Ascent of Cannon Mountain on 2015-09-02

Climber: Eric Gilbertson

Date:Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cannon Mountain
    Elevation:8638 ft / 2632 m

Ascent Trip Report

Dragontail Peak, Cannon Mountain, Enchantment Peak, Little Annapurna, McClellan Peak

Eric, Katie, Sally, Chris

Sept 1-3, 2015

Sally and Chris were visiting Seattle for some mountaineering so we decided to hike a few peaks together in the Enchantments. It’s really difficult to get a permit to camp in the Enchantments because it’s so popular, but we decided to try our luck getting a permit.

On the morning of September 1 we got to the Leavenworth ranger station at 7:30am, along with a dozen other people hoping to get a permit. The way the permit system works is in February every year there is a lottery for advanced camping permits for the rest of the year. If you don’t get one then, there is one permit per zone available for same-day pickup. These permits are determined by lottery at the ranger station.

Every group put a name on a piece of paper, folded it up, and put it in a hat. The ranger had a volunteer pull out the winner of the core zone permit, and it was not us. Most people just wanted to core zone, so after that drawing everybody left. There were still several nearby zones, though, so we had no competition to get the Snow Lake zone permit for two nights.

We drove to the snow lakes trailhead, dropped off Sally’s car, then drove to the Colchuck Lake trailhead in Katie’s car. We hiked up to Colchuck Lake, then up Asgard pass. Near the pass we dropped overnight gear and put on microspikes. We turned right and hiked up the good boot track on the Dragontail Glacier and scrambled up to the summit. Unfortunately we were enveloped in clouds with no view, so soon descended.

Back on the Enchantments Plateau the visibility improved and we hiked all the way across the plateau and dropped down toward Snow Lake. At the border of the zone we bushwhacked into the woods and set up camp.

The next morning we left camp and hiked back onto the plateau. We hiked up prussik pass, then dropped all the way
down to Shield Lake. On the west side of the lake we ascended through alpine meadows and open forest, and eventually scrambled up to the summit of Cannon Mountain. The very top was a tricky slab, which was thankfully dry.

On the descent we stayed high and traversed to prussik pass instead of dropping down to shield lake. From the pass we ascended the ridge to the west and then made the short and fun scramble to the top of Enchantment Peak. The summit block was just barely big enough for all four of us to fit at the same time. After scrambling back down we hiked over to tag Little Annapurna, which had a trail to the summit, then returned to camp for the night.

On the morning of September 3 we hiked back up to the plateau for a final time. This time we skirted the east edge of Leprechaun Lake, then scrambled up a gully on the northwest side of McClellan Peak. We crossed over the west ridge, then scrambled just below the ridge crest to the summit of McClellan.

McClellan was the last peak on our agenda, so we hiked back to camp, packed up, then hiked back down to Sally’s car at the Snow Lake trailhead.

Link to full trip report and pictures.
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