Had a big day on Friday with my good friend Pete. No idea on mileage (somewhere around 20 miles?) with almost 6k’ gain and 7k’ descent, all in a long 15.5 hours.
We set out from Stuart Lake TH at 5 am. Once we got up to Colchuck Lake, we could see the Colchuck Glacier looked to be in pretty bad shape, but we thought we’d go suss it out.
Once we got closer, we saw that there was a large band of blue ice across almost the entire snowfield, but there was still a small continuous snow finger on the right. So we climbed it. This was definitely the crux of the route, and it was pretty hairy. We could kick solid steps into most of the section, but there were a few points where blue ice lay only a cm beneath the snow, which made things sketchy.
Once we were through that section, the rest of the day was pretty cruiser. We got up to Colchuck Col, then scrambled some minimal class 3 terrain up to Pandora’s Box. We were worried about snow the eastern descent off the Box notch, but there was an easy path around it.
Then we climbed up Dragontail and enjoyed views of the Stuart Range and the Enchantments high country.
After enjoying the summit, we descended toward Asgard Pass. There’s still a lot of snow on Snow Creek Glacier, but there’s a solid bootpack up it.
Once we got down to Asgard Pass, we decided to descend through the Enchantments proper, so we slogged out the supposedly 12 miles (though it felt much longer once we’d gotten down to Snow Lake). The Enchantments were as beautiful as always!