Corie: We started this trip off with some cranky feelings. We rolled into the trailhead well after dark, and found a parking area littered with trash, toilet paper, and forgotten gloves, socks, and hats. Not cool. We crawled into bed and planned on waking up at the pleasant hour of 630am for our single-day push up Prusik Peak. Our wake-up time was compromised by the sound of some jerk thumping his bass all the way up the road and into the parking area. He decided to back his giant boombox of a vehicle into the empty space right next to us. So, what did I do? I got up, dressed quickly, and asked him (using my inside voice) to turn it off. Because WILDERNESS.
And then we got ready to hit the trail.
My eyes were popping out of my head throughout our hike. Once we reached Colchuck Lake, I was full of Ooos and Awws. Peaks on peaks and colors on colors. It was stupendous. It even kept my attention off of Aasgard Pass for a bit. By the time we started up its loose, crumbly flanks, however, I was fully invested in the ~2k feet we were in the process of gaining. The occasional Pika and Mountain Goat baby helped encourage me to put one foot in front of the other and eventually, we reached the top.
Once again, I was stunned. If I could spend a month in the Enchantments, you bet your butt I would. Spires of granite and pools of clear water and creatures of all shapes and sizes absolutely littered my view from every angle. If OZ were a place, this would be its likeness.
We crossed small streams, scrambled up, down, and around granite boulders, and followed mountain goats across the open space until we reached the base of Prusik Peak. And then… the real fun began.
We spent the next hour or so climbing the most stupendous system of granite cracks, flakes, and slabs I ever imagined. The photos don’t even begin to do it justice and the climbing itself certainly didn’t last as long as I had hoped it would.
We spent a few glorious moments on the summit, soaking in the views, the sunshine, and the PB pretzels, before starting back down. A few short rapps had us back on the trail and many, many hours of hiking had us back at the trailhead, happy to be done but ready to do it all over again.
Andy: The Stuart Range and specifically the Enchantments are an alpine climber’s dream. Sitting in Portland, I'm jealous of your mountains, Washington. Picturesque summits comprised of quality rock and a smattering of aqua-blue lakes in the background. And, of course, some fuzzy forest critters to sweeten the deal.
This was my third time summiting Prusik via the West Ridge and the second time doing it in a day. I had completely forgotten how long it took, so the 630am wake-up alarm sounded copacetic. This left us finishing in the dark, about 15 hours after we started. But with a few snacks left, water plentiful and the surrounding scenery (even via headlamp glow), it's hard to complain. It's really a shame I've done the West Ridge so many times with all of the other fantastic routes on Prusik. There are too many 5 star lines just begging to be done. But after trying to move quickly on the West Ridge, I've also got a wild hair to run and speed solo the route to see just how fast I could go. Until next season, Prusik!
Prusik Peak, West Ridge. Approach via Aasgard Pass.
- 2 liters of water each
- SUUNTO Watches (GPS)
- 70m 9.7mm rope
- Harnesses & ATCs
- Light Alpine Rack (Nuts not used)
- 7 alpine draws
- Materials for 2 anchors
Total Time: 15 hours
Total Distance: 19 miles
Elevation Gain: 5,994'
Corie's Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/709768460