Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cascade Pass to Sahale Glacier Camp

Sunrise at Sahale Glacier Camp



I think I was just too busy this weekend, and my heart wasn't into it. With friends in town, planning Cody's birthday celebration, packing for this overnighter was literally the last thing on my mind. Plus we had just backpacked the weekend before, so most of my gear was still laying out, unorganized. Even when we started the hike up Cascade Pass, Cody even said he felt a little off.

Saturday night I haphazardly packed at midnight and just shoved everything that was laying out from the weekend before (ie sleeping bag, toiletries, clothes...) into my 58L backpack and called it a night. I did make a checklist on my phone of things that were missing that I needed to add the next morning before I left.... phone cord, walkie talkie, extra sleeping pad (so glad I grabbed it!), and what not. Following morning, Cody, Paul, and I hit the road for trailhead.

Trail leading up to Cascade Pass

Sarina, Amy, Catherine, and Karen had hit the trailhead 3 hours earlier than us. The 3 of us didn't want such an early start, so we left Seattle a bit later, and made it a goal to get to the campsite before dark. The hike itself is pretty straight forward until the last segment, where it's kind of a rock scramble. But just follow the cairns to the right and you'll find camp eventually!

Ready for this photo Cody?

Dates Backpacked: September 24-25, 2017
Miles hiked: 12 miles
Elevation Gained: 4000 ft
Trailhead to Sahale Glacier Camp: 5 hrs 45 min
Sahale Glacier Camp to  Trailhead: 5 hrs

We had a walkie talkie and so did the girls, so we were able to communicate with them once we hiked beyond the Pass. I have found, being able to communicate with a group that's ahead of you with walkie talkies, has been a great way to figure out your location on trail. We saw a bear as we headed up the trail even! They gave us directions once we hit the rock scramble and eventually we found camp. Once we got up there, the girls had  already setup camp inside a rock walled camp spot. The sites closest to them were all snow covered, but the other non-snow covered sites were kinda far, so the 3 of us decided to plop our tents on the snow. Once our tents were pitched, and we put on more layers, we hung out with some of the girls, ate dinner, and called it an early night.

Our bear sighting!

I don't think anyone really got a good night's sleep up there. The wind picked up here and there through out the night and made all of our tents flap. The next morning, the only reason I got out of my tent was cuz I had to pee, and was greeted with an amazing sunrise. Everyone got up at this point to capture the pink skies. We packed up, and again hiked out separately, this time Amy joining Paul, Cody, and me. Easy enough hike back down.

We stopped for food in Darrington before heading back to Seattle. Another beautiful experience in the North Casecades.

Until next time North Cascades!

Tips: How to Obtain a Permit
North Cascades National Park released a new advanced lottery permit system this past summer. Where you fill out a form, list your first choice with dates, and then you list backups, pay $20 and submit the application in Feb or March, and hope for the best! They announce the winnings around April I think. I had submitted one and had Sahale as my #1 choice but didn't get it, I had instead gotten a backup for Copper Ridge Loop. But Sarina submitted one too and got the Sahale Glacier Camp permit for 8 spots  for this night. I heard they set aside some for walk ups but those go quick. Good luck! Here's the link to the lottery system.
Beyond the Pass, almost at the bottom of the rock scramble
Yes, my pack was huge. Always lol
Cascade Pass
Delicious wild blueberries on the trail!
 Snow camping in September woohoo!
 The other Wang
All the views...
Sunrise




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