We've got 7 folks. The permit allows for 8, but 7 is already a large group.
- Zone: #2 Snow Zone
- Dates: Sat Sept 3rd to Tue Sept 6th (2016)
- Party Size: 8 people
Separate permits will be needed for parking; IIRC B+L have 2x permits, enough for our needs.
We can hike wherever we want during the day, but are constrained to camp overnight only in the zone of our permit, which is around Snow Lake. There are several camping sites spread out over about a mile trail around one side of the lake. Some sites are larger and nicer than others; it's first-come, first-served. Since we are hiking all the way through, it would be beneficial to get a camping site closer to the core enchantments, since it can take up to an hour to circle around the lakes.
Based on camping at the same zone last year at an unprotected (windy) site, it can be cold, wet, and a bit windy at Snow Lake. Parts of Core Enchantments can be quite windy, though usually only in short segments. It's the PNW, so of course need to be ready for rain all the time.
The surrounding area (low elevation) weather forecast shows highs around 50-55F and lows overnight around 35-40F.
Finding an at-elevation weather forcast this time of year is dubious, but, eg, this site forcasts a big temperature drop for the coming weekend, with freezing level below 8000ft and highs not much above freezing (NB: this forcast for a peak at 8200ft, similar to Little Annapurna, while we'll actually camp around 5500ft): http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Enchantment-Peak/forecasts/2515
There is plenty of running water around, we'll just need to filter/purify it.
Every person will need:
- light/lamp and batteries
- good rain/wind shell
- a good warm sleeping bag (15f rating or lower recommended) + mat
- 2 liters of water bottles
- layers! down jacket!
- waterproof pack or pack cover
- TP (there are scattered latrines along the route, but no TP)
As a group we'll need to figure out:
bear-proof food storage (canisters? Is hanging food sufficient?)
- (NOTE: Seems like bears are not a big concern. Rodents and ravens are the problem. There seems to be consensus that odor-prof bags and hanging are sufficient. Bring some twine and stuff sacks and we should be fine. -mako)
- Bryan will bring a small can (good as a stool) and has bear-bag-hanging supplies.
tents and ground mats(should be set if folks bring stuff below)
- B+L have a 2-person tent
- M+M have a 2-person tent (but you'd better be friend with the other person)
- Nate has a 2-person tent
- Dave has 2-person tent
- Ana has a 1-person tent
water purification(seems like we're in good shape if everybody brings stuff below)
- B will bring a filter and emergency iodine; might want a faster option
- Dave is bringing plenty of Aquamira
- Nate also has a filter. The filter is good.
- M+M have a Sawyer Mini filter and some tablets.
cooking equipment(should be set if folks bring stuff below plus pots+pans)
- B+L have a small gas stove setup
- M+M have a MSR Dragonfly & x2 MSR fuel canisters. We have probably 10 meals (for 2x people) worth of fuel in our bigger containers.
- Nate has a whisperlight and 2 fuel containers. One is very big.
maps, navigation(sounds like we're in good shape)
- B will provide maps
- B+M+M have compasses and such but more maps/compasses are good in case we split up
M+M's packing list is here
Let's divide up meals. There are 7 people and seven meals. We can cook in parallel on all of our tiny stoves/pots but it might simplify things if we just sign up for a meal. We're bringing stuff for 7 people!
Please remember that M+M+B are vegetarian! If you can do it all veg, that's ideal.
Saturday Lunch + Snacks(B+L+D) (probably something like sandwiches w/ no cooking?) Saturday Dinner(M+M)
- Sunday Breakfast (cooked?)
Sunday Lunch + Snacks(B+L+D) (maybe sandwiches, etc, w/ no cooking?) Sunday Dinner(M+M)
- Monday Breakfast (cooked?)
Monday Lunch + Snacks(B+L+D)
M+M will take plan and bring stuff for dinners. We've got a bunch of dried vegetables w/ spicy peppers, dehydrated tofu, as well as some other freeze dried vegetables and fruits. We'll need help to cook on all our stoves in parallel but it should make for fine camp dinners if we want to use them that way.
Our plan is:
- Saturday Dinner: Japanese curry rice w/ many veggies + tofu
- Sunday Dinner: veggie shepards pie
B+L+D will try to cover all three lunches. We've got cheeses, breads, apples, nut butter, nuts, and fish+sausage (non-veggie). We have a reasonable supply of snacks, but sort of assume folks will bring or have some other small personal snacks or emergency food.
The "loop" trail, from one trailhead to the other via Core Enchantments, is about 18 miles and 6400ft elevation gain (depending on the direction hiked). The maximum elevation is about 7800ft.
The Enchantments are in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, part of Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The closest town is Leavenworth, which is reasonably large (and weird), and only a few miles away. The drive from Seattle via Rt 2 takes a bit under 3 hours; it's also possible to drive a little longer but faster via I-90 and then north on the East side of the Cascades.
Snow Lake is at ~5500ft; east trailhead ("Snow Lake Trailhead") is ~1400ft; west trailhead ("8-mile creek" or "Stuart Lake" trailhead) is ~3600ft; Asgard pass (the high point) is ~7800ft.
We can go east-to-west (more elevation gain) or west-to-east (more elevation drop). From our experience hiking last year, the most painful part was the descent downhill to the east trailhead, so it would be nice to avoid that. It would also be nice to not hike through Core or in general much up and down with full packs (the first day, most food). These both make east-to-west appealing.
The above elevation profile has west on the left and east on the right; we are planning on going right-to-left.
Here is a rough plan, might change, especially depending on weather.
Sunrise is around 06:20am, sunset around 19:40 (7:40pm).
9/3 Sat: drive out early in 2 cars, hike up to camp site from east trailhead. Slow party goes direct, fast party does car ferrying to leave one vehicle at west trailhead, then catches up.
Awake at 7:00am, leave Seattle at 7:30am, drive 125miles on Rt. 2 (~2h45m), arrive at trailhead at 10:30am, hike 8 miles and up 4000ft in about 5-7 hours, arrive at Snow Lake around 4-5pm, have some time to get to the far end of Lake and settle in before it gets dark. Possibly send fast group ahead earlier in the day to grab a good campsite?
9/4 Sun: day hike up around Core Enchantments (w/o full bags), or hang around camp site at Snow Lake. It's about 5miles and 2200ft to Asgard pass, or 2miles and 1500ft just to core enchantments.
9/5 Mon: hike up to Core Enchantments, through Aasgard Pass, and down to west trailhead. Depending on time and energy, drive home or stay in Leavenworth (if too tired to drive?). Long day!
Awake at 8:00am, on the trail by 9:00am, hike 11 miles and ~2200ft in 6-8 hours or so with all equipment, get to the trailhead around 4-6pm. Rinse in the river, dinner in Leavenworth, on the road home by 9pm, ~3hr drive via 97 and I-90, home before midnight.
Things to remember
- bring a roll of toilet paper
- cold at night, so bring extra extra layers
- good items to bring: trekking poles, gloves. heat packs, thick REI socks, good rain jacket
- good food to bring: hot chocolate
- always have some dry clothes in a ziplock bag
- each person must have a water purifier item in case if s/he gets separated
- some toilets may be full