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Trip Report    

Glacier Climb - Sahale Peak/Quien Sabe Glacier

Beautiful climb up the Quien Sabe with perfect weather. Glacier is in great condition

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trail up to Boston Basin is muddy in spots. Creek are moving fast, but fairly easy to cross on rocks. Lots of thin snow bridges and moving water in Boston Basin on the approach to the Quien Sabe, so pick your route carefully. Lots of snow on the Quien Sabe, so more direct routes to the Boston/Sahale Col are available. Beware of the cornice on the ridge from the Col to the summit. We descended via Sahale Arm

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


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.