Trip Report    

Basic Glacier Climb - Sahale Peak/Quien Sabe Glacier

Beautiful day with a good team.

  • Road rough but passable
  • The Cascade River Road has some teeth chattering washboards in the first mile past the pavement. The Quien Sabe Glacier route is still in, but warm weather this coming week could change that. The Sahale Glacier has significant bare ice near the bottom that wasn't a problem for us, but might be for others. 

We met up at 3:50am at the Cascade Pass TH, distributed group gear, and carpooled down to the Boston Basin TH. Started walking in the dark at 4:10am. There was a thick overcast when we reached Boston Basin, but it started to clear as we ascended the slabs.


Nearing the glacier we got above the clouds. The Quien Sabe looked threadbare from below, but once we ascended the initial bare ice there was snow cover the rest of the way. The snow was hard, great for crampons.


Navigation was straightforward. There were vestiges of tracks made in softer conditions which made it easier to climb the steeper sections.


We hopped off the glacier and unroped below the Boston/Sahale col, and scrambled over to the base of the summit block.


We tied in again for the summit block and used terrain belays to protect the followers. From the top we rappelled down the Sahale Glacier side using double 60m ropes. The existing anchor was in good shape. 

We negotiated our way down the talus to the Sahale Glacier and roped back up as there were several visible crevasses. Other parties warned us about the icy section at the bottom of the glacier, but we were fortunate with conditions. It was warm enough that crampons points bit in easily but not so slushy that you might slip. We stayed roped up and just walked on down. We could see other parties that were much slower and more tentative.

Looking back up Sahale Glacier. Almost everything white that you see is bare glacial ice.

Once off the glacier we had a lovely walk down Sahale Arm to Cascade Pass where we let our boots air out, then on down the 36 switchbacks (we counted) to the TH. Round trip was about 12.5 hours.