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Home Forums TR Archive Washington Enchantment Lakes / Prusik Peak (8/13/08-8/14/08)

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    Well here’s another summer TR for ya. The Mrs. and I decided to try and head up to the Enchantments Lakes area and climb Prusik Peak. I say try because you need to get a permit to be in this area and they only allow so many. You can apply for them earlier in the year and go through a lottery system or you can show up the morning of and try to get a permit as they have a set number per day that they give out this way. If enough people show up then they have a lottery and if you don’t get one oh well, hopefully you have a back-up plan. Anyway there were 7 groups that showed up and the lottery that day allowed for 5 groups, well we were one of the two groups that didn’t get our names pulled, but karma paid off for us as a group of 3 that we had made friends with while waiting asked the ranger if they could just add us to t heir permit and sure enough the ranger said yes. Sweet we were in, only catch was we just had to camp wherever they camped, luckily we liked them. 😀

    Anyway there are two ways into the Enchantment Lakes area (you can do the hike as a through hike with a car on either end). One way is about 7 miles with a steady uphill and not very exciting hiking, the other is to hike to Colchuck Lake and then up over Aasgard Pass. This way is a lot more aesthetic hiking however Aasgard Pass is a bit of a grind, you gain about 2200 vertical feet in about 3/4 of a mile. We chose to go in and out this way. Once in the Enchantment Lakes area it is very scenic and unlike anywhere else in the Cascades. From Aasgard Pass to the other end is less than 2 miles and an elevation change of about 700 feet so its really mellow hiking and extremely scenic. We hiked about 10 miles to where we camped (the group we ended up with was doing it as a through hike so they wanted to camp close to the other end, which meant a bit of back tracing for us the next day, but oh well). We were going to try and scramble up Little Anapurna after setting up camp but we were too wiped so just decided to relax for the evening plus we had a long day the next day.

    We got up the next morning to perfect weather, had some breakfast, packed up camp, said so long and thanks to our new friends. We had to backtrack about a mile to the turn off to Prusik Pass and then about another mile to the base of the climb so we were there pretty quickly. A group of 6 passed by our camp as we were packing up that were doing the same route we were doing so we wanted to try and get ahead so we didn’t have to wait but we weren’t fast enough, but they let us is in after their first group of two headed up so that was nice. It was actually nice to have someone ahead to help with the route finding if need be anyway. Took us about 3 hours to get to the summit. Hung out for a bit, ate some food, took in the views and then started our rap down. On the way down I kept saying man I feel light, like I was missing something but didn’t think much about it. On the last rap (5 raps to the bottom) Leann looked up at me and said huh where is the rack, then it hit me like a ton of bricks oh it would still be on the summit. What a bonehead move. :banghead: 😥 :banghead: I couldn’t believe we (well I) had done that. Long story short the group behind us noticed what I had done and brought it down for us, but I had to wait over an hour for it. In my defense the group behind us had put their packs down right on top of the rack so I didn’t see it. With the rack now retrieved we headed back to where we had stashed the packs and started our way out. We ended up hiking out in the dark because of my brilliance. It was a long day and we were both exhausted by the time we got to the car but it was a great trip and a great climb. Some people actually do this climb in a day which is crazy as its about 10 miles in (either way you do it its not an easy 10 miles), then climb, rap and then 10 miles back out to the car.

    Ok, enough blabbing here’s some photos. I was trying out my new polarizing filter so I had a bunch of photos that didn’t come out very good or like I had hoped. Need to experiment with it a bit more I guess.

    Colchuck Lake, Dragontail Peak, Aasgard pass on the left, Colchuck “glacier” on the right

    Colchuck Lake

    Colchuck Lake, Aasgard Pass in the background

    Leann and Colchuck Lake

    Starting up Aasgard Pass

    Part way up Aasgard Pass

    It was hot in the sun, the cold rock felt good.

    Looking back down Aasgard to Colchuck Lake, Leann

    Finally getting to the top of the Pass

    Leann at the top of the pass. Backside of Dragontail in the background.

    Enchantment Lakes area

    Prusik Peak in the background (our route is the ridge on the left)


    We had a visitor

    Morning sun

    Heading back towards Prusik Pass (little Anapunra in the background)

    Leann approaching the top of the 4th pitch.

    Leann at belay for 5th pitch

    Leann topping out 5th pitch

    View from summit

    Leann and I on the summit

    Back at the base, route in background

    Meadow below Prusik Pass, Little Anapurna in the background

    On the way out, Prusik in the background

    Saw this little guy towards the bottom of Aasgard

    If anyone cares to see more photos you can do so at


    Awesome John, congrats on the climb and summit. Nice they returned the rack to you guys, I could easily see some people in that situation saying “Holy crap, booty find of the century!” and not bothering to do the right thing.


    @kjkrow wrote:

    Awesome John, congrats on the climb and summit. Nice they returned the rack to you guys, I could easily see some people in that situation saying “Holy crap, booty find of the century!” and not bothering to do the right thing.

    No kidding huh? Talk about a booty find. We had made friends with them at the base and were talking to their group along the whole route. I was able to yell up to them from the bottom when I realized what I had done and they replied “Did you forget something up here?” so it was all good. Just a dumbass move that’s all.


    One time I drove 2 hours for a mtb ride and forgot my front tire. :banghead:


    You’re killing it with the summer TRs jcocci! Another great one. :thumpsup:

    Really cool pics. What better partner too.

    @Ecobrad wrote:

    One time I drove 2 hours for a mtb ride and forgot my front tire. :banghead:

    That’s why they call it dope. 😉


    Great pics – thanks for sharing!

    @bcrider wrote:

    That’s why they call it dope. 😉

    One time I drove 3 hours on a splitboard trip before I realized that I forgot my splitboard. Same reason…

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.


    @SanFrantastico wrote:

    Same reason…

    Which is compounded by a factor of 10 when Patroller 420…errr Tex comes along on the trip. :mrgreen:

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