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[TR] Enchantments - 7 Bulgers in a day 07/14/2018

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Trip: Enchantments - 7 Bulgers in a day

Trip Date: 07/14/2018

Trip Report:


Since moving to Seattle last September I haven't yet visited the Enchantments (except N Ridge Stuart), and I had just one day off this past weekend so I figured I should whip up something unreasonable.


My initial plan was to thru-hike the Enchantments and tick the more accessible peaks (Mclellan, Prusik, Enchantment, Little Anna, Dragontail, Colchuck). But as things often go, one friend insisted I scamper on over to Cannon Mountain, and another friend posted a cool TR from Argonaut...

I like hiking uphill and biking downhill, so starting at Snow Creek and ending at Stuart Lake was the obvious choice of direction. I stashed my road bike (I should really get a MTB) at the Stuart trailhead and started from snow Creek at 1:30am. The goal was to get up near Mclellan by sunrise, but I was a little late.

Here's a GPX track of my trip:


And here's a timeline of the peaks:


It would seem silly to go through route conditions/beta on these uber-popular peaks. But I had an incredible time with this little challenge and am really curious what other similar or even bigger trips have been done.

Some notes:

- All in all: 31 miles, 16,800 ft gain, 20.5 hours

- Averaged 1 bulger every 2.9 hours. I feel like this is a pretty difficult rate to attain even with a single mountain, what's the fastest bulger out there (c2c)?

- I brought axe/crampons and only used them on the descent down Colchuck glacier (and they were much much needed on a section of bare ice). 

- West Ridge of Prusik was my first real free-solo (and down-solo). The slab bit definitely felt exciting, although at least downclimbing slab is about the same difficulty as upclimbing. I brought a harness, rappel device, and a beer just in case I freaked myself about the downclimb. I was thinking I could bribe another group with the beer to let me rappel with them. Nobody was on the route though, and the downclimb was fine. And I forgot about the beer until arrived back at my car. It exploded all over me after biking down the bumpy-ass road without suspension (or daylight).

- The Southwest peak of Enchantment is awesome! Really cool summit block and some airy 4th class to get there.

- Argonaut peak felt like an even headier solo than Prusik, but that was because I think I got a bit off route on the East face. I found a squeeze chimney to climb on the way down luckily (squeeze chimneys are the best when soloing!)


After doing the Three Sisters + Broken-top traverse in Oregon the weekend before (holy choss-muffins!), I fell in love with the ease at which you can travel off-trail in the Enchantments. And once you suffer through the approach, all the peaks are so close together! 

I'm guessing others have completed similar trips, but I'd be psyched to hear what variations they did! 

I'm also interested in the possibility of doing all 9 Bulgers starting and ending at the Stuart Lake trailhead in 24 hours. I think it could be done (has it been done?) but the Stuart-Sherpa-Argonaut terrain looks pretty slowgoing.

More pictures:




Gear Notes:

Approach Notes:
Snow Creek to Stuart Lake Thru-hike

Edited by tylerhs01
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That IS totally unreasonable.  I've spent many weeks in the Enchantments over the years and still haven't climbed all those!:lmao:

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Wow!  Nicely done!

Stuart to Sherpa is easy. Sherpa to Argonaut isn't. But someone with your drive I bet you could suffer through. 

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28 minutes ago, nonbasketless said:

Tell us more about this Sisters/Broken Top traverse. Never heard of someone including Broken Top.

Westy Ford had the idea of doing that and Bachelor as well. I reduced it to just Sisters + Broken Top because it allowed us to fairly easy hike back to the car at Pole Creek trailhead. Granted I vastly underestimated the length of the hike back from Broken Top. Ended up being a 34 mile day in 19 hours. Some interested route-finding up the Northwest ridge of South Sister. We also didn't summit North Sister, there was a very steep snowfield (rock hard in the morning) that we weren't comfortable doing without boots or a second tool. Broken top has a pretty cool topout, we took the wrong route up (around the left/North side of the peak) but found the regular route down.


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7 summits and 0 overnight  permits needed!  I love big days- traveling light and fast with minimum muss and fuss.  This site has a few more climbing oriented day trips in the area- check for a recent thead on endurance climbing days and earlier ones including Peter Croft's big traverse of classic climbs.  My best was a through hike Snow TH to Stuart TH like you with just a couple of peaks but still  a great day in the mountains.


Edited by matt_warfield

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On 8/5/2018 at 8:49 AM, matt_warfield said:

This site has a few more climbing oriented day trips in the area- check for a recent thead on endurance climbing days and earlier ones including Peter Croft's big traverse of classic climbs.

I couldn't find the endurance thread, but I had heard of Croft's big traverse. Nuts


On 8/7/2018 at 9:23 AM, Daphne H said:

Definitely giving me some ideas for a (shorter) linkup... LOL...

Do it! You don't have to move fast, just consistently

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