Cannon, Enchantment, Dragontail, and Witches Tower

Cannon Mountain. We approached via Prusik Pass. We found a cairned bootpath that starts slightly to the west of the pass and heads NW, contouring the slopes on the north side of the ridge. We completely overshot and accidently summited Elf Ridge first. Oops. Once we oriented ourselves, it was a straight-forward scramble to Druid Plateau (the 8,320'+ plateau just below the summit) via the east slopes. The summit of Cannon was a rock scramble, and the last 15-20 feet was steep and slabby. It was a little intimidating downclimbing the short section of slabby rock at the top, a slip could have deposited us 30 feet down the slope.

Enchantment Peak, NE summit. The NE summit was a straight-forward walk-up from Prusik Pass, with 15 feet of 3rd class scrambling to the top. We checked out the SW summit and decided it was far past what we'd be willing to do with only a 30 meter rope and a few biners and slings. Too bad since I'm not clear which summit is the true summit.

Dragontail Peak. The standard Valhalla Cirque route was out because the glacier was mostly ice. So we skirted the SE side of Isolation Lake, then ascended granite slopes to the 8,120'+ pass between Little Annapurna and Dragontail Peak. At the pass we walked across the snowfield at the top of the Snow Creek Glacier, then ascended SW to the Dragontail Plateau. From the plateau, we hiked the west side of the ridge to the top of Dragontail.

Witches Tower. This was my favorite. It started with a short, exposed, slabby ledge on the SSE side. The ledge was very easy, but a bit intimidating with all the exposure. After this short section, it was a fun, unexposed rock scramble to the summit, with a bit of 3rd class. The top was solid granite and very roomy with loads of exposure on all sides.

On the hike down my headlamp batteries gave out just as we reached the car. How convenient.

  • Date:
    2006/10/20 to 2006/10/22
    Elevation gain:
    8,300 feet
    Trip type:
    scramble
    USGS quads:
    Cashmere Mountain, Enchantment Lakes
    In:
    Alpine Lakes Wilderness
    Car-to-car:
    3 days
    • 2 hours 52 minutes driving there (via Blewett Pass) from Capitol Hill to Colchuck Lake trailhead
    • 4 hours 51 minutes ascending from Colchuck Lake trailhead to Aasgard Pass
    • 1 hour 26 minutes ascending from Aasgard Pass to camp above Crystal Lake
    • 5 hours 3 minutes ascending from camp above Crystal Lake to Cannon Mountain summit
    • 2 hours 18 minutes ascending from Cannon Mountain summit to Enchantment Peak, NE summit
    • 39 minutes descending from Enchantment Peak, NE summit to near Enchantment Peak, SW summit
    • 1 hour 13 minutes descending from near Enchantment Peak, SW summit to camp above Crystal Lake
    • 3 hours 35 minutes ascending from camp above Crystal Lake to Dragontail Peak summit
    • 1 hour 48 minutes descending from Dragontail Peak summit to Witches Tower summit
    • 5 hours 2 minutes descending from Witches Tower summit to Colchuck Lake trailhead
    • 2 hours 47 minutes driving back (via Blewett Pass) from Colchuck Lake trailhead to Capitol Hill
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  • East side of Dragontail Peak
    East side of Dragontail Peak
  • NE side of Little Annapurna
    NE side of Little Annapurna
  • Druid Plateau
    Druid Plateau
  • Prusik Peak and The Temple from N of Prusik Pass
    Prusik Peak and The Temple from N of Prusik Pass
  • Enchantment Peak, NE summit
    Enchantment Peak, NE summit
  • Enchantment Peak, NE summit
    Enchantment Peak, NE summit
  • McClellan Peak at sunrise
    McClellan Peak at sunrise
  • East side of Dragontail Peak
    East side of Dragontail Peak
  • Slab route up east side of Witches Tower
    Slab route up east side of Witches Tower
  • East side of Witches Tower
    East side of Witches Tower
  • Jabberwocky Tower from Aasgard Pass
    Jabberwocky Tower from Aasgard Pass
  • Colchuck Balanced Rock from Colchuck Lake
    Colchuck Balanced Rock from Colchuck Lake

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