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Enchantment Lakes aka Shangri La (pics)

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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Enchantment Lakes aka Shangri La (pics)

Old 07-31-19, 12:39 PM
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Enchantment Lakes aka Shangri La (pics)

Ive posted a lot of ride reports here over the years, with beautiful mountain scenery to complement a beautiful road bike. The way I find roads to ride on is usually that I go hiking, and say to myself my god, I need to come back with my bike. Id like to share some photos of where one of the roads I ride as a spring classic leads. Every year in April I go to 11worth and ride Icicle Road. Now that I have a gravel bike I like to also ride Eightmile Road. This is where it leads.

Tagging @woodway and @Carbonfiberboy because they provided invaluable beta, and @HTupolev because hes an encyclopedia of local riding knowledge and will hopefully enjoy seeing these.

I did this with a friend, we were going for photos and the slowest known time. It took us 23 hours to do this traverse, we never stopped for more than 10 minutes. I saw a shooting star from the spillway between Snow Lakes. Officially this is supposed to be about 18 miles (more because we got lost a few times in the darkness), with about 5,500 of ascent and 10,000 of descent. Ive wanted to do this for a decade, although I wanted to spread the pain over 3 to 5 days. But Ive never had luck in the permit lottery, so I decided to do it as a day hike before I get too old.

Slabby fun world was hands down the most beautiful place Ive ever seen and Ive seen many. I regret leaving.

No trip to the Enchantments would be complete without goats.



Aasgard Pass



I didn't realize the upper basin would be a river!



Perfection Lake



I was going for contrast between the warm evening light at the top of the frame, and the cold blue water. I wound up cropping from the top and maybe ruined the effect I was going for.



My buddy, in the lower basin.



Did I mention the waterfalls?



It was very important for us to get below the infamous via ferrata section before dark. They put rebar in after somebody died here descending in the rain. Neither of us wanted to test our luck descending by headlamp. But we made it in plenty of time and didn't need to use the rods; slabby fun land is made of grippy granite.



Jack takes in the very long march ahead of us as sunset spreads across the far ridge. Upper Snow below us.



This is what the last ten miles looked like.

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Old 07-31-19, 12:40 PM
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My buddy looking at our immediate future.



This kid was cute.





I wasn't able to count the goats, a lady I talked to for a while on the way up told me she'd counted 40 that day.

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Old 07-31-19, 04:22 PM
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I'm a lowland dweller myself but love mountains. I've backpacked three time into the Wemenuche Wilderness are of Colorado near Durango. A traverse of the area on the Continental Divide Trail stays above 10,000 feet. Your photos reminded me of that area and the sheer pleasure of standing and looking at all that beauty.
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Old 07-31-19, 04:26 PM
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Love the goat pics!
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Old 07-31-19, 04:31 PM
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I was mildly dissapointed this wasn't a hike a bike renegade adventure. Never through hiked but done some camping in the lower enchantments and it really is a magical place. Good fly fishing as well
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Old 07-31-19, 04:39 PM
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Old 07-31-19, 04:40 PM
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Very inviting. Thanks
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Old 07-31-19, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97
I was mildly dissapointed this wasn't a hike a bike renegade adventure. Never through hiked but done some camping in the lower enchantments and it really is a magical place. Good fly fishing as well
Too many rangers up there for that.

I was mildly disappointed I couldn't tame a goat and ride it up.
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Old 07-31-19, 09:59 PM
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Great pics, thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-31-19, 10:05 PM
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Stunning.

I was considering checking out Icicle Road on my tour a month ago, but decided to skip it due to a developing achilles injury.
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Old 07-31-19, 10:23 PM
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Great pics! Beautiful scenery. Great way to spend a day or two.
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Old 08-01-19, 01:21 AM
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Stunningly beautiful. I hope the feeling stays with you.
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Old 08-01-19, 02:21 AM
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oh hell yes. thank you for the pics. inspiration and soul-stirring.
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Old 08-01-19, 09:23 AM
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Stunning scenery and great pics!
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Old 08-01-19, 09:35 AM
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1. I'm jealous. Beautiful country!
2. From reading your posts here on BF, it's long been obvious you know your way around a bicycle.
3. It's obvious you know your way around a camera as well.

Absolutely stunning photographs!


-Matt
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Old 08-01-19, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest

I was mildly disappointed I couldn't tame a goat and ride it up.
I've tried to do that too
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Old 08-01-19, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat
1. I'm jealous. Beautiful country!
2. From reading your posts here on BF, it's long been obvious you know your way around a bicycle.
3. It's obvious you know your way around a camera as well.

Absolutely stunning photographs!


-Matt
Thanks! And thanks for looking, too.

If you can believe it, all of these are from my phone. Didn't want to carry a heavy SLR for this. The goats use the same trails we do, sometimes you come around a corner and there's a family of them 5 feet away. They need salt, and they know our pee is full of it, so they tolerate our presence pretty well.
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