Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Busting the Myths of Aasgard Pass

A couple weeks ago, with my wife, Heather and a hiking partner, Don, I finally hiked up and over Aasgard Pass in the fable Enchantment Lakes. I've heard a lot about this "backdoor passage" to the Enchantments over the past two decades. And now after doing this hike I look back at some of the hyperbole used to describe this route. It's not nearly as dangerous and steep as some reports indicate. Actually it's a lot like some of the trails that I've done in the French Pyrenees and the White Mountains of New Hampshire as far as rock and steepness. Granted now that I did this Northwest Classic route on an ideal day. Aasgard certainly would be dangerous in adverse weather-but then again so would a lot of places in the mountains. So--if you haven't done this route yet-here is my take-
  1. It's steep-but nearly as steep as the route to Constance Lake
  2. It's rocky-but most of the way is on defined path
  3. Once the snow is gone it's just a grunt with no special concerns
  4. There is a big boulder field to hop over, but that is at the far end of Colchuck Lake with no pitch
  5. There's no exposure to dangerous falling. But you are exposed if a thunderstorm or snowstorm barrels in-so keep that in mind
  6. You'll still need to be in good shape to do this hike because it does climb over 2,000 feet in 1.5 miles
  7. The route down from Lake Vivianne to the Snow Lakes is far more difficult than Aasgard-

Okay, there's still plenty of time this season to check this route out-go for it-larches will be turning soon-
And I'm interested in what's your take on the fabled Aasgard?

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