Colin and I ran the Enchantment circuit from Colchuck Lake TH to the Snow Creek TH to escape the cloudy weather on the westside and enjoy some views while still getting a good workout. We were lucky to get a ride from Snow Creek TH to Colchuck TH with literally no wait, beginning the run at noon. We reached Colchuck Lake in about 52 minutes, Aasgard Pass in 2:05, Snow Lake Dam crossing in 3:58, and the Snow Creek TH exactly 5 hours after starting (5 pm). We figure the distance to be 18-19 miles with around 5,000 feet of elevation gain.
The weather was idyllic for running - cool and partly cloudy but not good enough to make us feel guilty we didn't climb something further north. We finished just as the clouds from the next system were starting to roll in and by the time we were back in Monroe it was raining.
As many of you know, the trails leading to the Enchantments are anything but “plush” with rocks, roots, slabs, and more rocks! I could really only open up my stride on about 10% of the run and hence the 3.7-3.8 mph overall running pace. We also took time to enjoy the portion on the plateau with breaks and photography of the iconic lakes. I figure this run can be done closer to 4 hours sans enjoyment of the surroundings; anything faster would risk having a dysfunctional ankle =)
I have fond memories of my last visit to the Enchantments on a two night backpacking trip with my father 11 years ago (12 year old). The beauty of the Enchantments left an impression on me and I wanted to see more of the Cascades after that trip. It was nice to finally come back to this place and enjoy some of the scenes that captivated me as a youngster.