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Aasgard Pass is the provacative backdoor entry to the Upper Enchantment Basin in the Southern Cascades in Washington State. It's not an easy hike but the rewards are plentyful. It's beautiful and humbling. Use the icons to the right to navigate the photos from our 1999 ascent.

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» Commentary: Jere

All photos ©1999 Jere & Geoffrey Smith

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basecamp

Basecamp

After a hearty breakfast Team Aasgard gears up for the morning ascent.

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the pass

The Pass

The view of Aasgard from across Lake Colchuk at basecamp. Aasgard is probably the most demanding hike for a backpacker in the Pacific Northwest. It gains 2,230 feet in under a mile with several almost vertical switch-backs up an unstable boulder field.

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another look at the pass

Another View

Another look at the pass before making the short trek around the lake to the base of Aasgard.

ken and geoff

Pals

Ken & Geoff take in a quick break before heading up the massive boulder field that makes up the first leg of the ascent. Tim retells the story of his first journey up the pass, involving a rainstorm and rocks the size of cars tumbling over his head.

jere on the pass

Jere “Guns” Smith

Jere leans into the mountain to take a few photos of Lake Colchuk below.

the summit

The Summit at Last!

The summit is reached at last. Tim surveys the horizon. A good day's work.

basin camp

Upper Enchantment Basin

The morning of our third day, after sleeping off yesterday's hike and last night's celebration. From the upper basin camp the team plans excursions into the surrounding alpine country.

annapurna 1

Little Annapurna

A spectacular rock formation at the top of Little Annapurna, a peak to the south of the Enchantments with an air-thinning elevation of 8500 vertical feet. Just beyond where Tim and Geoff are standing is a 2500 foot drop off. Little Annapura is filled with towering weather-sculpted rocks that hang over the sides of the peak with incredible vertical drops.

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annapurna 2

Terror on the Mountain

Here Tim earns his “Camp Daredevil” award by hanging himself over the edge the outcropping with only Geoff's sturdy grip to keep him from tumbling down the 2500 foot vertical drop of doom at the summit of Little Anapurna. The vertigo effect was felt equally by all team members and some were forced to look away in horror.

goats

Kissing Goats

Only a one day at the basin and we had already befriended some of the locals.

looking south

The View South

Jere and Tim take in the southern view. Mount Stewart lies to the west..

dad and lad

Dynamic Duo

The Smith Boys celebrate the Annapurana ascent. Jere looks good and ready for a potential ass-kicking!

ken eats jerky

Jerky

Ken savors some beef jerky at the summit of Little Annapurna. A well deserved reward for the scramble to the top at 8500 feet.

jere and tim

Jere and Tim

Jere and Tim pose in front of one of many alpine ponds.

ken and tim

Ken and Tim

Ken and Tim lounge near an icy pool as the sky breaks over Prussik Peak.

ken's dance

Ken's Dance

Ken demonstrates the Aasgard mountain victory dance. Notice the Team Aasgard gang signs.

jere as super hero

Jere's Tights

Here Jere assumes the famed “Mountain Super Hero” pose replete with red tights and bulging biceps.

isolation lake

Isolation

Ken and Geoff relax on a boulder overlooking Isolation Lake.

storm photo

Heavy Weather

Another storm front rolls into the Upper Enchantment Basin. Prusik Peak stands shrouded in dark clouds. The weather up here never ceases to amaze the team.

nice view

These are the Vistas

Jere and Tim take in the view of Isolation Lake from the top of the Snow Creek glacier.

little annapurna

Little Annapurna

Ken is dwarfed by the sheer rock walls of Little Annapurna. This rock formation has to be seen to be believed. Almost like a pennensula in the sky, it juts out from the top of the peak with tremendous vertical drops on either side. Vertigo is an understatement.

team aasgard

The Team

Every year we talk about going back for another try. Between the four of us we have traveled and explored almost all the continents. In all of our journeys we have yet to encounter that peculiar religious appeal that the the Upper Enchantment Basin offers. It's so much more than a place. And in this case, the journey and the destination are one in the same.