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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Jackson, WY
    Posts
    5,641

    Cool TR: Postcards from the American Alps- Sahalie Glacier (WA) 8600 Feet

    6.24.2006
    Squirrel99, Zbo, Mofro261

    Destination: Sahale Glacier, North Cascades National Park - WAaaaaarshington
    Base elevation- 3600 feet
    Top elevation- 8600 feet (not a 14'er, but it can hold it's own )
    total vert climbed 7000 feet+
    total skied 6000
    total # of alders & devils club crushed, mutilated, and destroyed- 3,426


    With a blistering heat wave hitting the Pacific Northwest, most people went to the beach.
    we went to the mountains.

    Knowing that a blue bird sky would potentially flood the typical Adams, Rainier & Baker routes this weekend-
    a journey off the beaten path to North Cascades National Park was in order.



    American Alps.
    Not convinced?


    After 23 miles of off road driving, it was time to start the “stair master.” Our route would take us
    up the Cascade Pass trail- about 4 miles and 2,000 vertical feet to…what else…but Cascade Pass!
    The Pass summit to the top of Sahalie would be another 3,000.



    Some route pics here. Red line indicates our ascent; green line is the descent

    From the Pass (5700 feet), we turn north and ascend the main ridge to Sahalie (8600 feet)


    Dropping off the top of Sahalie (pitch was steeper than we anticipated- about 45 degrees)
    we descended SE toward Doubtful Lake


    Upon reaching the lake, we toured from the east and skinned back up to point 6300


    After a short 800 foot descent back to Cascade Pass, we hiked up another 500 feet
    so we could catch this tasty couloir


    From Cascade Pass, we had a our work cut out for us on the next part of the ascent. Zbo laying boot


    With picture perfect blue, white, and green colors on display- and only a handful of hikers, it was bliss.

    Looking up toward our objective


    Mofro261 scouting lines for our descent. A little route finding was necessary as
    only two or three shots went through to the lake


    Majestic surroundings combined with near perfect weather make for inspiring day


    Looking out towards Forbidden Peak


    Pre-summit LAME group shot


    Forgot to mention the additional 1500 vert awaiting


    From the summit- we had amazing views of the entire Cascades: Rainier & Glacier Peak to the South,
    Baker & Shuksan to the West and all points between. Here Mount Baker makes a surprise appearance


    I’ll have to admit- when I left the Wasatch behind three years ago for the Cascades, I really didn’t know what to expect.
    Although access is not quite as easy, the Washington Cascades truly are unique-
    and probably the most vertically inclined, rowdiest mountain chain in the lower 48.


    Panoramic View from the Summit [click picture for quick video]


    But we didn’t come here to hike- we came to ski.

    We discussed a few concerns before the descent. It was steeper than we had anticipated.
    Starting out more than 40 degrees and then rolling over another 5-10. Add a few crevasse hazards,
    rock piles, and wet snow- caution was essential. A few ski cuts were made- and they did as expected.
    Releasing about 8”-12” and running for 500 feet- they crashed into the rock piles below.
    For safety, we decided to ski in and next to the sluff-a-lanche paths.

    Mofro261 dropping [still photo version]


    Watch Zeedashbo kill it in his wife beater- click the pic for short video


    Squirrel99 with Johannesburg in the background


    Zeedash - framed


    Squirrel99 Cornucopia


    Traversing to our next section


    Mofro261


    Squirrel99


    Mofro261 having fun with hard slush


    On deck


    Zbo live once again [click picture for quick video]


    Squirrel participating in some "long-berg" jumping


    Doubtful Lake with Magic Mountain holding court


    Looking back at our line- from peak to ridge to the far looker’s right couloir


    Lamenting the hot sun, we pushed onward with 1,000 feet of mixed skinning and climbing ahead.
    A quick break gives us another 800 feet to add to our descent back toward Cascade Pass-
    where another 500 feet of climbing awaited.

    But it got us to hear. For our Grand Finale


    Mofro261 – “I can see the car from here!”


    Squirrels weren’t the only furry creatures playing in the snow today- a curious Marmot came up to say hello
    Last edited by Squirrel99; 06-26-2006 at 07:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Jackson, WY
    Posts
    5,641

    Talking cont'd...

    Unfortunately, a strand of Alder Brush was waiting our arrival. A few stream crossings and
    hideous bushwhacking got us back to the car. I’d like to personally thank Mofro261 for
    the libations that soothed my soul after this, less than pleasant bushwhacking experience


    Summer skiing doesn’t always elicit the opportunity to bag the big technical lines. But today
    we gpt to ski from glacier to valley- with a few couloirs thrown in between.
    Hiking, Skiing, and Climbing with great friends in fantastic conditions is what it’s all about.
    I’ve got a perma-grin plastered across my face that will last for days, if not years.

    I’m sure Zbo & Mofro will have some more pics along with commentary to add. That’s it for now.
    I’m spent. Much props & thanks- yesterday was $$$$$!


    EDIT: A few more pics to add

    future project for another day


    zbo pointing towards one of his 2006 winter outings


    I'm pretty happy- can't you tell?


    Forbidden Peak / Boston Basin


    Mofro up close


    Squirrel in the cornfields- charging towards the Alder Play-spot


    Time to head home
    Last edited by Squirrel99; 06-25-2006 at 11:22 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    779
    that is awesome cant believe you guys are skiing that good of stuff at this date

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    5,017

    Thumbs up

    Big pics for a big tour. They go hand in hand . I wish we could get half that vert here in Colorado right now. Looks amazing. Nice one Squirrel.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    flat lands
    Posts
    851
    Nice day!!!!

