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| |-+  June 2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  June 17-18 2006, Sahale Peak Attempt
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Author Topic: June 17-18 2006, Sahale Peak Attempt  (Read 1760 times)

Posts: 287

June 17-18 2006, Sahale Peak Attempt
« on: 06/21/06, 08:19 AM »

This trip was a graduation climb for some students in a Glacier course (Not the Mountaineers), and I figured it would be a good trip to bring the skis. I was able to get under 40lbs with my new BD Skylight Tent (Kicks Ass) and a little under 60 with the skis, boots, and skins (no need for the skins the entire trip).

We left Everett at 5am and got to Marblemount around 7am and got our permit. The road was still closed, but we all brought our bikes to push to the trailhead. An overnight pack with skis and boots on a bike is quite a challenge going uphill on that steep paved road, so I did walk most of it.

It drizzled and was very socked in most of the day, with the weak high pressure system never making it's way into the Cascade River Valley. Since most of the students were newbies, we hiked the trail to Cascade Pass. I really wish we would have bushwacked, but the trail was the best choice. No bears this time, only a young deer that was very curious. There was spotty snow on the trail until you reach the long traverse towards Cascade Pass, where there is alot of snow. Once at the pass, we started to ascend the partially melted out switchbacks and then make a b-line straight for the ridge once we reachec continuous snow.

Once of the students (Elisha) was on the steeper slope and took a fall, but arrested quickly, but then slipped again and started a very quick and uncontrollable slide down the slope. Her heavy pack kept her face down, but she could not regain control of her ice axe until about another 25 yards on the steep and sugary snow that was very fast. By the time she got her axe it was too late and she landed in a pile of talus and then cries followed shortly thereafter. It was at that time I knew the trip had been compromised. We all ran down to her and began assesing the situation, getting her warm, checking for injuries. It was mostly internal brusing with a twisted ankle. We then decided we had to make camp and the only place to do so was 500 feet below us at Cascade Pass.

She was unable to put weight on her one foot, so we placed a harness on her and a 30m rope. 2 guys would be behind her in a V Formation, and 2 in front of her to get her down the slope. I was in charge of her pack, which I tied a long runner to and pushed it downhill, sideslipping the slope with my skis. Several times the pack wanted to take me down the hill very fast, so it was arduous work.

Once at the pass we got her in a tent and made comfortable. It was still drizzling, so the attitude of the group slowly fizzled into nothing. Around 9pm, the sun came out on the west side of the pass and allowed us to finally see some peaks (HLP/The Triad/Eldorado/Torment). We shot some pictures, and then I decided to hit some of the corn on the arm just south of Cascade Pass on the way up to the Ptarmidgan Traverse. The slope was awesome, and the views kicked ass with the alpenglow effects.

We all slept very well that night, and awoke to much better views the next morning, although none of us felt like heading up to Sahale that morning (now regreted). Instead, we all hiked up to the very top of the arm south of the pass and got great veiw of Sahale and others. The ski descent was awesome, creamy corn...

Ran into Phil Fortier as they made their way over the pass, and heard that a couple more skiers passed by as we were up on the arm.

We packed up and started the descent. Everyone in the group took one or two things from Elisha so that her pack could weigh next to nothing, which really helped her descent. Down at the trailhead, everyone was very stoked to have the bikes there (except Cody, who rode a flat tire all the way down to MP21). The other bummer was that when we got back to the Eastmont Park N Ride at x189, Caleb said "Dude, where's my Car?". It was stolen! 2 days later it was recovered, big bummer though, especially since he had just moved down to Hood River.

All in all a good trip, not stuck at home, and got the skis out. I am still very much a fan of the BD Crossbows.
A continuous line can still be made form the pass down to the trailhead with lmited bushwacking if a good line is picked.

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Life is short, spray hard
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