Everyone has special places that they like to visit, or would love to see one day. I have a few. Someday I would love to trek through Nepal or visit Patagonia’s national parks. But luckily for us, we have one of the most beautiful places right here in the PNW.
Every year thousands of people enter the lottery for the sought after Enchantments permits, and on bated breath wait to see if they were one of the chosen. This year we got it! Three days in alpine paradise.
The first part of our adventure always starts at home as soon as I start packing. Pulling out all the various gear needed, laying it out on the living room floor, and trying to get it in our Osprey kid carrier while said kid runs around “helping”. After a few too many “no’s” and calculated stuffing skills everything is loaded and ready to go.
“Never complaining, always happy”
This year we won a permit for the snow zone, and along with a few of our friends, Scott, Samuel and I set off on the trail to Snow Lake. It was a long haul up the 4,000 foot pass to our campsite, but the views were totally worth it. I was so proud of our little man as he rode in the pack for hours without ever complaining. Being tousled about as I climbed over boulder fields, getting scratched on his knees by overhanging brush. Never complaining, always happy. Finally, after 6 seemingly endless miles we made it to the lake and selected the perfect campsite.
The next morning after a delicious breakfast of Mountain House eggs wrapped in tortillas, we set out for a day hike into the Core Zone. I’ll take this opportunity to give a little piece of gear advice. It may seem excessive, but we always pack little man’s soft carrier, and some sort of day pack. It really makes day trips so much more comfortable. One of us carries a small pack with the days essentials, and the other Samuel. After carrying full packs the day before, its a nice change to go a little lighter. Plus, using the soft carrier makes it possible to take routes that are a little less ideal.
We took the trail heading up into the core, a nice 1.5mi trail and a gain of 1400′ through forest and over slab granite trails guided by some of the coolest cairns I’ve seen leading to Lake Viviane. A perfect lunch spot, and space to let little man run and throw sticks (a new favorite activity). After fueling ourselves, we decided to continue further into the core and hike to Lake Perfection just 2 miles down the snow covered trail. As we hiked along we were treated with the sight of several mountain goats just a few paces away. Another reason I love this place.
After down climbing a steep section of granite, and kick stepping our way back up the snow field, we passed Leprechaun and Sprite lakes on our way to the pristine Perfection lake. I stood in awe of this beautiful place. Towering peeks, slabs of ice floating on the lake, and signs of new life emerging from below. I could have sat there all day just taking in the sights. But alas, my tranquil moment was interrupted by a little voice saying “mama, mama, I hungry”. It was time to head back to camp.
It felt good to get back and relax a little after a day out exploring. Kicking back in the hammock, listening to music, and eating a hot meal of re-hydrated beef stew. A quick walk around the area to exhaust the tiny tornado, and it was time to crawl inside our cozy sleeping bags and get some sleep. Laying down cuddling with my little man, fondly thinking over the days activities. I wasn’t ready to leave this piece of paradise.