Monday, October 10, 2011

Aasgard Pass

Aasgard Pass - Photo provided by Summit
Here is a hike that I think is worth taking but is not for the out of shape or faint of heart.  Aasgard Pass can be reach by two routes.  The first is through Snow Lakes, a much longer route but not as steep and possible less dangerous.  The second route is up through Lake Colchuck, this is the quickest route to the top but certainly not the safest.  People have died in Aasgard Pass. 

The trail to Lake Colchuck is about 5 miles long and the last mile or two climbs through the trees in a punishing series of switchbacks.  Lake Colchuck is a beautiful turquoise colored body of water the color is much more noticeable from the heights of Aasgard.  

Climbing, and I mean climbing, Aasgard Pass takes time and commitment.  The trail starts at the end of Lake Colchuck and winds its way along the left side of the pass, the right side has a stream flowing down it and should be avoided especially when there is snow over it, a lady died in 2010 when she fell through the snow and into the stream.  The trail is marked by a series of cairns, a man made pile of rocks.  There is no exact route and many people have built their own cairn, just make sure to stay on the left side of the pass and keep moving upward.  

Aasgard pass is the high point along the trail to the Enchantments and also requires a permit to access.  Make sure to get a pass because the wilderness rangers will find you.  This is definitely a worth while hike and you will get, in my opinion, one of the best scenic views in the Pacific Northwest.

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