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Aasgard Pass

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There are 61 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Enchantment Lakes, Aasgard Pass, Colchuck Lake, Snow Lakes — Oct 17, 2013 — outdoorval
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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This hike was very challenging but well worth the effort. It definitely helped to read the trip repo...
This hike was very challenging but well worth the effort. It definitely helped to read the trip reports before the journey, so I would like to contribute my own.

I am often able to do hikes quickly by trail running the flatter areas and downhills - however on this hike, this is not very possible so plan on taking 11+ hours for the 18 mile journey. Also the scenery is so stunning, that even if you could speed up the trip, you wouldn't want to - for at least the first half of the hike from Colchuck Lake to Lake Viviane.

I recommend doing Aasgard Pass first and getting to the stunning Enchantment lakes as soon as possible. That's what my friend and I did anyway. The pass isn't actually that bad if you bring the right gear - which needs to include some sort of traction devices this time of year to get traction on the steep snow and ice.

Colchuck was a stunning lake to come to just a few miles into the hike. So dramatic this time of year, a contrast to the lakes to come which are tranquil and calm. Great view up to Aasgard from Colchuck, and you will soon be on your way up.

Aasgard took my friend and me about an hour and a half. We thought we could power through it faster, but ended up taking additional time on the snow in order to make sure we didn't lose footing and also enjoy the views. Cairns are definitely helpful to stay on course, but also the pathway is pretty evident in the snow as well.

Once up the pass, you'll come to the enchantment lakes quickly. Some are frozen this time of year but most are not. They are stunning. The trees were all turning yellow which was unreal against the snow and blue green of the lakes and white granite. I have been on a lot of hikes but this was by far the most stunning, and most technical.

There were three pretty challenging parts of the hike. One was Aasgard, but two involved steep icy downhills. Take your time and you'll make it through ok if you have some sort of spiky shoe attachments.

The first ten miles of the hike are by far the best. I could do away with the second half - though I would not want to return down Aasgard. The hike back through Snow lakes and down to the cars is pretty anticlimactic after the Enchantments. It's about 8 miles of "standard" views and man made lakes.

One major downside of this hike is the need for two cars. I live over 2 hours from the trail, and it was a big inconvenience to waste gas on two cars for a 10 mile trail head difference. However I would even less like to bike ride up hill at the end of the journey as well. And on a weekday, we didn't see too many other cars at either trailhead at the time we finished, around 6:30pm.

All in all it took us 11 hours and 15 minutes to do the hike. We figured we stopped to take pictures and eat for roughly 1.5 hours. It is clear why people spend several days in this area, as it was too gorgeous to speed through, however the need for permits made that impossible on this trip.

A day hike is definitely doable if you are fit and determined and start early. We started at 7am in the dark, and drove out from retrieving the second car at 7pm in the darkness.

Unfortunately we did not see any goats. Stunning hike. Can't wait to do it again in another season, as it is just amazing. Sad I couldn't bring my dog :(
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Aasgard Pass, Colchuck Lake, Enchantment Lakes — Oct 03, 2013 — LeafonaTree
Overnight
Issues: Mudholes | Snow on trail
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Our group of four set out from the Colchuck Lake trailhead at around 10:00 on 10/3 for two nights of...
Our group of four set out from the Colchuck Lake trailhead at around 10:00 on 10/3 for two nights of permit camping in the core Enchantment Zone. We reached Colchuck for lunch and certainly made note of what looked to be a half foot of snow on the ground. After a quick bite we trudged around the lake through the snow-covered boulder field to the bottom of Aasgard. We saw a couple groups that had already called it quits on Aasgard due to snow, but we were determined to see it for ourselves. We followed some kicked steps up the intermediate bottom slope, sinking in deep spots through the talus. At about a quarter of the way up, we hit the turn-around point of the prior group and our group started kicking steps. The higher we got, the harder the going and deeper the snow. It's hard to say how much snow there was, but some pockets came up to our wastes...all of us are around 6 feet tall. Being the heaviest member of the group, I routinely post-holed in the steps of my climbing partners. We made it about halfway up, about 6500 feet, before we realized there was not enough daylight to finish the exhausting ascent. We headed back down Aasgard at around 4:30. We made it half way in three hours. After a bitter-cold night on the South Shore of Colchuck Lake, we were too cold and tired to make another attempt. We saw another group of four heading up on our way out. It looked like they would make it with the full day's light on their side. They were about 2/3 of the way up as we bid farewell to Colchuck Lake. Their steps should make the climb a bit easier. If you go...take gaiters, traction, poles, possibly snowshoes, and leave yourself plenty of time to complete the ascent. Mountaineers in better climbing shape should be able to finish with no problem, but casual backpackers need to be prepared for a very long day.
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Colchuck Lake, Aasgard Pass, Enchantment Lakes — Oct 02, 2013 — swp
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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Did not make it to the Enchantment Lakes, but I tagged them to give folks a heads up if they're look...
Did not make it to the Enchantment Lakes, but I tagged them to give folks a heads up if they're looking for trail reports but didn't think to look at Colchuck/Snow Lakes or Aasgard Pass. More details below.

