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Enchantments Thru Hike

  • Mon, Sep 21, 2015
  • The Enchantments
  • Day Hiking

This was a 5 night backpack trip. The group entered at lunch and set out to Colchuck Lake. Proceeded up the Stuart Lake trail to the turn off to Colchuck Lake Trail (1599.1) The route starts off easily then becomes a slight scramble up to the Colchuck Lake as you approach the lake. Day 1. Day 2 we ascended Aasgard Pass, luckily the lake was low and we skipped the boulder field at the south end of the lake and walked along the sandy beach to the bottom of Aasgard Pass. Now the fun began. 2,300' in elevation in 1.5 miles. The path up isn't bad, but remember to stay left on the way up and follow the cairns keeping left. 2/3 of the way up the stream was flowing for water, if need and the scrambling starts as you traverse across and up the center of Aasgard. As we top Aasgard Pass, we were greeted by a mountain goat right near the top, who was also enjoying some well needed lunch. Stopped to enjoy the views of the upper enchantments and take some photos of the goat. Proceed down to Isolation Lake and set-up camp. Be sure to follow the cairns, half of the trail is walking across rock with no established route, other than the cairns. As you drop into Isolation Lake, abit of scramble as well as drop down. Setting up camp with a mother and baby goat was a slight challenge, we all learned to play together. Day 3 woke up to 2" of snow on the ground, and it snowed until 11:45 am adding another 1/2". Hung out at camp choosing to keep our gear dry including ourselves. Goats didn't emerge until dinner time, figures. Day 4. Explored Gnome Tarn, Crystal Lake, Perfection Lake, Sprite Lake and Prusik Pass. Advised the group of route down to Shield/Eerle Lake, which was planned but omitted due to snow on the ground and the descent into the lake, is like dropping down Aasgard Pass. The snow didn't melt out on Prusik Pass until after lunch. There is always next year for Shield / Eerle / Mesa / Coney and Toketie Lakes. Again all planned for routes and distances, but snow changed that plan. Day 5, With the sun out, made a beeline back to Upper Enchantments to re-take some photo's with our daypacks and returned to tear down camp and drop down. Stopped and explored Leprechaun Lake and again greeted by a goat. As you round out above Lake Viviane, you walked along a narrow granite ledge about the lake until to approach the granite section with the rebar steps as you leave the enchantments. Again slight scramble with hands and careful foot place to drop down the higher than steps. Sometimes 4-6' at a time. As we crossed the Lake Viviane outlet, there again, a goat right in the middle of the rock we need to cross. Carefully moving around and giving the goat his space, he got spooked by the crowd as proceeded across the creek within 1' of one of the participants. We dropped our packs and took off up to Temple Lake. As we dropped out of Temple Lake, again the goat right in the middle of the trail. Grabbed out packs and proceeded across the granite to leave the enchantments. Follow the cairns. The trail down to Snow Lake is mostly granite until the last 1/3 with sections of dirt and roots. Again some minor scrambling to drop down. Set-up camp at Snow Lake. Day 6. Woke up to watch Search and Rescue drop some folks off to help some lost hikers. Packed up and proceed down to the trailhead. The section as drop into Nada Lake is walking on rock slide with switch backs. Seen all to many folks lost or improperly prepared for the hike as we spent our time here.

 

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