    Your F*&ng killing me though

    BT

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    514
    Schweeet squirrely! Way to rally up the rodent troops...that Marmot looks like he needs a lot more exercise! And that snow looks sooo smooth! Looks like a blast! Thanks for the TR.
    Prrrrrrr....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    29,397
    Nice stuff, SQ!

    Love the sound of the wet slush when Z heads down.
    Good for youz guyz!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Crystal Mtn, WA
    Posts
    1,455
    I think you've outdone yourself on this one, honey chile. Your pictures and TR are out-friggin-standing!
    I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Trouserville
    Posts
    14,463
    Uh.......


    YAYEAHHHH!!!


    Gawdayum that looks fun.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    3,302
    Wow. Awesome. And to think, people still don't know that we have mountains up here.

    I went for a trail run to Source Lake today. Does that count?

    edit: oops
    Last edited by Schmear; 06-25-2006 at 11:16 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Babylon
    Posts
    10,178
    did you ever know that you (collective you) are my heeeeero
    and everything i wish I could be

    I can fly higher than the mountains
    because you are the wind beneath my wings......

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Alpental
    Posts
    5,404

    What an Amazing Day

    Great write up Squirrel99.

    Here's a few more...


    I've been in the PNW nearly all of my life, yet until yesterday had never seen the beauty that is Cascade Pass. We'd been mulling a trip to Ranier but Z-bo lulled us away from the crowds and into scenica majestica.

    Besides, Squirrel99 had mentioned he was up for something mellow. A late 4:30am departure from Seattle got us to the trail head by 8am.



    An easy tennis shoe walk got us to Cascade Pass in 2 hours.
    Snow fields were still running down to 4500ft on south aspects, 3800 north.



    Great! We're here. I didn't realise we still had another 3200 ft to climb.



    Starting the last 1200ft push up



    We reached the top around 3 with little wind and temps in the mid 70's.
    I did a ski cut then rolled over the lip to find firm corn on the face.

    Z-bo and Squirrel99 contemplating slough management.



    The slide I cut off sounded way worse than it really was. I had already skied down, stopped and got out the camera just as it was hitting the rocks only ~100ft below the starting point.

    Squirrel99: Joining the Sahalie Ski Club



    Z-bo heading for Stehekin



    Squirrel99 really wants to go boating. Headed for the lake.




    Squirrel99 shows his poker face. What's he really think of Sahalie?




    Looking back up Sahalie from Cascade Pass




    This was a long day. Up, down. Up,down. Up, then down our final descent after 6pm. The snow on the north facing aspects was nice and firm. Though with the relief in this valley, not a lot of sun hits it.

    Sq99



    Z-bo



    We skied to within a 1/4 mile of the car. But what a helacious 1/4. Z-bo and I stayed on the scree and followed the river to minimize the alder. Squirrel's are usually right at home in the forest, so he decided to try his luck. An hour later Sq99 emerged form the heart of darkness, and we were all refreshed from the days adventure.



    Z-bo, Sq99-
    Thanks again for an awesome day.
    Last edited by Mofro261; 06-26-2006 at 12:40 AM.
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  13. #13
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    Oct 2002
    Posts
    2,805

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    408
    F*cking outstanding! ***** all the way. Man I'm bummed I missed out on that one.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrel99
    I think this one is Boston Glacier?
    That's Boston Basin (unglaciated, except for a small one below Forbidden Peak). The Boston Glacier is actually on the other side of the ridge, and is huge and full of crevasses:
    On the left here:


    Nice trip... we were in the area a week before on the other side of the valley, and oggled those lines down into the lake - definitely looked like "the way" to ski off Sahale.
    Last edited by philfort; 06-25-2006 at 11:03 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrel99
    6Doubtful Lake with (Mix It Up peak? In the background)
    That's Magic Mtn. Mixup Peak is just off to the right.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    18,027
    Beautiful. The Sunrise Road at Rainier is supposed to open on 7/1, by the way.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    2,404
    That is absolutely amazing.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    The Mall
    Posts
    423
    If it were the Alps there would be a rotating restaurant on top of Sahale.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jack Tone Road
    Posts
    12,778
    Fucking sweet.

    Z-Bo doesn't suck at skiing, by the way.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Jackson, WY
    Posts
    5,641
    gracias everyone. that was one helluva day.
    phil- thx for the peak corrections- I'm still a little bit wasted from yesterday and couldn't remember all the names

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmear
    I went for a trail run to Source Lake today. Does that count?
    you get a participation ribbon
    Last edited by Squirrel99; 06-26-2006 at 09:12 AM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Where the Butte is Crested
    Posts
    3,340
    Nice TR Squirrel! Those alders sound... unfun. For me it's willows. I am constanly saying "willows are not my friend" Looks like you guys had a great day, and I definitely dig your future project!
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    7,594

    Thumbs up

    Well played my friends. Well played.
    Waste your time, read my crap, at:
    One Gear, Two Planks

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    3,302
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces
    Well played my friends. Well played.
    When are you coming up to play with us?

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    7,594
    Next year.

    PacNW.

    Warsh & Whist

    (in some combination, somehow).

    I.

    swear.

    to.

    GOD.
    Waste your time, read my crap, at:
    One Gear, Two Planks

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