In case you missed the beginning of this tale, you can find it here.
After departing from Upper Snow Lake, we began the steepest part of the trip. Fortunately, this is a hiker's trail rather than a miner's trail, so it has switchbacks, unlike the trail to the Lake of the Angels... but even so, it's quite steep. We gained 2000 over approximately one mile, scrambling up and over rocks, and struggling to keep our spirits up.
The expression on Erika's face shows the elation we felt when we found the sign indicating that we were about to enter the Enchantment Lakes Basin at long last. Our destination lay just around the bend!
It was a little bit more than just around the bend, but fortunately not much more.
Looking back over our shoulders allowed us to gain a sense of how far we had come from Upper Snow Lake.
After finding ourselves a beautiful campsite on the shores of Lake Vivianne, with Prusik Peak standing above us, we headed out to do some exploring with nice, light packs. Carrying so little weight after all that grueling climbing was very liberating.
We meanderd among the Lower Enchantment Lakes for a time; since we stopped frequently to photograph or simply admire our surroundings, we didn't travel very far. We strayed from the trail of cairns frequently to get closer looks at the creeks that connected the lakes, the tarns scattered among the lakes, and of coure the trees and heather, interspersed with splashes of colorful wildflowers.
Prusik Peak, always visible from within the basin, caught the light nicely.
After our afternoon of exploration, we headed back to camp to settle in for the night, hoping to get some rest before the trip to Asgard. We planned on leaving early, traveling lightly, in the hopes of giving ourselves time enough for a side trip to the top of one of the high peaks, either Little Annapurna or Dragontail.
To be continued...