top of Little Annapurna"...it has so much texture and detail in it I had to stare at it for a couple of minutes!

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JimK
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 2:52 pm 
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Very nice trip report. Looking forward to more reports from you.

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jeffp
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jeffp
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 5:22 pm 
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Thanks for the comments everyone. It was definitely a fitting end to my summer in Washington.

Schmidt Alti-Dude wrote:
Some really great photos.  I especially liked the pano of The Main Attraction: RUNE lake.

OK; I just went with what the map said.  wink.gif

GeoTom wrote:
Hopefully somewhere just as scenic? Or at least close?

My current home is Pittsburgh, PA, which I suppose has some nice colors this time of year, but not very many mountains. I may make a trip to the Sierras on my way back as I usually do when I go to the Bay Area to visit family. But I'm finishing my PhD soon enough, so I might just end up here permanently.  smile.gif

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GeoTom
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 5:28 pm 
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jeffp wrote:
Schmidt Alti-Dude wrote:
Some really great photos.  I especially liked the pano of The Main Attraction: RUNE lake.

OK; I just went with what the map said.  wink.gif

You're looking at the wrong map then  hockeygrin.gif

Here's the correct map

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jeffp
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jeffp
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 5:57 pm 
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Ah. I knew there should have been more fitting names for these places. smile.gif

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MtnManic
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 7:41 pm 
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Yummy photos - if I could just haul my aging body back there and time it right for the larches.  I've been there once, mid-Sept., 1990 or so and it was windy and cloudy - I was afraid our tent would blow right into the lake and sail to the other side!

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Backpacking: limited to one pack at a time.  Cameras: limited to as many as I can carry.
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