It was just a little early in the season, but we packed up and headed out for a weekend of hiking into some altitude in The Enchantments Wildnerness Area….which is a collection of alpine lakes within the North Cascades. I had scored a a backcountry permit months before and a team of eight was formed to hike into the Stuart Lake Zone where we’d camp for two nights and make an ascent on Aasgard Pass on day 2. As the winter weather continued to grip the area like Donald Trump holding onto his Twitter phone, concern began to grow as to how the temps would look at 6000 ft.
A few days before our departure, I put a call into the Forest Ranger’s office where I was told “Aasgard Pass is avalanche conditions and Lake Stuart camping sites are snow-covered.” Upon reporting this back to the group, our crew of 8 quickly dwindled to 3.
Nevertheless, we persisted. And we were handsomely rewarded with some incredible views and challenging trail. Attempting Aasgard Pass was decidedly a no-go and we thought getting in some good hiking miles would be a better (re: safer) use of our time. While out there we did notice a fair amount of helicopter traffic and later learned that someone feel through the snowpack and disappeared while glissading down the Pass. Very sad, and as I’ve looked up historical accidents in the area it seems like there is a waterfall that has caught several people by surprise.