Sahale Mountain (mid-May 1995)

We climbed Sahale via the Sahale arm. This is a beautiful walk-up, with great snow conditions. The road was gated at 2500 feet, so we walked the road to the lot and then got onto snow. We kept a few hundred feet above the N Fork of the Cascade river (crossing the mine site on the map) and below the bluffs (I believe the summer route goes above these bluffs). We eventually followed an obvious gully up through the bluffs. From here we headed up a long snow slope to gain the arm several hundred feet above Cascade pass. Then started the long slog up the arm (all snow covered at this time of year) and over the small glacier. A final snow slope got us to the summit pyramid, which is described as class 3/4, but is pretty scary. We were happy we took a rope and tiny rack (handful of stoppers, no harnesses, no shoes). We reached the summit at around 1 pm (after a 5 am start). The descent was a blast -- long, safe glissades. We dropped 4000 feet of elevation in about 20 minutes. On the descent we dropped off the arm on its west side at around 7000 feet onto the spur running East-West, just south of Midas Creek, which gave us steeper glissading slopes and allowed us to intersect the Boston Basin trail at around 5000 feet and take that back to the car. We were back at the car at 3:30, for a 10 1/2 hour round trip.

Rack and gear:

Single rope, handful of stoppers and biners, and a few slings. This is probably not necessary, but made us feel safer. Ice axes, no crampons (although the morning snow was hard from the get-go, and crampons would have saved our calves from the endless step kicking on gaining the arm (the snow on the arm was softer (but not mushy), because it gets early sun.)