Went to Colchuck Lake today on a Core Enchantments permit with a heavy pack for a few days but decided to not stay. The gate to the Forest Service road to the Stuart Lake TH is open. It was a cloudy and foggy afternoon. Rain turned to snow a little above 4000'. About 4-5 inches was on the ground at Colchuck Lake at 4PM--much of which fell Wednesday. Trail was easy to follow from the bootprints of a few other hikers, though the moderate to heavy snow at the lake was quickly covering the bootprints at the time I left. It wasn't slick, though that may change after a day of going above and dipping back below freezing.

Entry into the Core Enchantment area via Aasgard Pass was *very* tricky today. From reports I heard on the trail, as much as 18" of new snow fell in some portions of the upper basin, though I never made it there to confirm such a number. There's quite a bit of snow (though not 18") on the way up to the pass from Colchuck. The snow has largely filled in or covered the talus--just enough so that it's hard to see where to place your next step, but not enough to keep you from accidentally stepping in a hole.

If you have a late season Enchantments permit, prepare accordingly!
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Aasgard Pass — Sep 28, 2013 — Big Barefoot B
Day hike
Issues: Mudholes | Water on trail | Snow on trail
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Enchantments Traverse Attempt 2013. Thwarted by extreme weather last year (forest fires) we retur...
Enchantments Traverse Attempt 2013.

Thwarted by extreme weather last year (forest fires) we returned to the Enchantments for our annual fall traverse. Having experienced five-finger friendly warm dry pleasant weather one year, packed snow the next we rounded out the experience with the wettest trip yet.

Turned around near the top of Aasgard Pass in not-so-friendly trail running conditions. Did most of the vertical without the reward of cruising through the upper Enchantments.

Oh well, next time...

Parking lots at both Stuart Lake and Snow-creek trail-heads were 80% filled. And we saw many hikers, backpackers and runners on their way up undeterred by the weather.

Moves Count GPS Data:
http://www.movescount.com/moves/move19256082

Highlights Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watc[…]st=UUdeQ4SiDOtKhpV1zD1uLNjg
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Aasgard Pass, Colchuck Lake, Enchantment Lakes, Snow Lakes — Sep 08, 2013 — Surviving Urban
Day hike
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Five of us did the Enchantment traverse in a day. We spent the night at the Eightmile Campground. We...
Five of us did the Enchantment traverse in a day. We spent the night at the Eightmile Campground. We started the hike at 5am leaving a car at the Colchuck trailhead and Snow lakes trailhead.

All trails were in good shape. Going up Aasgard make sure you follow the cairns and do your best to follow the "trail". If you haven't done Aasgard Pass before read trip reports and trail guides as there are tips such as staying away from the waterfall area and off to the left. Also, keep an eye out for cairns in the Enchantment Lakes area as the trail sometimes is not easily seen. Having a map is can be helpful and is one of the ten essentials.

We did the traverse in under 12.5 hours and it was well worth it. Aasgard pass was the most difficult section and we were able to complete the pass in under 1.5 hours. There are lots of water sources and plenty of good break spots.

Make sure you bring a camera!

Oh and besides a few bees, we didn't see any bugs!

See more on our adventure here:
Part One
http://survivingurban.com/enchantments-day-hike-part-1/
Part Two
http://survivingurban.com/enchantments-day-hike-part-2/
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Location
Central Cascades -- Leavenworth Area

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