Where did you go?
My partner and I spent the past 10 days thru hiking, peak bagging, and rock climbing through autumn colors in the Enchantments--a beautiful granite subrange on the east side of the Washington Cascades near Leavenworth.
Somehow we won the permit lottery! With a less than 1% chance of getting permits, we adopted the mindset of just applying every year for the heck of it. Now that we won the coveted Core permit, we built a trip around hiking the main loop and adding a sprinkling of side missions climbing the surrounding peaks and the beautiful granite walls of the area. Not to mentioned it aligned with the height of golden Larch madness.
Length of trip: 10 days
Weather: Classic PNW spookiness. Our first day was during the tail end of the first atmospheric river of the season. Plenty of swirling clouds, rain, snow, and cold. But after that, the storm broke, and we were left with clear skies, bright sunshine, and over a foot of pristine untracked first snow of the season.
This trip also aligned with my 28th birthday! My partner packed me a dehydrated birthday cake mix and we lit candles on the snow after a long day of climbing. No better way to spend a birthday in my opinion.
Our first night was brutal. We camped at Colchuck Lake that evening, which was also the height (but the final night) of the first atmospheric river of the season. Our shelter was pelted with rain and wind all night. Well, until it transitioned to snow and ice. We didn't sleep much, and all of our gear was unavoidably soaked to kick off our adventure.
My down booties. I've said it every time this question is asked of me. I have a pair of Goose Feet Gear down socks and my partner has a pair of Outdoor Research down booties. They are worth every penny when its cold outside, your shoes and socks are wet and/or frozen, and you have to pee.
Who would you recommend this trip to?
Absolutely anyone. You can dial up or dial back this trip to fit your niche--make it a single day trail run, a straightforward weekend backpacking trip, or a multi-week alpine climbing expedition. Just score your permits first.
You can checkout a full film of my trip on my personal YouTube Channel HERE.