Sahale Peak - Quien Sabe Glacier, June 2000
This trip almost never made it off the ground. First there was engine trouble with Scott's Land Cruiser. Fortunately we were only 10 minutes from home and we were able to quickly re-pack our gear into Chris's car. Then, a few miles outside of Marblemount, Chris's timing belt quit. It was about 10pm at the time and we were fortunate to hitch a ride back into Marblemount at that hour. Once in town, we arranged to have the car towed to the Honda dealership in Burlington and negotiated with the locals to give us a ride to the trailhead, some 20 miles up the Cascade River Road. Chris also arranged to have his dad pick us up on Sunday afternoon.
Annoyingly, during all this ad hock planning and negotiating, we were being continuously heckled by a crazy-eyed, Jesus look-alike who had obviously consumed way too much acid at some point in his life. After what seemed like an eternity, we were finally dropped off at the gate (near Eldorado trailhead) and proceeded to mat down some tall grass on the side of the road for our tent. By morning the weather had deteriorated, bringing occasional showers. We met several returning parties on our way up to the trailhead...all sporting long faces. Reports of continuously foul weather did little to bolster our enthusiasm. Still, we decided to go and I endured the next few hours trying to reassure Chris to keep going as I felt confident that the weather on Sunday would improve.
Late afternoon view to the WSW from the Quien Sabe Glacier. Funny how weather can be so fickle sometimes - all of Saturday we were hiking through rain and fog, then late in the day the clouds gave way to sunshine. The following morning yielded excellent cramponing conditions and we made record time reaching the Boston-Sahale Col. Looking down the Quien Sabe Glacier, our camp was but a tiny speck below encroaching slough-slides. I traversed below the heavily-corniced summit ridge and kicked steps as I went, to secure better footing on the way back down. Chris and Scott followed my track around the corniced ridge and stopped at the level bench just below the final summit rocks...still covered in snow.
The final few feet were suprisingly steep and exposed. Upon descending back to the bench, Chris, who had just arrived, urged me to rope-up with him and head back up to the summit. Somewhat shaken by the sketchy descent, I declined. A few more careful steps back around the corniced ridge and we were back at the col and glissading down what was now rapidly becoming shin-deep slush. As we were packing up camp, we were passed by several individuals making slow, laborious progress up the loose, wet snow. It didn't look like fun.
A fun climb and a nice introduction to the Cascade Pass area peaks!
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