The Enchantments Thru-Hike | Round 2
Distance: 20 miles thru
Fees: Northwest Forest Pass or National Parks Pass
View my Gaia GPS track here
I guess #LarchMadness really is catching, because I apparently had enough temporary memory loss to forget about the pain to repeat the Enchantments thru-hike for the second time in six days. Nature is absolutely incredible. In less than a week, so much of the landscape has changed. Lakes that were a bright reflective blue last weekend were frozen over this weekend. There was enough fluffy snow to make snow angels (or as Forrest described it, like the dust print birds leave when they fly into windows) and snowball fights.
Like last time, the hike from the Stuart/Colchuck Trailhead to Colchuck Lake went by as a blur. There was more snow earlier on in the trail and I had microspikes on by the time we arrived at Colchuck Lake. Getting up over Aasgard Pass was much colder and windier that last Sunday, but somehow the extra snow made it a bit more manageable to get up. The wind picked up some as we neared the top of the pass and we ended up hunkering down behind a rock for a few minutes to try to block out the bite.
Once we got over the pass we got to a wide snowy expanse. My ankle had begun to ache so Kristen kindly taped up my ankle while Forrest plopped down to make a snow angel then began lobbing snowballs.
The Core Zone was as enchanting as ever - the larches were more of a warm gold than last Sunday and shone more brightly against the several inches of stark white untouched snow that had accumulated over the last few days. It was hard not stop every thirty seconds to take photos!
It was still daylight by the time we hit the Snow Zone so I got to see much more of it than I did the first time. It definitely still wasn’t as spectacular as the Core zone but it was definitely easier getting past the granite boulders in daylight.
By the last couple of miles, we were a motley crew - we had five knees and two ankles taped amongst us and we more or less hobbled the last portion of the trail.
But we got to the Snow Lakes trailhead in good time and made it back into Leavenworth early enough to catch a warm, filling dinner in town!