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Ascent of Sahale Peak on 2017-07-08

Climber: Peter Tran

Date:Saturday, July 8, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sahale Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:8680 ft / 2645 m

Ascent Trip Report

We started the approach at 0310 with our team of 9. The trail is easy to follow, but a bit brushy. We reached Boston Basin around 5 am. Initially we stayed climbers right of the camp, which was a mistake. Go through the campsite instead and continue upwards towards the Quien Sabe. The direct route was partially visible with a number of snow bridges still intact, but we opted to keep left for the traversing approach. We started to rope up at 830 and proceeded up the glacier. There were many intact snow bridges, so instead of hugging Sharkfin ridge, we took a more direct approach. There are a number of open crevasses which are easy to see and maneuver around.

We reached the col at 11 or so. The cornice on the ridge is huge. We ascended the 3rd/4th class face to get higher up on the ridge, setting a handline for those that needed it. There's a little bit more snow on the ridge (firmly attached) before arriving at the final 100 feet to the summit block. Another handline was set and all members of the party were on the summit by 1. Note that the summit block fits maybe 6 people comfortably, so we started to rappel down before we got all members to the top.

Two 30m ropes brought us down to a ledge on the south side of Sahale. From there, a few third class moves will bring you to the choss pile to get down to the Sahale Glacier. The Sahale Glacier is still covered in snow, with maybe two crevasses forming far from the descent route. Water is not available at the camp; you'll need to descend about half a mile further to the actual trail to find any running water.

The descent down the arm was mostly on trail, with some short sections of snow. The wildflowers are in full bloom, but you will want to watch out for the family of goats that decided the trail was the perfect place to hang out. We were all off the trail by 630. Total trip, car to car, 15 hours, 25 minutes

Notes:

The 3rd/4th class at the col is loose with some good holds. Choose your holds carefully. Recommend taking crampons off to do this party if it's something you haven't done before. The snow above this has a well traveled boot pack, however, take care on the transition from the snow to the final summit block. It is angled and the snow is mostly melted away, leaving a thin layer of ice. Take some time to cover how to make the transition and using front points.

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Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles



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