T Minus 6 Days

by ajamess on 28.Sep.11

in Backpacking,Travel

…until I go on my backpacking trip to the Enchantments!  The National Park Service limits human traffic into the area via an annual lottery system, but I was lucky enough to get a spot with a group of Microsoft photographers who were going this October.  I've been waiting for half a year or so, and I'm kind of not really believing the time has arrived?  Why am I so excited?  Well, the core Enchantments zone is probably one of the most beautiful places in Washington state, if not the country.  It's a photographer's paradise, because you get half a dozen lakes, huge ridges, awesome boulder fields, neat-looking trees, and strange mossy growths all within an area smaller than 10 square miles.  It's also home to mountain goats who will lick anything you pee on for want of salt.

It's not a long hike (about 20 miles total if you don't count the walking around for photos), but the first day is a bitch:

  • Day 1: Stuart / Colchuck Trailhead -> Tranquil Lake
    • Trailhead -> Colchuck Lake = 4.2 miles with 2200 feet elevation gain
    • Colchuck Lake -> Asgard Pass = 1.1 miles flat
    • Asgard Pass -> Tranquil Lake = 1.2 miles with 2300 feet elevation gain (bouldering + scree!)
  • Day 2, 3, 4: Photography in the Core Enchantment Zone
  • Day 5: Core Zone -> Snow Lakes Trailhead

Here's a map of the route (courtesy of www.niffgurd.com):

Fun fact, one of the Windows 7 desktops was taken in the Enchantments by a photographer working at Microsoft.  Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and have something ship with Windows 8 (haha, yeah right)

Happy shooting!

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