Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Cannon Mountain/Northslope Approach

An interesting and unusual loop trip through the Enchantments

  • Road rough but passable
  • This route has various terrain to be negotiated: talus, cliffs, brush, streams.

I had heard the northslope approach was very brushy, so was interested in trying a different route.  Armed with a gps track and route description from Brett Dyson, 3 of us left the Stuart Lake trailhead just before 6:30am on Saturday.  30 minutes down the trail to the footbridge.

From the footbridge, the route generally parallels the stream coming from Hel Basin (sw of Cannon).   At some point you want to cross this stream.  There are numerous brushy areas and talus to be traversed.  

After crossing the stream, we headed up to some cliffy areas and did some T5 scrambling to get above them, eventually reaching a spectacular basin (Hel basin) at about 6200'.  Last water for a while.  After that, the scrambling was much easier, as we ascended NE towards the NW ridge of Cannon.  Upon reaching the ridge, we had to traverse a few times to avoid some gendarmes.  The actual summit of Cannon is a very large boulder.  It is very exposed but grippy.

After the summit we headed down to Druid plateau (refilled water), then Prusik Pass, Asgaard Pass, and back to the trailhead, the last 4 miles in the dark.  Back at the cars around midnight so around 17 1/2 hour day.

~15 miles, ~6200' elevation gain (my watch ran out of memory at some point so just guessing)