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HitTheTrail
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 6:18 am 
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This from today's Wenatchee paper

Demand for Enchantments permits continues to grow; lottery opens Feb. 15

YAKIMA — If your summer plans call for an overnight trip to the Enchantments near Leavenworth, mark Feb. 15 on your calendar. It’s the first day the online lottery is open for permits to spend the night in the backcountry area.

The area is part of the Alpine Lake Wilderness in the Cascades, and demand for the permits has increased dramatically over the past decade. A total of 2,300 people applied in 2012, according to the U.S. Forest Service. That grew to 24,614 in 2019, with Forest Service awarding 2,060 permits. The Core Enchantments area was the most popular, with the chance of getting a permit at 1.9%.
Carly Reed, wilderness and climbing program manager, said the lottery helps protect fragile resources in the Alpine Lakes area.

“It also helps preserve the wilderness character for generations to come,” she said in a news release.
The online lottery runs from Feb. 15-29 on recreation.gov for backpackers, horse riders and outdoor enthusiasts to camp overnight between May 15 and Oct. 31. Permits are required to spend the night, a Forest Service news release said. The Enchantments are divided into five zones, and applications are limited to one per person.

There are a few changes this year:

Group size and alternate group leader.

• People applying for permits in the Core Enchantments area need to indicate group size. The entry quota is allocated by person, not group, as it is in the other four zones. Also, an alternate group leader must be identified during the lottery application process. Alternate group leaders may not apply for a permit or reserve a permit in the same season, and alternate group leaders cannot be added or changed after the application is submitted.

Parking.

• Parking will only be allowed in the Eightmiile Trailhead and Stuart Lake parking lots.
Following the pre-season lottery, any remaining permits are available on a first come, first served basis through the recreation.gov advance reservation system. Only a few unreserved permits are available on a daily “walk-in lottery” basis held each morning during the summer at the ranger station in Leavenworth.
Not all dates and zones for the season are taken during the lottery and any open dates available can be reserved after the lottery ends. Lottery results will be released April 1. Self-issue day use permits area available at trailheads.

For additional trip planning or lottery information see the Enchantment Area Wilderness Permit site https://go.usa.gov/xd4Cf or call the Wenatchee River Ranger Station at 548-2550.
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Jack's Mom
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 6:26 am 
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Am I reading this correctly - "No parking at the Snow Lakes trailhead"?
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Backpacker Joe
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 6:31 am 
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Jack's Mom wrote:
Am I reading this correctly - "No parking at the Snow Lakes trailhead"?

What the heck?  Are they funneling everyone over Aasgard Pass?  That cant be accurate.

Im looking for a permit.  Where are they?  They sure dont make it easy to find.

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Jack's Mom
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 6:35 am 
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Ha, maybe that's a way of discouraging applicants!
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fjoro
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 9:40 am 
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I don't think it's accurate.

The Forest Service pages for Colchuck and Stuart trailheads both say "Parking along FS Road 7601 is prohibited. Parking will only be allowed in the Eightmile Trailhead and Stuart Lake Parking Lots." (Their emphasis.)

The Snow page advises "If you are doing through hike out Colchuck Lake trail and parking a vehicle at Stuart / Colchuck Trailhead, see NEW PARKING RESTRICTION." Otherwise there's nothing about the Snow lot being unavailable.

Seems more like they're trying to manage the parking situation on the road near the Stuart/Colchuck lots, assigning the pain to through hikers. Good news for the shuttles, though.

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RandyHiker
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 10:07 am 
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I suspect that the notice is focused on the changes and the significant change is the erection of "no parking" signs along the Eightmile road.   I suspect that this also reflects that a very high percentage of Enchantments visitors use the Stuart Lake trailhead and go via Aasgard and few go via Snow Creek.

decades ago Harvey Manning wrote:
Going via Aasgard is not only dangerous but in very bad taste.  The fad-followers, the in-crowd wannabes, deem the Snow Creek approach demeaning, want to go the classy and sassy way, the route of the big kids.

A wilderness-mature adult ascends ritually and respectfully from the picturesque lower basin to the austere upper basin and at last to the cold snows and stern stones of Aasgard. To start with the ice cream and work through the meatballs and potatoes to the soup is not esthetic.
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Pahoehoe
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 10:43 am 
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That's about as elitist as anything I've ever heard...

Also probably equally or more dangerous to go down Aasgard than up it.
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InFlight
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 11:19 am 
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Six years of applications, received Eightmile once my second year.
It seems like they should have some point system for number of unsuccessful applications, and Washington State Resident.

I’ll be trying once again...

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MtnGoat
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 11:24 am 
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Pahoehoe wrote:
That's about as elitist as anything I've ever heard...

Also probably equally or more dangerous to go down Aasgard than up it.

I agree

I also question the logic of not allowing swapping leaders. They operate on a headcount basis, as long as the headcount does not change there shouldn't be any difference.

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Cyclopath
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 11:30 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
decades ago Harvey Manning wrote:
Going via Aasgard is not only dangerous but in very bad taste.  The fad-followers, the in-crowd wannabes, deem the Snow Creek approach demeaning, want to go the classy and sassy way, the route of the big kids.

A wilderness-mature adult ascends ritually and respectfully from the picturesque lower basin to the austere upper basin and at last to the cold snows and stern stones of Aasgard. To start with the ice cream and work through the meatballs and potatoes to the soup is not esthetic.


What a chump.  Manning, I mean, not Randy.
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Cyclopath
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 11:41 am 
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Jack's Mom wrote:
Am I reading this correctly - "No parking at the Snow Lakes trailhead"?

When they say parking is only allowed at Eightmile and Stuart, what they mean is you can only park at the trailheads themselves, not alongside Eightmile Road.  This was changed last September.
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BigBrunyon
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 11:47 am 
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This is gonna be my year. I HAVE to win this year!!! If I don't win I'm gonna write a letter DEMANDING overnight access!!!! Will NOT take no for an answer. As a big name, I deserve this!!!

Look, Harvey Mannings approach is for the old and conservative types who take 3 days just to get up to the Core Zone via the Snow Approach!! Its outdated in this competitive social climate of the modern era!!

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RandyHiker
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 11:49 am 
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I had a conversation with Bill Prater on the summit of Mt Daniel a number of years ago (chance encounter) he lamented the crowding, the permit system and the red tape involved with the Enchantments.   He suggested visiting the Beartooth range in Montana instead which is "Like 100 Enchantments, with 1/100th the people, too bad it is such a long drive"  Dang -- I haven't gotten around to that yet -- maybe this summer.
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Jack's Mom
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 12:15 pm 
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Something I've been reminded of is that there are a lot of hikes in this area that do not require permits and they are just as beautiful as the Enchants.
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Stefan
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 12:16 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
I had a conversation with Bill Prater on the summit of Mt Daniel a number of years ago (chance encounter) he lamented the crowding, the permit system and the red tape involved with the Enchantments.   He suggested visiting the Beartooth range in Montana instead which is "Like 100 Enchantments, with 1/100th the people, too bad it is such a long drive"  Dang -- I haven't gotten around to that yet -- maybe this summer.

Don't let people know!  smile.gif

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