I just received an email from Roger Gervin reporting that he had just returned from a successful hike/scramble of Axis Peak above Stuart Lake. His report:

"The views from Axis Peak are outstanding... being surrounded by the following... Cannon Mtn, Enchantment Peak, Aasgard Pass, Dragontail Peak, Colchuck Peak, Argonaut Peak, Sherpa Peak, Mt. Stuart, Mountaineer Ridge, Jack Ridge, Eightmile Mtn and Cashmere Mtn... and these are the peaks and mountains that seem close enough to reach out and touch... and if you tire of the close-in views, there are more distant views to the west of peaks in the heart of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and north to the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

In a nutshell... this very tiring hike/climb (11.2 miles roundtrip, gaining 4300 feet of elevation) was well worth the 30 minutes we got to spend on the summit.

Starting from the Stuart Lake Trailhead (3540'), we found continuous snow about a quarter-mile from the lake (5000'). Snowshoes were not necessary and we stashed them at the large boulder field on the north side of the lake... where we started the steep 2500 foot climb up to Axis Peak.

We stayed on the boulder field until we were past several patches of nasty looking slide alder... then got on dirt, gravel and rock before traveling on snow for the last 1000 feet of elevation gain to the ridge (7400')... where we stashed our spikes/crampons and worked our way to the summit (7550').

Did I mention how awesome the views were??

Eightmile Lake is completely melted out... Colchuck Lake is 90 percent melted out... Aasgard Pass is starting to melt, but is still 95 percent snow covered.

On our return to the lake we stayed on snow as much as possible.

Maps and photos of our trip to Axis Peak.