Route: West Ridge (5.7)

Route: North side (3rd)  

TR #: 63

Category: Washington (HWY 2)       Rock Type: Granodiorite
Summit Elev: 8,000 ft (Prusik); 8,460 ft (Little Annapurna)

Partners: Jenny Abegg, Booth Haley

Brilliant yellow larch trees, October sun, and fun climbing on solid granite was the theme of this overnight trip in the Enchantments. The west ridge of Prusik is a North Cascades classic ridge climb.

DAY 1, October 18, 2008:
My sister, Booth, and I hiked in via Aasgard Pass on Saturday morning, scrambled up Little Annapurna, and made our way through the brilliant yellow sea of larch trees to camp at Gnome Tarn below Prusik Peak. It was a beautiful clear and starry night for some night photography.

DAY 2, October 19, 2008:
On Sunday morning we decided to brave the cold granite and climb the West Ridge of Prusik Peak. We smulclimbed the ridge and were on the summit in an hour and a half, enjoying the sun and views of the Enchantment basin below. We descended down the north face, and 5 hours and several thousand downhill feet later we were at the car. What a fun weekend!

This is the second time I climbed the West Ridge of Prusik—I had first climbed the West Ridge in 2005 with my dad, mom, and sister (click here to open my 2005 trip report). I have since climbed Prusik several more times by several other routes. A summary of all of the climbs I have done on Prusik is here.

DAY 1 - OCT 18
Larch trees and Little Annapurna
The Upper Enchantment basin shortly after crossing over Aasgard Pass. Temple Ridge (Prusik Peak) in distance.
The Upper Enchantment basin shortly after crossing over Aasgard Pass. Temple Ridge (Prusik Peak) in distance.
On the flat and easy summit of Little Annapurna. Nice view of the Enchantment Lakes basin from the summit.
Larch Tree.
Cool ice formations.
More cool ice formations.
Approaching Prusik Peak.
Sunset over Upper Enchantments from camp at Gnome Tarn.

Night Photography:
It was a perfect clear night for star photography. I probably would have been up all night if I hadn't run out of batteries.
Star trails over Gnome Tarn.
Star trails over Little Annapurna.
Planet over Little Annapurna.
Star trails over the Upper Enchantments.
Big Dipper over Prusik Peak.

DAY 2 - OCT 19
West Ridge of Prusik Peak
Morning sun at our camp at Gnome Tarn.
Prusik Peak from our camp at Gnome Tarn.
Looking up the west ridge. Fun climbing! Too bad it was shady though…..
Jenny's reaction to the 5.7 friction pitch.
Booth taking the second lead of the route (we simulclimbed) and rounding the horn in the ridge to an easy and exposed south side traverse.
Jenny on the last crack (5.7ish) before the summit. (Back in 2005, on a family backpacking trip, my dad had broken his finger in this crack, so that's the reason Jenny seems to be fingering the camera….
On the summit of Prusik Peak. It took us about an hour and a half to simulclimb the west ridge.

Note that from June 15 to October 15 (as of 2008, at least) a permit is required for overnight trips into the Enchantments. A limited number of permits are available at the Leavenworth ranger station. Hence, as with this trip, a great time to do an impromptu weekend in the Enchantments is just after October 15 when no permit is needed!