Hollywood led a fun scramble up Enchantment Peak. We planned to take the long way via Prusik Pass, and agreed to take a look at the direct approach from Aasgard via the SouthWest ridge. One look had us heading up after replentishing our water supply at Tranquil Lake. The route is easy until just below the SW summit. Iron scouted out the 3rd class scrambling required, and confirmed that the route would go. On our descent, we started down before prusik pass, and the "shortcut" cost us a few minutes. Little Annapurna beckoned, and the opportunity to bag two Bulger summits (Washington top 100) in a day was too tempting to resist. Our plan to get back to Colchuck Lake before dark was a good one, but didn't quite pan out...
13:45 car-to-car 7000-7500' of gain, 15-17 miles RT
GPS tracks for Enchantment SW ridge
Take trail to Colchuck Lake, and then on to Aasgard Pass.
Armed with some nwhikers beta, we knew the direct route would go. However, we didn't want to waste too much time sniffing out a route, and get bogged down with time consuming 3rd class.
Our hike to the lake was rewarded with beautiful golden Larches.
Golden Larch reflection off tarn West of Colchuck, Oct 16, 2010
We agreed to take a look at the route from Aasgard pass before deciding whether to try the direct route. From the shores of Tranquil Lake, it was unanimous--go direct or go home! The route is fairly obvious. At one point we though it might be necessary to drop down quite a bit, but we never needed to, and the difficulty stayed at class 1+ most of the time until the final 3rd class gully that got us up to the Enchantment plateau between the SW and NE summits.
Enchantment SW ridge pic1
Enchantment SW ridge pic2
Enchantment SW ridge pic3
As we approached the crux gully, it was nice having Iron run ahead and check it out. Before long, he topped out, and gave us the good news that "it goes."
Iron at base of gully
Iron leads gully scramble
Iron tops out
Will approaches top of gully
This SW ridge route goes close to the SW "false" summit, which is arguably higher than the NE one, IMO. After climbing the gully, it's an easy walk across the summit plateau to the NE summit block. There are a couple of 5th class moves to get to the top, but the lack of exposure makes it very doable without a rope.
Hiking from SW to NE summit
NE summit block
We spent a long time on the summit, naming peaks, and soaking in the gorgeous October weather. We descended before getting over to Prusik pass. The GPS tracks led to some butt scootching. I came down slightly farther skier's right, and avoided the scootching.
Cannon Mountain from Enchantment
Cashmere from Enchantment
Below Prusik Pass
Pano from Enchantment summit
We had intended to climb Little Annapurna too. At this point we thought we still had time to get past Colchuck Lake before dark. We headed up a little to the right of the standard route (unintentionally), and came down the standard route. We weren't going to make our time goal, but the boulder field wasn't too bad with headlamps, and we got to enjoy some nice sunset light.
Little Annapurna summit
Cashmere at sunset
Pano from Little Annapurna summit
Helmets are advised. We didn't bring helmets and opted to climb the 3rd class gully one-at-a-time. It's a little loose, but not too bad.
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