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treord8 05-22-2017 03:34 PM

Colchuck Lake May 20, 2017
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The road up to the TH (Eightmile Road) opened up on May 15 (permits for camping in Enchantments also opened the same day) and we wanted to check out Leavenworth so headed down there for the long weekend. Road was in pretty good condition, minor washboard areas and quite a few small potholes but no issues making it up in any vehicle.

First 1-1.5 km had little snow, then quite a few intermittent snow patches until branch of Colchuck Lake and Lake Stuart Trails, and then constant snow from there until Colchuck Lake. Bootpack was good the whole way and we started at around 7 am so snow was pretty solid, but not icy, the whole way up. Lots of people wearing micro spikes, we packed our snowshoes but never put them on, and our hiking boots were sufficient for traction the whole way. Snow was 1-2 m deep from trail split up to the top, some postholing if stepping off trail too far.

Sky was pretty cloudy around the top when we got to the lake, but after cooking some oatmeal and lounging for a bit, we were rewarded with the weather clearing and the amazing views of Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak. Lots of skiers skinning up Triple Couloirs and skiing down, and a group snowshoeing up Aasgard Pass provided some entertainment while we were at the lake.

Snow was starting to get sloppy on the way down and I imagine it will only get worse in the next few days with the hot weather. Not too busy while we were on the way up and we actually had the lake to ourselves for around half an hour, but many people were on the way up as we were descending.

Tons of people bouldering and sport-climbing along Icicle Road, campsites were all full and there were hordes of people back in Leavenworth, but it was still a fun atmosphere. Headed out to Ancient Lakes to camp there for the night afterwards.

sidetrip 05-23-2017 10:48 AM

Looks a little different from when we were backpacking through there one autumn a couple years back. One of my favorite places on planet earth the core area is. Thanks for the reminder.

Irkutianin 05-23-2017 02:38 PM

Sound like Core Zone will be under snow until end of July.... I was planning to get there as a day hike (I did not win lottery AGAIN) late June-early July for very early start to get to Core Zone around lunch. Now I'm thinking it should be end of July.
Thank you for the update!
Same area - end of June last year:

Wandering Tree Frog 05-23-2017 03:56 PM

Thanks for the report. It reminds me I need to get on triple couloirs.

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