When you visit a place so magnificent, it’s hard to describe its magic without physically bringing someone there. After a summer weekend in the Enchantments with my siblings in 2012, I knew I had to share the love.
Thankfully, dozens of sparkling alpine lakes amidst jagged peaks and larches was an easy sell to two of my favorite people in the world, Anneliese and Shelley, so we crossed our fingers and submitted to the permit lottery. Only a select number of permits are awarded each season in an effort to reduce impact in the area, so getting selected meant the nature gods were really on our side.
Ana flew in from Colorado, and Shelley drove from Portland so we could make our trek into the Alpine Lakes Wildnerness. After a little hiccup with our permit (darn fine print), we had a slight change of plans regarding our trail entry. There are two ways to enter the Enchantments — the gruelingly long, gradual way via Snow Lake, or the short, steep scramble via Stuart Lake. The plus side of the steep way is that you get to experience the beauty of Colchuck Lake at the foot of the Upper Enchantments, but it also means you must ascend a 2,300 ft pass in less than a mile. YIKES. Luckily, my friends are some strong-ass women, so we were ready to tackle that thing.
We eased into the day on Friday, set up camp, had lunch at Colchuck, and sipped hot toddies along Icicle Creek. We got to bed early in preparation for an early rise and a 16 mile day. Donned in our all-black ninja suits and headlamps, with bellies full of buckwheat and peanut butter, we made our way toward Asgaard Pass. A quick sunrise yoga sesh on the way confirmed our 4:00am wake up call was worth it. We made our ascent up Asgaard in just under 2 hours, laughing and cheering each other on the whole time.
Beat and breathless, but giddy with excitement, we found ourselves in a basin full of bright blue lakes, grazing mountain goats, sparkling glaciers, and jagged peaks — the greatest reward we could have asked for.