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COL._Von_Spanker

Snow Creek vs Lake Colchuck

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around here, there’s always someone who disagrees, and today, mountainman, it’s me… the book 100 hikes in the alpine lakes says that aasgard pass is boring and tastless, and dangerous too. the snow creek trail lets you experience the enchantments in the right order, rising gracefully through the alpine zones rather than jumping abruptly into the alpine. ok, really, though, for prusik in a day, I’d go snow creek every time. why? because, at the end of a long day, I don’t want to think, or watch where I’m putting my feet, I just want to slog. I’m literally looking for a “no-brainer.” Snow creek lets me slog mindlessly and the angle is easier on the knees. plus what caveman said about early season not needing anything more than tennies.

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Just for flavor I'll add that from Mountaineer cr TH, turn due east and follow old road bed up to the ridgeline, then make a descending traverse to Coney Lake near the foot of Cannon. We climbed to here on a Fri nite and biv'd many moons ago. We found an old bong (the smokin' kind) in the fire pit.

 

Continue E to Earl lake then South to Shield Lake, around Shield and up/over Prussik pass and

 

Viola!

 

Into the Enchantments [Wazzup]

 

If you ever do wander in that way, take the time to visit the Lost World Plateau. [rockband]

 

[ 10-09-2002, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: Smoker ]

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That is a great option nobody has mentioned. I do not know if it is any quicker.

 

Somebody besides myself and another climb Toketie Wall or what? [big Grin] It's stellar granite to 3 musketeers ridge [Razz] and larger than Snow Creek Wall. Check it out [Cool]

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quote:

Originally posted by Cpt.Caveman:

That is a great option nobody has mentioned. I do not know if it is any quicker.

 

Somebody besides myself and another climb Toketie Wall or what?
[big Grin]
It's stellar granite to 3 musketeers ridge
[Razz]
and larger than Snow Creek Wall. Check it out
[Cool]

ssshh, not too loud .....

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Okay, I climbed Cannon Mountain this year from the Lake Stuart Trailhead by bearing directly toward the summit. This is more or less what Smoker is talking about. The terrain is pretty steep but otherwise not too bad. The principle difficulty would be getting up to the Lost World Plateau from Coney Lake due to cliffs and steep gullies. It took me somewhere around 5 hours to get to the summit from the car. From there it would be another hour (conservatively) to get to Prusik Pass. It's not far. Therefore, it would seem to me that getting to Prusik Pass would be simpler via Aasgard Pass. It may be farther via Aasgard but it would be 75% trail. (I have not been up the Snow Creek way, so have no comment there.) Not one lick of trail if you go the Cannon Mountain route. Note that the logging road that extends NE from the trailhead (what Smoker talked about?) is not quicker than bearing directly upslope from the car. Bearing directly upslope also avoids the burnt out area.

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The chest-beater's way is to go Snow to 8-mile (more vertical). But running it either way is definitely a superior achievement! [big Drink]

 

[ 10-09-2002, 12:51 PM: Message edited by: matt warfield ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Lambone:

yes, but you'd havta appologize for all the spray you dished out to me over the last year. I want a seperate written appology for each incident
[laf]

Definitely couldn't get all that done this season. [laf][laf]

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Back in the "day", this route, provided access to the enchantments via Sheild Lake without need for permits.

 

"The man" has since wisened up about access

 

It is possible to climb into the enchantments through a pass off the side of Enchantment peak, coming from the LWP.

 

Some classic 4th class involved [laf]

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quote:

But if you are aiming for some of the other crags up there head up Snow Creek-Nada Creek to Temple Canyon. I haven't been up Rat Creek. But that's another option.

[laf] Yeh everyone should start heading up Rat Creek. I went up it once and I must say it is barely an option. Toketie is a highway by comparison.

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Outstanding! It's an impressive hunk of stone in a great setting. I'm glad it's protected by the "easy" approaches. [Wink]

 

[ 10-10-2002, 08:24 AM: Message edited by: slaphappy ]

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Yeah which one did you climb? There were 2 routes to the right of it. One is really just a variation of the other... They looked like the best lines but should probably be pushed straight up instead of converging with the '74 line to be better unless the rock sux. 5.10 dirt wasn't in my agenda that day [Roll Eyes] so I wimped out and climbed the easier line [laf]

 

Yeah we approached after climbing SF Beckey Prusik Peak south past the Mole and went down the Toketie drainage at night. [laf]

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5.10 dirt not part of your agenda? Rarely is it a part of mine although I sure find myself there an awful lot! [Eek!]

 

Here's to dirt! [big Drink]

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Right on it's like mtn climbing. Worth doing once. At the top you are basically on top of 3 musketeers ridge (east end). The descent is waayyy easy too. Not joking it is.

 

The deal was that my partner had it all spied out from a previous trip on the Mole. He did the same deal and when we were up there it was brewing in his mind. We sort of "accidentally" walked by a large wall [laf]

 

Mmm Dirt [big Drink]

 

[ 10-10-2002, 08:44 AM: Message edited by: Cpt.Caveman ]

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This is kind of an interesting thread since in the 30 years I have been hiking to the Enchantments I think I have been up and down every reasonable approach (and a few unreasonable ones <g>). The classic day trip, of course, is up Aasgard and out Snow Lakes - requires a car shuttle but makes the most sense as far as elevation gain/loss and its pretty easy to hike out Snow Lake trail in the dark.

 

Other options - the reverse of the above, Toketie Creek (after the fire I won't do that again, Hook Creek (good approach to the Mole), Rat Creek (been down it twice - didn't learn the first time), Cannon Mountain couloir or ridge (shhh...), Colchuch Glacier and around Dragontail (once was enough on that one), Crystal Creek (shhh...), Wedge Mountain to Snow Lakes (not recommended), and Temple Canyon. I know one guy who soloed Serpentine Arete, then the West Ridge of Prusik and out in a day but thats a bit extreme. Obviously some of these are better day trips than others and each has advantages depending on your goals. I know there are also a couple more really obsure ones.

 

I remember my first trip up Aasguard in about 1972 - we didn't even know the way around Colchuck lake. Things have sure changed since then.

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Like Freeman, I find this an interesting topic because both the main routes have their following. I've been going into and out of the Enchantments since 71 and other than rat creek, have been in or out just about every way there is. Now, my preference is to go in Aasgard and out Snow Creek. I've been out Aasgard probably 6 or more times and I really hate that route since the talus is always shifting underfoot. On a hot day it is a bitch (to me) and it puts real hurt on my ageing knees. The key to doing Aasgard to Snow is having a vehicle at each trailhead. It makes a great day hike for conditioning.

 

I've been out Toketie twice, once down the creek (big mistake) and the other by the Becky route.

Crystal creek is ok but a long slog when you add the6+ miles up Ingalls Creek so it still really boils down to whether you prefer Aasgard or Snow Creek and to me, either works but each makes you pay a different price. The Enchantments still are worth it, regardless of what way you go in.

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