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Hiking the Enchantments – Even Bad Weather is Good When You’re Outdoors

In early September, Mrs. Adventure joined a group of our friends on a trip up to the Enchantments in Washington. They headed up to Lake Stewart and up to Asgard Pass. Here’s her trip in photos.

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“I can see why it’s called the Enchantments. The peaks look like a child drew them; all fairy tale jags and triangles.”

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“The first night was cold, but the second night wore a warm blanket of cloud cover. The trade-off? It rained and rained and rained. The next morning we woke up to realize that we had slept not only warmly, but also extra-comfortably. We had a water-bed. The entire tent was submerged in an inch or two of water, but because of some smart people at Kelty, we were perfectly dry inside.”

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“My personal highlight was climbing Aasgard Pass from Stuart Lake. See that low point in the mountains in the distance? That’s the pass. We climbed that.”

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“We hiked from the peaceful Suart Lake to Colchuck Lake, which while a picture-perfect glacier lake with unexpected white-sand beaches, it was teeming with people, not unlike some sort of pina colada resort.”

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“The lake has more permits than Stuart and is a popular entry-way into the Core Enchantments area.”

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“A couple of us decided to continue up the pass. It was difficult to take photos from the very top, but about halfway up we stopped at a convenient rocky outcrop. Nearer the top, the lake was like a grape-sized opal shimmering at the throat of the valley. Photos never seem to quite capture the scale or grandeur of reality, though, do they? Part of the hike around the lake is a fun scramble over boulders. It would be a real challenge with a heavy pack or in the dark!”

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“We didn’t spend much time at the top. It was freezing cold. I couldn’t feel my fingers after a while and we could hardly talk through our chattering teeth. My hiking partner had been up through the Enchantments several times before, but this was the first time it had been this cold. We were also nervous that we would not make it back in time before nightfall (we did, thankfully) and we would run out of water. I was very glad for the down jacket, weatherproof jacket, and warm merino sweater I had brought, but mental note for next time? Also bring gloves, a water filter, and a headlamp. I was feeling a bit sorry for the people camped out up there. We had entered the Core permit lottery the previous morning and had not won, but at that moment, standing there at the top with the wind slicing through me, I knew I hadn’t packed enough keep off this kind of cold at night. I was glad we were camped at the lower-elevation Suart Lake!”

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The goats are super friendly…

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“There’s a reason why the Enchantments area is popular. It really has it all. Camping at Suart Lake made it more tranquil and peaceful and less strenuous than if we had hiked through the Core area or camped at Colchuck. The hikes in from the Stuart Lake Trailhead to Stuart Lake and from Stuart Lake to Colchuck Lake are easy if you take it slow, as there is a substantial elevation gain. The haul up to the pass is a rewarding challenge, with mountain goats at the top to celebrate with!”

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About Paul

A guy trying to get away from his desk so that he can fish, hike, play and just plain be in the outdoors.

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One comment

  1. Absolutely beautiful! Now I HAVE to go! Too many beautiful places, not enough time.

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