The sudden opportunity came up for me to hike once more to the Enchantments Alpine Lake Wilderness area with a friend that had a permit. (see previous second time & third time)

Wildfires had been burning in Eastern Washington for some weeks. The Colchuck Lake entrance to the Enchantments had been closed down because of the fire and smoke. So, we expected some smoke.

2012_enchantments0 This was our view as we started up the trail so we worried until we realized the wind was blowing the smoke away from us.

2012_enchantments1 Our trail.

2012_enchantments2 First we passed Nada Lake. It is unfortunately named because it is quite beautiful. It is also in the water supply flow to the Leavenworth fish hatchery.

2012_enchantments3 Nada is fed from the Snow Lakes, but these days by an unnatural method. They tunneled into the mountain and made a bathtub drain in the bottom of the Upper Snow Lake. This feeds a nozzle that shoots into Nada. The roar could be heard for a mile and shoots hundreds of feed down the hill!

2012_enchantments4 We camped at the far side of the lake.

2012_enchantments5 And fisherman Rex had a blast catching and releasing. The fish were so hungry and plentiful that he got bored and quit after catching nearly 30 fish.

2012_enchantments6 The sunset was smokey. Water from the Enchantment lakes comes into Snow at this end.

2012_enchantments7 Next morning we climbed the wall to Vivian.

2012_enchantments8 It is a dramatic bowl with distinctive Prusik above. More good fishing.

2012_enchantments9 The water was very transparent. It might have been 20 ft deep at the top of the picture.

2012_enchantments10 We were fortunate to be there (again!) when the Larch were blooming. Looking across Perfection Lake to Little Anapurna.

2012_enchantments11 The Larches out in the open are stressed by winter snows and gain a gnomish appearance.

2012_enchantments12 After we set up camp, a few of us scrambled up to the base of Prusik Peak (just to the right of that rounded knoll).

2012_enchantments13 And climbed up a bit.

2012_enchantments14 Good views of the lakes area, but smoky.

2012_enchantments15 We found an old path and came back through this protected valley. It was lush, and the trees were mostly straight.

2012_enchantments16 However, right by camp was this tree. It is a fascinating combination of new and old. Living wood has corkscrewed around the dead on the branches!

2012_enchantments17 Next morning, we could see our first destination from camp.

2012_enchantments18 Beauty is everywere as you walk in this place.

2012_enchantments19 Pictures cannot bring the impact of being there and experiencing it, but each time we take many pictures and we try.

2012_enchantments20 Everything is also very vertical. Everywhere is lifted granite beams, and big drop-offs.

2012_enchantments21 Anapurna is one of my favorite places. How did these stones get stacked so neatly at the edge of this high desert meadow?

2012_enchantments22 The smoke was bad though; this day was the worst. Only Rainier stayed above the haze all day.

2012_enchantments23 Several more miles of hiking brought us to Dragontail Peak. I'm on top at 8800 ft.

2012_enchantments24 I walked down the ridge for a look back,

2012_enchantments25 I was standing right beside the edge. See that spiky obelisk? I'm the black dot below and to it's right.

2012_enchantments26 Colchuck Lake - which is more than a mile below us - also usually is a blue jewel.

2012_enchantments27 The wide view.

2012_enchantments28 We crossed a glacier and stocked up on water. Wonderfully cold!

2012_enchantments29 Sunset over Perfection and Prusik in the background, back by camp.

2012_enchantments30 That night, the moon was nearly full. We sat on a rock, watched Inspiration Lake, and listened to the waterfall on the far side. This 60 second exposure was lit by the moon.

2012_enchantments31 Next morning, mountain goats visited us again.

2012_enchantments32 They are looking for salt from our urine, licking the rocks. Everybody gets along if we don't get too close.

2012_enchantments33 My beard had gone funny over the nights: a ski-ramp on each side!

2012_enchantments34 As we left camp, we discovered that our food protection efforts hadn't been perfect.

2012_enchantments35 We took our time leaving, absorbing the views.

2012_enchantments36 Anapurna across Perfection.

2012_enchantments37 Prusik across Leprechaun.

2012_enchantments38 We climbed a ridge and found a fantastic view. Yesterday we hiked to Anapurna (left), then to Dragontail Peak just above the rightmost glacier.

2012_enchantments39 The wide shot showing the lakes, and the valley out on the right.

2012_enchantments40 We camped at Nada and met up with some friends. Dave fly fished barefoot.

2012_enchantments41 I read a book and watched the sunset on the peaks.

2012_enchantments42 The next day we celebrated lunch together in Leavenworth. It was a very good trip!