Sahale Peak Climb - North Cascades National Park
While not quite 9,000 feet high, Sahale Peak rises over 5,500 feet from the parking area along the North Fork of the Cascade River. Many climbers first visit the North Cascades accustomed to evaluating mountains by their height and are a bit surprised to see how arduous peaks like Sahale can be. Over the years we have used Sahale Peak extensively to train people for other glaciated climbs and to give people a quick idea of what the North Cascades has to offer. The view from the top of Sahale Peak is one of the best in Washington.
Quien Sabe Glacier Climb - Sahale Peak
The Quien Sabe is approached via the climbers trail to Boston Basin. A 3-4 hour hike gets us to our base camp for the climb, which can either be located at 5600' or 6200', both near a composting toilet and in Boston Basin. The Quien Sabe Glacier is not overly difficult, but does require us to navigate through crevasses, and select a reasonable line, usually near the center of the glacier. The summit ridge involves a combination of 4th class climbing, and ridge traversing ending on the spectacular and very small summit. The Quien Sabe offers an opportunity to practice ice climbing in a crevasse and is also a good location for working on skills such as crevasse rescue, rope travel, and self-arrest.
Sahale Glacier Climb - Sahale Peak
The climb of the Sahale Glacier involves a longer approach hike up to Cascade Pass and then up the Sahale Arm to a basecamp at the base of the glacier. Overall the climbing is easier on this side of the mountain due to the quality of the approach trail and a south facing glacier that is has fewer crevasses and is a bit less steep than the Quien Sabe. There are no camps below the base of the Sahale Glacier, so participants will need top be able to make the hike up from Cascade Pass, which takes a bit longer than the hike into Boston Basin. This is the easiest way to the summit of Sahale Peak.
Most groups elect to take 2 or 3 days to climb Sahale Peak. Fit parties might consider trying to climb both Sahale Peak and Sharkfin Tower
on day 2 of their climb if on the Quien Sabe Glacier trip. We usually camp in Boston Basin, but have the option of camping up on the Quien Sabe Glacier if planning to do additional training on the glacier.
No previous climbing experience required. Participants should be in very good physical condition and will need to carry a backpack weighing between 30 and 40lbs. The weight of your pack will vary with the quality of your overnight gear.