Enchantments - Alpine Lakes Wilderness Miles: 35.3 Gain: 11000' Map: GT Mount Stuart # 209
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Aasgard & Prussic Pass, Gnome Tarn, Crystal Lake, Little Annapurna, East & Far East Dragontail, Enchantment
Peak, Cannon Mountain and McClellan Peak with camps at Isolation, Inspiration and Snow Lakes.   Whew!
It's not easy to condense 5 days in what is arguably the jewel of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness into a short trip report, but here goes - just the facts.

Adrianne slipped an application under the door of the Wenatchee River RS last March 1st and a month later was notified by mail that she'd been awarded permits for 8 people for 5 days at the end of July. She was kind enough to invite me to tag along on one of those permits.

The plan as developed would be to make a loop of it, entering the upper Enchantments basin via Aasgard Pass on the first day and exiting via Snow Lakes on the last.

The night before our trip found some of us camped at lower Johnny Creek Camp on Icicle Creek Road and some in an 'upgraded' room in Leavenworth.   Neil parked his car at the Snow Creek TH (our exit) caught a ride with the hotel group to met us at the Stuart Lakes/Colchuck Lake TH.  We meant to get going a little earlier, but as it was we were hiking up the trail by 9:00a.  I think it took us about 7 hours to make the top of Aasgard Pass. 

We camped just above a tarn near Isolation Lake that first night and the T-Storms forecast for Sunday night arrived a little later, remaining just far enough off that we got none of the rain and wind but all of the beautiful sunset colors in the clouds.  The next morning we left camp and headed for Little Annapurna (LA).  No problems with the scramble.  Open easy slopes and acres of granite slabs all lead to the top.  Great views all around but those south across Ingalls Creek into the Teanaway were the most interesting to me.  I've stood on most of the visible peaks over there and gazed up at the Stuart Range many times wondering when I'd get a chance to visit.  Now I have.

From LA we dropped down along the NW ridge, contoured around an intermediate high point and crossed the Snow Creek Glacier high at the saddle.  We traversed right at the far side of the saddle and climbed steep scree and snow to the ridge top.  A better way was later discovered and that was to go slightly left from the saddle and climb to a low spot in the ridge. 

Once on top we crossed a part of Dragontail Plateau moving north.  We intended to scramble up East Dragontail (ED) and anything else that looked interesting along the way.  We did ED and a slightly higher point just to the south. As is the case with many of these peaks, easy boulders and slabs lead you to within a feet vertical feet of the true summit.
The actual summit however is often just a single very large block of smooth granite involving varying degrees of difficulty and exposure.   We left the ridge taking the easier route back to the glacier saddle.  Would have liked to try Witches Tower but there just wasn't time.

We moved down to Inspiration Lake that evening and set up camp with many goats and a limitless number of mosquito's. The only real respite we got from the bugs was the half hour of rain and wind we got from the nightly T-Storm.  Otherwise they (bugs) were ever present and relentless.

Tuesday morning we left camp and headed down, crossing the north end of Perfection Lake en route to Prussic Pass.  From the pass we contoured north at about 7500' below Enchantment Peak, into a very pretty basin with a nice tarn and granite slabs until we were SE and below the area known as Druid Plateau.  Scrambling up to the eastern edge of the plateau isn't too difficult and the view is striking.  Cannon is as the guidebooks say just the highest pile of rocks above the plateau. Again, all but the final 15' is easy and fun.

We retraced our steps to Prussic Pass. Some headed back to camp and others climbed west to try Enchantment Peak.  An easy scramble but a tough finish for the final 15'.  An approaching T-Storm had us thinking better about being the highest thing on the mountain this afternoon, so none of us did the last bit.

Back in camp we did our best to insure that there would be a next generation of mosquito's by once again feeding this one well.  A light show entertained us later that night, but no rain or wind.  The following morning we broke camp and followed three itineraries as we made for Upper Snow Lake and our last camp.  One group (Neil and Frankie) headed out early to make a successful scramble up McClellan Peak.  The rest of us explored Gnome tarn, Crystal Lake and the enchanted lower basin before meeting up at the outlet of Lake Viviane.

We found a very nice spot at the SW end of upper Snow Lake.  A rock peninsula poked out into the lake and was far enough from the trees that it was virtually bug free.  We all spent a very pleasant sunny afternoon swimming and relaxing.  A long hot hike out and a dip in the creek as we waited for the car exchange to happen.  Dinner (X2 for Frankie) at the Ducks and Drakes before driving home.

Drive US Hwy 2 to Leavenworth. At the west end of town drive south on Icicle Creek Road (Rd 76). Go left on Road 7601 at the Bridge Creek Campground and follow about 4 miles to the road end at the Stuart Lakes TH (Trail # 1599).
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