It's been named the best view summit in the North Cascades and this may well be true. Some folks claim that one can see over 200 Cascadian summits from the top at just under 9,000 feet. On this 2-day trip there is a touch of ski mountaineering involved to reach the actual summit. Skiing down the Sahale Arm or the Quien Sabe Glacier is moderate and the setting is spectacular.
It's been named the best view summit in the North Cascades and this may well be true. Some folks claim that one can see over 200 Cascadian summits from the top at just under 9,000 feet. There is a touch of ski mountaineering involved to reach the actual summit. Skiing down the Sahale Arm or the Quien Sabe Glacier is moderate and the setting is spectacular.
Overall Difficluty Level: Moderate
Skills required: Advanced skiing ability required, prior ski touring experience recommended;
You should be able to ski black diamond ski runs at ski areas in just about any condition, and be able to ski ungroomed slopes of intermediate difficulty without any hesitation. You should have at a minimum taken an Introductory ski touring course or have ski toured a few times. You should be familiar with the various components of the gear and basic transitions from ski touring to skiing mode.
Very good physical fitness; you should be able to hike or climb for 5 to 6 hours with a pack varying from 20 to 40 lbs. and ascend 3,000 to 4,000 feet of vertical gain per day for consecutive days.
Day 1: We will meet at the Ranger Station in Marblemount, conduct a gear check and commute to the trail head. This should get us skinning by mid morning. We should reach Cascade Pass late in the morning and make it up the short but steep slope to Sahale Arm by early afternoon. We will camp at around 6500 feet. If time and conditions allow, we can go for a ski to the Quien Sabe Glacier in the afternoon.
Day 2: There are several options. We can tour up the upper section of Sahale Arm, ascend the little Sahale Glacier and summit the peak from there. If we want to traverse the mountain, we would have to carry our skis with us. From the Boston Sahale Col we can ski almost 3000 feet down the Quien Sabe Glacier before we would have to head back onto “the Arm”. Of course we could just stash our skis above the Sahale Glacier, summit and return back to the ski depot, or we could do a traverse from the Quien Sabe side. It doesn't really matter, because the scenery is outstanding, all of the options will bring a touch of ski mountaineering and the ski descents are all top notch.
Snow Travel Equipment
No, we do not provide food, but are perfectly happy to make food suggestions.
There is a small grocery store in the local Shell Station, but it only carries basic things? The last bigger grocery store is located near Concrete, WA.
If you have prior ski touring experience, are a good skier and are fit, it should not be a problem. In fact Sahale Peak should be an excellent introduction into the world of ski mountaineering.
We will be camped at around 6800 feet on Sahale Arm. From there we can decide to ascend via the Quien Sabe Glacier or the little Sahale Glacier.
The skiing is not difficult per say, but you will be skiing with an overnight pack in a variety of snow conditions. Solid skiing ability will make it much more enjoyable. We do not recommend this being your first ski outing with a big pack unless you are an advanced level skier.
Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.