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Author Topic: 8/20 Crystal Creek Drainage/Enchantments  (Read 1653 times)

Posts: 843

8/20 Crystal Creek Drainage/Enchantments
« on: 08/25/16, 09:16 AM »

No skiing - just a couple of snow patches and a dry tarn in the basin at 6,000.

Just thought I'd share my solitary trudge...wanted to check out this backdoor to the Enchantments for years - now I don't...

As I have a cabin in Valley Hi a mile from the Ingalls Creek Trailhead, I really had to do this. The 7.7 miles up Ingalls is boring but pleasant. Every so often you get a glimps of something high, but you're mostly in the trees. There's a sign at Falls Creek (5.5) and a sign at Cascade Creek Trail (7.5) The tiny creek is not Crystal Creek. Crystal is about 1/3 of a mile further and had much more water. From there you can look up the drainage and clearly see big rocks on the right, and big rocks on the left. The passage thru is obvious. I went back almost to the Cascade Creek sign because I'd seen a cairn about 200 yards past it. It's a faint boot track going up and bearing slightly left. It's impossible to follow, but doesn't matter as you know where up is, and Crystal creek is left. Get water where you can as the creek goes underground a lot!

I kept getting fouled up going to the creek for water. (Hottest day of the year) There's lots of deadfall, brush, and slab edges to negotiate. As you get higher you get in a better track thru the slabs, but you still do lots of zig zagging. Higher yet you run into large talus and boulders that are very slow to work thru with a backpack. I was wishing I was on the easy hiking of aasguard pass! Near the top I only continued up because I gave myself permission to not go down that slope, and figure out a way home once I got to Leavenworth.

If you use this as an access to Rock climb, you better be fit! As a backdoor approach to the Enchantments it works, but is much harder and more time consuming than the hiking trails. It is an adventure with no people, bears at the bottom, goats at the top, and famous Fred climbs all around you. I wonder how many have ever had more than a handful of ascents.

Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
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