Cascade Pass/Sahale Arm & area July 25-27 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Default Cascade Pass/Sahale Arm & area July 25-27

Here are some pics from the mini-trip that Redhead and I did with the North Cascades Institute last week.

We had a great time and I'll give the North Cascades Institute a plug because they seem to have pretty cool programs running out there.

Here's their website:
http://www.ncascades.org/

Anyhow...Friday eve. was spent at the NCI lodging. The meals are buffet-style and very tasty!

The first night was spent getting to know our trail mates, packing gear and exploring the NCI site. We also went out on Diablo Lake in the 12 man canoe with our two naturalist/guides and paddled over to the dam, while getting some learnin' about the dams and lakes and glaciers.

Oh..and Daryl and I both had a dip in the lake, which was cold enough to take the breath away and shrink the business..so it was literally just a dip.
got lucky w/my own dormitory room for the night
it was hot enough to make the lake inviting..brrr

The next morning, we were off after a tasty breakfast and with a sack lunch that we made ourselves from an assortment of goodies.

We had to stop at the Ranger Station before heading to the trail to pick up our passes and blue bags..We also got a leave-no-trace lecture (apparently everyone gets this regardless of group size) from a comedic ranger and the station had some cool things to look at..such as bear-damaged gear and continually growing mounds of left-behind climbing ropes and trail markers...yikes.

The main thing that I took away from the meeting with the ranger was that I was determined to turn off my poop machine for two days because I did not want to have to pick it up, put it in a bag and then suffer the grosser indignity of smooshing it into my full pack and toting it around until Sunday night.

After a long drive up a washboardy gravel road, we arrived at the trailhead and began our adventure in glorious weather. Our total mileage this day was only 5..but the 1st 3.7 to Cascade Pass was a trudge with about 5 billion switchbacks. We (Daryl and I) were happy to arrive at Cascade Pass because it meant that we had mostly downhill left!

The adventure begins

Cascade Pass at about 5,392 feet


Enroute to Pelton Basin and our base camp for 2 nights


Our little base camp



Pumping some fresh cool water



The next day, we were to hike out of Pelton Basin..back up to the pass and then up Sahale Arm to about 7200ft (the glacier is at 7700ft), where we could look over the ridge and see the Boston Glacier

The views were breathtaking and the marmots were plentiful! We also saw a ptarmigan w/3-4 little ones..very cute!


getting steep!

Doubtful Lake
don't jump marmot!
Baker in the dip..see it?

All weekend we heard massive slides and avalanches..this is the 1st one that we heard and it took me a bit before I realized what was going on...pretty cool At one point, I thought we were hearing another slide, and out of nowhere, a fighter jet flew right past us in Pelton Basin. Very low and very loud...crazy..no idea what it was doing there...there was just one plane.





So this is where I gave up my Sahale summit attempt...I went from fabulously happy and invigorated to completely irrational and thinking that I was going to roll right down into Doubtful Lake because my feet kept slipping on the rocks. Daryl was only to happy to chicken out with me and we headed back down while the rest of the group continued for about 30-40 min and they got to see the Boston Glacier AND some curious mountain goats..dammit. When our guide (who had just climbed Mt Rainier the week prior), told me that there was a bit of a scramble at the end of this hike, I had a feeling that I wouldn't make it...
So..down we went....


Daryl continued back to camp to 'feed the composting toilet' and I sat above Doubtful Lake and ate my Snickers bar, while waiting for the group because we had a loose plan to go down to Doubtful Lake before going back to camp...after about an hour, they hadn't showed up and when they eventually did, I didn't feel bad about chickening out because I was told that it was a good scramble to the ridge and they had to take it very slow coming down..so I would have needed a mountain rescue..but I was disappointed about the goats, who had been very curious and came right up to the group. By that time, it was getting late in the day and the group voted not to do Doubtful, which supposedly was a challenging slog down and of course back up..so back to camp it was and.....dinner!

That night it rained on us, and the next day, we decided to continue w/our plan to hike to Horseshoe Basin. It was sprinkling when we left camp and eventually turned into a near downpour for the entire 4.2 roundtrip hike...BUT..it was worth it! The basin was really spectacular with numerous waterfalls peeping out through the fog...glorious..even in the rain!

Daryl had chosen to stay at camp for this one and he missed out! Especially when three of our group stripped down on the way back at the river crossing and jumped in...woohoo underoos!! Ok, I was a pansy that didn't want to show my hot sexy bod for fear of getting..you know...attacked....but I didn't mind ogling our hottie guide Adam while he was prancing about!

