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Prusik Peak in a Day

We started this trip off with some cranky feelings. We had watched some idiot try and fail to pass a series of cars using the shoulder of I-84. He flew off the road and hit a tree. We ended up calling 911, chatting with the police, and making sure the dude was OK. Turns out, he was. But his car was pretty messed up. Whoops.

Then, rolling into the trailhead well after dark, we found a parking area littered with trash, toilet paper, and forgotten gloves, socks, and hats. Bullshit. We crawled into bed and planned on waking up at the ripe hour of 630am for our single-day push up Prusik Peak. Our wake-up time was foiled by the sound of some dumbass 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 told him to turn it off. Because WILDERNESS.

And then we got ready to hit the trail.

Our march up to Colchuck Lake was shadowed and repeatedly passed by a troop of would-be Boy Scouts who thought it would be a fun idea to pass us, stop up the trail, let us get ahead again, and then pass us.... over and over again this happened and after a while, I was just plain irritated. Thankfully, they were only day-tripping and we lost them heading around the lake. I stopped caring about the number of people on the trail and instead turned my attention toward those who were fortunate enough to get overnight permits. Colchuck Lake is so stunning. My eyes were popping out of my head throughout our hike to its other side.

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, my attention 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.

Portland, OR, USA

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©2020 BY CORIE L. TRAYLOR. CREATED AT SEA LEVEL.