I was awakened by something that sounded like goats running around the tent. Given that there were not many other animals dwelling in upper Enchantments capable of making that sound , I was pretty sure they were goats. Good thing they didn’t horn in the tent. They seemed pretty close to it though. May be they do not like a human’s tent. But on the other hand they certainly have developed a special attraction towards humans. As I was washing my face, they couldn’t wait to lick the water and almost shoved me away. But they had to wait until I was done and unfortunately even then, it wasn’t what they were looking for. Okay, enough of goats. Believing they will avoid the tent for their own sake, I stayed in my sleeping bag for a bit trying to picture the scenery outside in my mind. When I got out of the tent, another bright sunny day was waiting for us to enjoy. We had our breakfast on the same rock we had our dinner on last evening. We packed up and waited a bit for Andrew to show up – he went to take some pictures. After Andrew came back, the four of us headed towards lower Enchantments around 9:30 in the morning.
The first lake we encountered after a snowy descent, was Inspiration Lake, about 400 feet below from where we started. The inkblot shaped reflection created by still water of the lake was really something to behold. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the inspiration behind the name Inspiration. After a short break, we resumed our descent. Perfection Lake showed up after another 200 feet of elevation loss. We hiked for another three-quarters of a mile on a relatively flat terrain circumventing the northern half of Perfection Lake until we reached Sprite Lake – a small protuberance from Perfection. The oohs and wows on the way might have sounded a bit cliché but it could be explained by the dumbfoundedness I found myself in by the stunning serenity of the place. The nature was so perfectly set up it made me wonder if the place was really natural or man made. In any case I wished I belonged there.
As a surprise bonus, I later came to know that we hiked by a Windows Vista wallpaper. Well, not the wallpaper, but you know what I mean. Check the pictures if you can find any similarity between the two.
We pitched our tents alongside Sprite Lake, took a break and had our lunch. Later in the afternoon, our next destination would be Prusik Pass. As we still had a few hours to kill, I went up a small hill beside our camp site and witnessed a gorgeous 360 degree view of lakes, waterfalls and mountains. No visit to Enchantments would be complete without a visit to it’s toilets. And I must say, when I ran into one on the way up to the hill, it didn’t disappoint. The pictures will prove it’s worth. I mean, the toilet’s.
Rested and refreshed, Chuck, Rennie and I headed towards Prusik Pass. Andrew decided to stay back. We hiked back by Perfection Lake again – the same trail we hiked few hours back. After a while the trail to Prusik Pass forked towards North, right at the north end of the lake. The hike from this point was short, less than a mile and about 500 feet up. We usually are taught not to look back in life. But any advice of not looking back during the hike on this trail would be shortsighted. Because something was there on our back for us to ogle – the breathtaking panorama of Perfection and Inspiration at the feet of Little Annapurna. Thanks to Chuck and Rennie for suggesting this side hike. As we reached the Prusik Pass, we saw another lake, called Shield Lake, 800 feet below. Albeit the fact that this lake does not belong to Enchantments zone, the blue color of the lake can match those in Enchantments. But the highlight of Prusik Pass was the up-close view of Prusik Peak, the center piece of Enchantments. This is the closet you can get to Prusik Peak without climbing it. Rennie decided not to follow the trail back Instead he took a loop approach and we followed him. In hindsight, we were not sure if that was the right trail as we had to scramble down a steep surface for about 50 feet. Nevertheless, we reached our intended destination and that was, for a change, a tarn and not a lake, but equally beautiful and famous for Prusik Peak’s reflection on it. It’s called Gnome Tarn. After taking a few more pictures of the tarn it was time to head back and call it a day. But not before dinner and a sponge bath at the creek sourced from Sprite Lake. And yes, it was cold.