The Washington State Trip report section is even more of a graveyard than the B.C. one so I decided to just put this up in here. Shortened 5min vid for those that don't want to read
On Thursday the night before I left for this trip I was playing a softball game in Richmond then popped in at the folks place to let them know where I was going and to grab some sponges for the back of my car and left North Delta at 9pm. No border lineup on the way down, it started to rain heavy around Stevens Pass and the temp was down around 4 degrees. But I felt confident in my weather window for the next day. It took just over 3.5hrs of driving to arrive at the trailhead. I crawled into the back of my Honda Accord and went to sleep around 1am, it was a terrible sleep in the back so at some point I crawled back into the front seat and managed to get somewhat of a better sleep. 3 1/2 hours of crappy sleep I woke up, had some breakfast and took off. 2km into the trail I realized I didn't have my ice axe. FUCK! so I ditched everything and ran back, grabbed it then power hiked back to my gear.
It is a well maintained trail all the way to Colchuck lake. It's about 2,600ft in gain and they say 2hrs or more. I arrived at the lake in 1.5hrs and took the shot I"m pretty sure everyone takes of Dragontail peak on the left and Colchuck on the right. Passing by many campsites, it's a lottery style system for overnight camping in this area and very popular among the Instagram crowds. Near the end of the lake I got my very first up close and personal view of 2 mountain goats! Regardless of how the day went that made the trip. The overnight temps were very cold, everything was frozen solid, including my hands in which I wished I had brought some light gloves.
After the end of the lake, you get your look upto Aasgard Pass, it's a serious plod in a short amount of distance. People have died on this slope because in the spring time they decide to hike up the right hand side on the snow and end up falling in some pretty deep holes undercut by waterfalls and waterflow. I stayed well left and followed the few fingers of snow left whenever possible to avoid the rock plod. After a serious workout I started arrived at Aasgard Pass and get a look at the upper snowfield. The route aiming for the obviously low point and is just one awkward angled snow traverse. There was some recent fresh snowfall and the angle was great enough to warrant finally putting on the crampons.
Once I reached the saddle I looked across and for some reason thought I read online the far end was the high point so with that in mind I carried on traversing to go it. I would later find out that if I would have just turned right here and hiked up a few hundred feat I would have been on the summit using nothing more hands in pockets rather than difficulties I would soon have to work through.
Traversing high along the ridge nearing the end getting closer to what I think is the top, I end up at the top of a very steep snow chute and slabby rock section with a moat preventing me from just jumping on it. I had to down climb an exposed class 3 section to find a way onto the snow lower down and then head up the 45 - 50 short steep snow chute.
So after all this excitement, I finally get to end of this peak and look over at where I came from. SON OF A BITCH I was right below the actual summit. So I down climb what I just came up and traverse back where I came from and took the nice easy class 2 stretch to the high point.
The weather and views were A+. I had the time on my hands and I was tempted to go back to where I came from and drop down Pandora's Box and head up Colchuck and then down to the lake, but I really didn't want to go back where I was already so I decided to just be happy with the 1 peak and head back the same way I came up. You can see the snow chute rear left of me that I went up. ( Pandora's Box on the other side)
Not much to report on the way down, but closer to the lake I started running into the instagram crowds who like to hike upto Aasguard Pass for views and glissading. I can see how accidents happen with some of the types I saw heading up. I had a fairly long break with a younger group from Leavenworth that was up there for 3 nights camping, smoking from bongs, sitting in hammocks and skiing the Colchuck Glacier. As I was about to leave the last view of the lake I ran into this big fella lumbering along the trail. I gladly steeped aside and let him pass. Very cool!
Car to Car was 9.5hrs that's including some hefty breaks. 25km and just over 6,000ft is the stats, but because of my ice axe error it was 29km. I drove into Leavenworth, had a pint at Gustavs then drove back home to Tsawwassen, passed out, woke up at 7am for a 5KM Running Race in West Van at 9:30am, had some hydration afterwards at White Spot around 11:30am, then went to the ball park for some more hydration. You can sleep when you're dead right?