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Trip Report    

Sahale Peak/Quien Sabe Glacier

We had a successful trip, doing Sahale Peak in one-day, up the Quien Sabe glacier and down the Sahale Arm with a team of eight (5 students). We departed the Boston Basin trailhead at 5:45 am. The hike up to Boston Basin was uneventful. We traversed to the left side of the Quien Sabe glacier over the slabs, negotiating the many small streams and waterfalls on the rocks - take caution as the wet slabs are extremely slippery. We had two (2) rope teams of four people. Once we were on the glacier, we ascended the lower part of the glacier and traversed right. There is a large crevasse in the center of the glacier about halfway up, that requires a traverse all the way to the right side of the glacier. After crossing a crevasse at about 7,800 ft, we turned left and went straight up the glacier to the col between Sahale and Boston Peaks. We set a couple of pickets, mainly for practice for the students, but they were not really necessary.

Snow was soft, but we had everyone wear crampons, and we had no post-holing. The summit is mostly snow-free, except for a short section of snow just below the summit pyramid.

Once we were at the col, we set hand lines up for the exposed scramble to the summit. The first hand line was on the lower part of the rock, which was not that difficult, but some of the less-experienced students appreciated having it, as it is somewhat exposed and was more for their peace of mind. The second hand line was definitely needed for the students, as it is very exposed, although an experienced scrambler would probably not have much problem with the final section. There was a small section of snow of about 200 ft. long separating the two rock scrambles. We did not protect this with pickets, as it was very flat, although if someone took a tumble and slid down, there was a long drop-off below the bench. Everyone crossed without any issues.

We rappelled off the summit down to the Sahale glacier using our two 50 m glacier ropes. One could rappel with a shorter rope and down climb the last section of the summit block, but we found it much easier to have everyone rappel all the way down to the snow and get off the summit block without having to down climb.

We did not rope up on the Sahale glacier. There is a big crevasse about halfway down, but there was an obvious path in the snow that we followed and crossed well away from the crevasse opening. Once we were off the Sahale glacier, we stopped for break and watered-up, and from there it was a straightforward hike down to Cascade Pass, and from there down to the trailhead.

We did a car shuttle in the morning so everyone had their cars at the Cascade Pass trailhead, so only one car was left at the Boston Basin trailhead.

Approximate times:
 TH to Quien Sabe Glacier: 4 hours
 Quien Sabe Glacier to Col: 2 hours
 Col to Summit: 1 ½ hours
 Rappel from Summit: 2 hours
 Summit to Cascade Pass: 2 hours.
 Cascade Pass to TH: 2 hours
 Breaks: three ½ hour breaks. 1 ½ hours
 Total Time: 15 hours

Overall, it was a fantastic trip.