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Colchuck Scramble

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posted by Gwendolyn Allsop alias gwendolyn.allsop on Sunday 19th of September 2021 03:10:50 PM

Colchuck Lake, Leavenworth, WA This was such a challenging and rewarding hike for me. I have been wanting to explore the Alpine Lakes Wilderness/Enchantments area for years, but knowing that these hikes were pretty tough I kept putting it off. But this year I had a little time and a lot of willpower, so I finally did it. I got up at 2:30am and made preparations to begin my hike. The first half of the trail isn't too bad, and I thought I was doing pretty good. A couple groups of people had passed me, even at the unholy hour of around 4am, but I knew they were on their way to do the insane through-hike of the Enchantments and they had a lot of ground to cover by the end of the day. The second half of the hike seemed to go on forever; it was constant switchbacks with rocks to clamber over and loose gravel...the nemesis of my knees and ankles. Another group of folks passed me and I swear they must be part mountain goat because they made it look like a breeze. A little demoralized, I continued to huff and puff and put one foot in front of the other. The sky began to brighten, I could start to see the mountain peaks through the trees, my goal was agonizingly close. I pushed myself, but I missed the alpenglow by about 10 minutes. I did however finally reach the top and catch the last bits of sunrise color that caught in the wispy clouds above. I made it. As I explored the lakeshore alternately snapping photos and eating breakfast, I was constantly struck by the awesome presence of the mountains and the beauty of the calm turquoise waters. What a tremendous sight, such power and strength balanced with tranquility and natural elegance. So what if I'm slow, so what if I'm not as fit as those other guys that left me in the dust (quite literally), so what if I missed the alpenglow? My body with all its imperfections had still been strong enough and my willpower determined enough to get me to this slice of heaven. And that's the whole point. How lucky to be alive and to experience such wonders. While I encourage everyone who wants to visit to go do so, please, do your research and please leave no trace; on my way down I ran into so many people who were so unprepared for the long (8+ miles) hike having little or no water/snacks, wearing the wrong kinds of shoes (flip flops, REALLY?!), and I ended up picking up a lot of trash. Please, stay safe, give yourself time, and keep the wilderness wild for the next people to enjoy. Follow me on Instagram @onegirlsplussizedadventure and you can browse my shop at

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  • Published 10.06.22
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