I admit that on this trip, I was wishing that I was a cute and fashionable 25 yr old mountain climbing gal so that I could chase him about! [:0]


Adam's trail food consisted of a one-pound block of cheddar and 'meat stick'[xx(]




When we returned from our Horseshoe slog...we were soaked to the bone and had to pack up camp and hike back out the 5 miles to the parking lot...I'm not sure that was the most fun that I've ever had...but actually, it wasn't that bad...So..Sunday was a wet 10 mile day..but we still had energy for a few good victory shots at the end I guess I won't show them because I don't have permission from all the folks.

Anyhow...I really enjoyed myself on this trip! I learned a few tricks to snow camping (my 1st time) and met some really nice folks, who say they would like to continue hiking with me, even though I'm slower than molasses!


p.s. If you must know.....my poop machine failed me on Sun a.m. and I was forced to propel myself up onto the ridiculously high composting throne (which included a 'shit-viewer' window...WTF?). If you have ever been to this area, you will understand when I say that I had to do some real commandeering to get myself up onto this thing without a) falling into the toilet or b) falling off the toilet and rolling down the hill towards the river with my pants down and the deer chasing me for my salty pee. What a fabulous idea with a ridiculously stupid setup.

Toodles!

Chaos, Panic & Disorder----my work here is done.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 08:04 AM
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Awesome Awesome! What a great morning read . I'm glad you two had a great time. Beautiful up there.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 08:29 AM
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haha!! fun read as usual! and tell me, how was camping on the snow? were you cold, even a little? wish i could've gone!

oh, did u happen to take any pics of those growing mounds of bear damaged gear and other stuff?.... oh, and of Adam in his undies? hehe! [] ok, i'll settle for the stuff at the station, i guess..
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 11:10 AM
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That's a great looking area! The basin looks cool. I'm glad you don't feel bad about not doing the scramble, if you're that uncomfortable, you definitely made the right decision for you that day. Plus now I know what a poop machine is....though I night have been happier in blissful ignorance....
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 01:40 PM
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I know you've wanted to do something with NCI for awhile - good on ya!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 05:39 PM
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Nice photos beautiful area!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 06:05 PM
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This must be moved to the hiking humour section
I dont feel so bad for dragging your ass out to Weaver in March,when you had to pack all your stuff in the soggy slush and rain
Darryl must have come up with a few more excellent curse phrases
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 07:14 PM
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Good one moon girl! Lovely photos and report.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone!

Roothie...we were very cozy in the tent..not cold at all.....well, it was cold on the ass if you sat right on the floor...and yes, Daryl and I shared one tent...but that doesn't mean we were spooning!![:0] The only issue was the bottom getting damp..but even that wasn't as bad as I initially thought it would be..

No pics of the ranger station stuff..but really crazy to realize that all that stuff was/is brought down by the rangers..what a mess...I can only imagine Everest and other popular mountains!

Let's see...Adam in his undies...oh why yes, I do have one or THREE...but.....I might be bribed with tequila.

AT--Daryl was a trooper!!! This was merely training for another of your outrageous adventure weekends...BRING IT!

As for the poop machine..yes...nothing like having a lively discussion about your bodily functions with 7 other people!! That was a first for me. After Adam grabbed about 10 blue bags from the ranger, I thought, "Dammit...I better grab one now because if I ask him when I really need it, then he's going to know that I'm off to poop...and really...that's just not okay with me."[:I]


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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 03:40 PM
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I do a lot of hiking in Washington State....great pics....was there with my hiking club last year.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 12:52 AM
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Awesome TR!! Thanks for the laughs as I was reading it.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 07:49 PM
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Your Tr's are always fun for me.

Great pictures of a beautiful place. Wow!
"imodium AD that's the answer. When I fly, I have yet to succumb to the onboard toilet. Ever smell one of those? Especially on the
"red-eye" into La Guardia? whew! I take a fistful of imodiums and don't have to go until well into the vacation...hehe

(disclaimer...Rm not responsible for misuse, overdose, clogged Gi system, irritibility, rectal bleeding, or bloating. Consult your physician before taking any medications...)

You crack me up, C-moon! I got the Sunday night gotta go back to work blues. Plus, two people just quit at work. I'm gonna actually have to work for a living, now...

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post #13 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2008, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm...massive doses of Immodium...didn't think of that! Maybe we should have a thread on "How Not To Poop on your Backcountry Adventures!"
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