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NWAC Avalanche
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| | |-+  July 6, Cascade Pass
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Author Topic: July 6, Cascade Pass  (Read 2049 times)

Posts: 274

July 6, Cascade Pass
« on: 07/07/10, 12:47 AM »

The snow starts 150 yards from the parking lot, but it's a slide alder choked 150 yards.  This seemed a little unbecoming of a casual mountain stroll, so I opted for the trail, which was clear until perhaps 4800'.  Above that it sported increasingly large patches of snow, which eventually became continuous. The serpentine trail also afforded a useful gaze at a diagonal strip of snow that provides a path through the cliff bands at the head of the cirque, connecting the pass to the lower basin.  There's also a steep chute that hasn't fallen apart yet, more towards Cascade Peak.

I headed a few hundred feet towards Cache, and caught a glimpse of Sahale--a sickly-looking patch that's maybe 600 vf leads to great coverage above.   I think I caught a glimpse of the south side of Buckner, which also looked pretty dang skiable still too.

The diagonal strip was found and duly granted passage through the cliffs and heather hillocks and to the debris-checkered fan below, which all skied very nicely in spite of the lateness of the hour and was neither too bumpy nor sticky.  I debated the tradeoff between hiking extra talus to the switchback in the road and minimal-looking bushwack versus the directissima to the picnic area.  Hubris won out and I succumbed to the temptation of a nice, direct slide alder and thimble berry crawl.  Yum.  Fortunately, it only took 15 minutes with the chimney of the outhouse and a bottle Rogue Brewery Hazlenut Brown serving as my lodestar.

I don't know if skiing from the pass without some brush/cliff/waterfall schenanigans at the head of the cirque will last much longer, but Sahale arm and Boston Basin and the Triad and Hidden Lakes and El Dorado and everything else in the alpine look exquisite.

Sahale, Sahale arm

Hidden Lakes Peak and the Jungle next to the parking lot

Brooker and Buckner?

Posts: 2418

Re: July 6, Cascade Pass
« Reply #1 on: 07/07/10, 09:48 AM »

Very enjoyable trip report.  Wink

Posts: 103

Re: July 6, Cascade Pass
« Reply #2 on: 07/10/10, 10:12 PM »

Thanks for the beta -- the diagonal ramp to the avalanche apron is mostly still there, although it won't last much longer.  Great trip up Sahale!
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