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melc
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PostFri Sep 13, 2019 8:49 am 
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As a female myself, hiking solo makes me worry. But that said I do actually go into the mountains a lot by myself.  Usually I go where there are plenty of other hikers but sometimes I don't see anyone else. I hike, run, ski and berry pick alone often.

I think the worry comes more from safety issues I could potentially encounter while running in town. But those things really dont happen in the mountains. But I stay aware and ready when I'm alone. I never use headphones.

In the enchantments there will be lots of other people. It should be fine.
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kiliki
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PostSun Sep 15, 2019 1:13 pm 
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I've never done this hike, and I doubt I ever will. I don't want to work that hard only to bump in to hundreds of people and hundreds of piles of human feces (as rangers found this summer). So far I think you've gotten good advice, that the issues you might face have nothing to do with being a solo woman. I wonder if anyone who has done this can expand a bit on how this is different than a regular trail backpack. I'm not sure that's clear from trail descriptions that are out there. I know a number of experienced hikers who told me that this was way harder than they were led to believe and that they'd never do it again. Numerous people have died on the scramble up or down Aasgard Pass. The boulder fields on the other side sound hellish. There's no real trail for parts. A friend who did this last month said the goats were aggressive. Maybe someone can comment on the difficulty of the hike for a regular hiker (I guess we don't know if the OP does or doesn't have navigation or scrambling skills). That's what would worry me the most (well, after weather).
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun Sep 15, 2019 2:01 pm 
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kiliki wrote:
Numerous people have died on the scramble up or down Aasgard Pass.

I think that's always early in the year when they fall into an unseen hole in the snow.  Absolute non-issue currently.
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hbb
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PostSun Sep 15, 2019 2:30 pm 
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kiliki wrote:
Maybe someone can comment on the difficulty of the hike for a regular hiker

It's not difficult. Thousands of inexperienced hikers manage the 18 mile thru-hike every summer. Routefinding is a non-issue for all but the most stupid; for the most part, just follow the conga line or the cairns people insist on building every 25 feet. Aasgard does have significant elevation gain, but so does pretty much every other trail departing from a trailhead in the Icicle Creek valley.

Every few years someone does get killed there, but that goes for a number of popular trails in the Cascades as well. As is always the case, you are at far greater risk driving to the trailhead than at any other time on a backpacking trip
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Grannyhiker
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PostMon Sep 16, 2019 10:26 am 
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Never even thought of trying the Enchantments.  Maybe I could have done it ten years ago, but even then I found the mere contemplation of the distance and elevation gain daunting.  Plus, over my 70-some year backpacking career, I've seen places equally beautiful and less crowded.  YMMV, obviously!

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As is always the case, you are at far greater risk driving to the trailhead than at any other time on a backpacking trip

I'd like to suggest that driving home from the trailhead is far riskier.  Fatigue, anxiety to get home, that beer you couldn't resist stopping for on the way, Sunday afternoon/evening traffic. . .

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey
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Pahoehoe
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PostMon Sep 16, 2019 4:42 pm 
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You have to cross a boulder field.  It's not a huge deal, and probably not life threatening if you fall unless you are extremely unlucky.  Its mostly hopping from one to another, and maybe sitting on your butt and scooting down a few times.

Aasgard Pass, if you stay on route, which is easy this time of year is just steep.  There are one or two places you might need to use your hands to help pull yourself up, but it's not super exposed if you stay on route.

Its physically hard, but not technically hard.

On the other side, between Snow Lakes and the Core there are big sloping sheets of granite but they are grippy and some have rebar in some places.

This scared me the most because while not as steep, falling off would likely be deadly.


It's not technically difficult and anyone with a reasonable amount of coordination plus fitness can do it...
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Backpacker Joe
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PostMon Sep 16, 2019 7:46 pm 
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Ive been up there Eight times.  I try and put in for permits every year, and its been 19 years since Ive gotten any.  Ive been in via Snow lakes twice, and Aasgard Pass six times.  If I'm lucky enough to get permits again, Ill go in and out Aasgard.  Frankly, its more fun!  I would certainly suggest that anyone who loves hiking and hasn't been up there to regularly put in for permits. You won't regret it.

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MangyMarmot
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PostWed Sep 18, 2019 7:36 am 
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I think the danger and difficulty of this hike get overblown. Probably because a lot of inexperienced hikers are drawn by the reputation. Then they are surprised when it's considerably harder than walking around Green Lake. I don't think anyone with any significant hiking experience would have trouble following the trail or staying safe in decent weather in the summer.

Off season things get more challenging. You are in the mountains at almost 8000 ft after all.
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Sep 18, 2019 11:55 am 
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I wouldn't want to negotiate the re-bar embedded boulders on a wet day (or even a dry day for that matter; didn't like it one bit), but that danger isn't specific to solo females.

And from what I recall, there's a butt-over-the-cliff-grab-a-tree- move to get there. Traveling the boulders around Colchuck - not any more dangerous than boulders elsewhere; but that re-bar - there's nowhere to go but dead, and you don't even have to mis-step. It's just slick as snot.

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schifferj
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PostSun Sep 22, 2019 2:35 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
but that re-bar - there's nowhere to go but dead, and you don't even have to mis-step. It's just slick as snot.
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There IS a way, slightly longer, around that rebar section. It commences about midway up the east side of Leprechaun Lake and ends at the bottom of the rebar section or, alternatively, down at the toilet just above the Lake Viviane Outlet. There are more and more cairns along the way now than when I first found it. It is much safer on snowy, cold, frozen icy days.
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