Enchantment Lakes, Oct 8-10th - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Default Enchantment Lakes, Oct 8-10th

Spent a great 3 day weekend exploring the Enchantment Lakes area. Ever since I read a report on this site a couple of years ago I've been wanting to go for the 'golden week'. The larch are in fine form right now and look great against the snow.

I showed up at the Leavenworth Ranger Station at 7:45am on Saturday for the daily permit lottery. I snagged one of two available permits for the Snow Lakes zone and dayhiked in from there (roughly 1 hour approach to the core Enchantments from camp). Otherwise I would have faced 8 to 1 odds for a core Enchantment permit and 5 to 1 on a Colchuck zone. Plan C was to dayhike the whole circuit but I'm glad it didn't come to that as I'd have had no time to really enjoy the place..the amount of disheveled headlamp hikers in trail runners I saw was impressive. I do appreciate the management of this park, campsites are cleverly placed out of sight of each other and ample hidden and compact toilets seem to be doing their job. I hear that the Colchuck approach via Aasgard pass is a bit tricky at the moment as a mixture of shallow fresh snow and ice is turning a few people back.

The weather stayed mostly clear, heavy rain and sleet through Monday left the trail a bit muddy but otherwise still in great condition; I was a bit surprised (or maybe I should say my legs were) by the 6.5 miles of fairly steady switchbacks up to Snow Lakes..I hadn't researched it as I was expecting to get a permit for Colchuck..the approach to Lake Viviane from upper Snow Lake is mostly snow free..a bit of slippery granite here and there.

I scrambled up Little Annapurna and had stunning views of the whole basin..gaiters would have been nice as the snow is mostly soft. Had to be careful for loose boulders under the snow and lots of ice on the granite.

Lots of goat droppings but unfortunately none of the famed urine-thirsty goats, just a few rabbits, ptarmigan and chipmunks..and the mouse that woke me by sitting on my forehead and depositing a turd on my toque. I was grateful for the turd as it confirmed that it was a mouse I felt and not some large toothy beast sniffing my head.

If I make it back for another visit, I am really keen on checking out the falls coming out of Lake Viviane and thundering down a narrow groove in the head wall above Snow Lakes..a clear view would have required some exploratory scrambling and I was running out of daylight.

Who knew that Washington had an imitation Bavarian town complete with its own Oktoberfest. I was scratching my head as I pulled in at 12am to hordes of drunks roaming the main drag/highway and a McDonald's with false ornate-wood facade.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 11:57 PM
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Beautiful pictures,love this


And this


Sweet!!!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 03:15 AM
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Great score on the permit weegit! The combination of golden larches and fresh snow is well captured.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 07:17 AM
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Stunning pictures!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 08:46 AM
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WOW! Beautiful!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 06:08 PM
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Absolutely gorgeous pictures...thanks for posting!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 06:09 PM
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Stunning pictures. Some look like paintings[8D]
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 07:33 PM
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Fortune smiled on you, and your photos rock!
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 05:39 PM
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I'm wondering if I passed by you at all? I was with a group of 7 that camped at Sprite lake from the 6th-10th, but my friend & I left on 8th, via the death march out Snow Lakes. The people we saw coming out on the 6th had been battered and their spirits were broken, the weather had been horrid the previous day. We had ok weather, but on a sunny, Saturday during peak larch season the hoardes came out! Wow - what a lot of people!

It was very pretty up there with all the snow, congrats on the permit score, it is such a great place to explore.

Karen
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 06:59 PM
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Sweet shots of the Golden Larches and the snow, a beautiful combination. The lakes have the right name.

K
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by David and Karen

I'm wondering if I passed by you at all? I was with a group of 7 that camped at Sprite lake from the 6th-10th, but my friend & I left on 8th, via the death march out Snow Lakes. The people we saw coming out on the 6th had been battered and their spirits were broken, the weather had been horrid the previous day. We had ok weather, but on a sunny, Saturday during peak larch season the hoardes came out! Wow - what a lot of people!

It was very pretty up there with all the snow, congrats on the permit score, it is such a great place to explore.

Karen
It's quite possible..I met quite a few friendly folk on the way up to Snow Lakes; I was solo. I was setting up camp at Upper Snow Lake around 2:30pm on the 8th. I spoke to a few people on the push up to Lake Viviane around 4:30pm...lots of gassed trail runners coming over from Colchuck. I think the weather forecast kept the numbers down on Sunday on Monday as I saw few people apart from a huge day hiking group of around 15 or so. I had fresh tracks up Annapurna and the upper lakes were deserted. Sprite lake was one of my favourites! I would have loved to spend more time soaking in the silence.
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