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 mile.  Click 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...

The 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 was taken...

Mike, Helton and Steven on the trail up...

Colchuck 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...

Cohlchuck Lake looking towards the trail valley...

Aasgard 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!

Aasgard Pass as seen from the top of Cohlchuck Lake...

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...
Sunrise series shots - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  The 6th shot is the one to the right...
Silhouette of Mike at Dawn.  Due to the cold, the flash was pretty weak, but still some nice colors...
Mike took this shot of me...
Here's Kyle and Helton...
A nice shot of Dragontail with morning light...

Click 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...

Sunrise from in the Enchantments...

Inspiration 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.  

Morning light over Inspiration Lake...

Flying 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, and caught some live action (2.1 meg).

Tossing a frisbee in the Enchantments...

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)...

Steven and Helton looking towards Dragontail at dusk...

Heading down... - 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)...

Weather moves in as we leave the Enchantments...

Back to Tom in the mountains...

 

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