2013/9/1-2 – Enchanted Slam + Witches Tower / 魔法滿貫+女巫塔

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Upper Basin backed by Temple Ridge and McClellan Peak
Upper Basin backed by Temple Ridge and McClellan Peak

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Enchanted Slam = McClellan Peak + Enchantment Peak

A free day for all of us to do whatever we wanted. Besides Prusik Peak, my objective for this trip was to climb the two aforementioned Bulger peaks, so that’s what I ended up doing.

Everyone else had their own agenda, but I managed to get Jan to join me. Alistair and Sean went back to climbing south face of Prusik Peak, fuuuuuun! The rest of us were more than happy to contribute our racks so they wouldn’t worry about running out of pieces like the group from yesterday. But that’s a whole other talk show for another day.

McClellan was an easy class 3 climb via the north face, with lots of scree leading up to the Prong. It was a smart idea to space ourselves and so we’re never directly above the other person when one of us took the lead. We couldn’t have asked for another better day in The Enchantments y’all, sunny all day! It didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it was going to take us to reach the summit. The most fun part for me was the slabby final scramble, although getting back down later was a little…sketchy.

The summit was just perfect for the two of us. Any more people it would have been hard to get a good group summit photo. Even with just the two of us, it was a bit awkward to find a good spot for a nice backdrop and position ourselves in the frame. Prusik didn’t look as impressive from the summit and the sun was coming from that direction, so we opted to use the Upper Enchantment as the backdrop for the ease of seating.

Heading back down to the base was faster with the help of the scree, although still needed to constantly looked out for possible rockfalls from overhead.Once we got back to the trails we ran into Moa, who was on her way down to somewhere between the Lower and the Upper Enchantments. Jan and I parted ways, and he and Moa spent the rest of the day hiking through the lakes.

My next objective for the day was Enchantment Peak, so I started heading for Prusik Pass. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a whole lot of route finding involved from the pass to the summit. The summit was pretty much visible from the pass with the help from some cairns along the way. The summit block was described as close to a class 4 move, but it turned out to be less nerve-racking than I anticipated.

After getting my photos on the summit I still had much time to spared. Looking over the west I remembered seeing Witches Tower on our hike in and thought it would be icing on the cake to tag it as well since there was still much daylight left. Yay for summer!

After making my way to the west end of the upper basin, I started traversing across the seemingly permanent snowfield above Isolation Lake and made my way to the base of the tower through lots of refrigerator-sized boulders. There were so many of them that I lost count. 🙂

The scramble to top of the tower was much easier after getting past the scree section below the summit block. It looked like there were several ways to get to the summit judging from the various cairns placed along the way. Somehow I ended up going up the route that required some stemming up a quasi-chimney feature and it wasn’t too bad.

Wow, what a view from top of the tower looking east. All the peaks I’ve been on were visible from this single vantage point. LOVE it! Enough summit shots for the day, time to head back to camp and join the rest of the crew. Talk about great timing, all six of us got back at camp within minutes of one another.

All of our goals were met for the trip, and now it was time for a good night sleep and make our long trek back to the car in the morning.

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