Here are some pictures of the trip I took in mid-October to the
Enchantments with Mike, Helton, Kyle and Steve... We left early from
Seattle to get to the Eight Mile Trailhead as early as possible. The
weather was truly biblical going over Steven's Pass, but just as we got to
Leavenworth, it tempered. At the trailhead, it was still a drizzle, but
looked promising. A mile into the trail, the sun started to come out, and
the hiking was very pleasant - around 50 degrees...
The hike has some scenic points, primarily from Colchuck Lake of Aasgard
Pass, the Colchuck Glacier, and Dragontail Peak. The real treat this time
of year is the Golden Larch in Aasgard Pass, and near the lakes on top.
While the Larch in the pass was at peak, the Larch at the lakes was about a week
past peak, but still pretty none the less. Click here to see some
pictures from a trip taken in 1999 when the colors were really nice...
The longest portion of the hike is the traverse of a boulder field around
Colchuck Lake, and then the scramble over Aasgard (Ass-hard) Pass. This
scramble has you covering around 2,200 feet in elevation in just over a
here to view a relief map of the hike, and here
for an elevation profile of the trail. The route marked on this trail
covers the hike from the cars to where we set camp at the Enchantments. I
tried to take a lot of pictures, but a battery that read full in a warm room at
home, was flashing and dying at 30 degrees. I hope to pilfer some pictures
from Mike, once his are developed, but I did take some video...
hike in... - We hit the trail at about
10:15... Off the bat, Kyle found he had forgotten his hiking
boots! We sent him off in Mike's car, instructing him to
return with boots - either new ones from Leavenworth, or back to
Seattle for his. He opted for the Leavenworth option. As
the rest of us took off, I quickly brought up the rear. I
caught the team as they rested at a favorite scrambling rock about a
mile in (about a thousand feet of elevation gain). After I
took this picture of the group, they took off letting me take a
quick break to fuel up. Kyle is still getting boots when this
Lake... - I
caught the group again as the trail starts around Colchuck Lake,
at around 1:00. There we broke out the radios, and they
headed off around the lake. I took this picture of the lake
from the other side as I started to head up Aasgard. I
lunched in the rocks on left...
Pass... - It's
only a little over a mile of hiking to get from the lake over
Aasgard Pass, but you must ascend over 2,200 feet of elevation
with in that mile! The pass peaks at a bit over 7,800 feet,
so there were definitely some icy conditions near the top. I
took this picture from the lake. What appears to be a
waterfall in the upper section is actually ice... Kyle
caught and passed me about half way up, and I made the pass near
6:00. Once over, it was about another mile to our camp
site... I put on my head lamp and followed the trail until I
hooked up with Helton, who then showed me where we had set up camp
on a rise off the trail. It was snowing by then, so I helped
finish setting up my tent for myself and Steven, and jumped in to
get some sleep!
|Sunrise... - The
following morning (Saturday) was crystal, as I had the
opportunity to find out due to a necessary 4:00 am
excursion. At around 6:00 am, Mike summoned everyone for
the morning sunrise ritual, Steven declined. I took the
shot to the right as the sun went behind a band of clouds, which
some extra color. Other shots are below...
here to watch video (5.8 meg) just following sunrise - in other
words, a bunch of guys standing around in the cold! Please
right-click on the link, and Save Target As to your
system for viewing...
Lake... - Below our campsite, were
great views of the Larch, and several of the lakes. I
took this from the foot of my tent of Inspiration Lake, with
Prussik Peak and the West Ridge in the background.
saucers... - During
the day, we entertained ourselves with some trekking, and
with a little Frisbee toss. The area between my tent
and Kyle's was flat, roomy and relatively protected from
wind, making a great play area. Here I catch Mike in a
toss with Prussik Peak in the background. Mike
returned the favor with a picture
of me... Then Mike picked up the camcorder,
some live action (2.1 meg).
|Dusk... - We
were hoping for some decent sunset shots, especially after
we were very well rewarded a couple years ago during an
earlier trip. Some high weather moved over us,
causing the skies to go flat. Mike climbed the ridge
near Annapurna earlier in the day to set up for some ridge
shots. I took this of Steven and Helton as we
conversed and digested out dinners. I also took this
video of the area, including a close-up of Thomas
Jefferson reading the constitution (1.6 meg)...
The next morning, real weather had moved in, along with
some dropping temperatures. Everyone then proceeded
to pack up and bug out. I took shot off of video
just before I through on my pack, and the snow really
began to fall. The video
segment can be viewed by clicking here (4 meg)...
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