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[TR] [TR] Sahale Peak - Sahale Arm 04/28/2019

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Trip: [TR] Sahale Peak - Sahale Arm 04/28/2019 - Sahale Arm

Trip Date: 04/28/2019

Trip Report:


Inspired by last week's trip report, I decided to give Sahale Mountain a go.  I have climbed Eldorado and Torment, but never drove to the end of the road.  Of course, we still couldn't drive to the end of the road, so Lee and I hiked about 3 miles from the gate to the trailhead starting at 0700.  The road had been plowed most of the way to the end.  Looks like they will be opening it soon.  



Near the end of the road.   Lot of plowing to clear out this section.  



Next was to enter the gully and get up on the arm.  A huge avalanche had come down in the last week.  Looks like it started high on the Triad peaks, set off multiple slab slides and filled the valley.  The debris wall on the sides of the slide was over 15 feet high.  It was an amazing show of force by mother nature.  We stayed out of the debris by skining along the edge on the left hand-side.  Kind of worried about coming back down this thing in the blazing sun.




The debris wall there is over 15 feet high.  



Below us, a group of six were coming up the middle of the debris.  Not sure if they found an open path in there, but it looked like difficult travel.



20190428_092024.mp4  Video of the gully and surrounding slopes.

We picked our way through the rock bands, staying clear of where the slide came down as it looked like there were still more slopes above it that hadn't released.  Once on the arm, it was clear sailing.  The clouds moved in and out giving us respite from the sun and keeping the snow firm.  The snow went from slush to firm in seconds when the clouds covered the sun.  The higher we went, the icier it became, so we ended up switching to crampons for the last couple thousand feet.



Boston Basin with Torment on the left and Forbidden in the middle.



The summit pyramid was rime ice over rotten snow.  One person from the group of six attempted it and made it about 2/3 of the way before coming back down.  It wasn't worth it to me.  One slip and you would go flying off the east side of the peak, landing thousands of feet below.  Bottom of the pyramid was high enough.  

Lee.  His foot was bothering him from the ski boots, hence the look of pain.20190428_143506.thumb.jpg.fc677839ccfd1f3dee4c6ac3fe7921cf.jpg




The clouds had settled in pretty well, wrapping most of the snow in delightful shade.   We put on our skis around 3:00 PM, and dropped 5000 feet back to the upper parking lot in an hour.   The snow was fantastic the whole way.  A couple of small spots of butter snow (Lee's words), but otherwise it had warmed up just enough to make for an amazing descent.


Note:  The upper thousand feet was wind-loaded with anywhere from six inches to two feet of powder, sitting on a layer of ice.  If this gets some direct sun, it is all going to slide.  Had the sun been out in force and melted the snow to a slush consistency, we would have turned around a thousand feet below.  Since it stayed cold the whole way, it felt safe enough to proceed but I can easily seeing that whole upper slide slide off soon.

We booted back down the road and reached the car by 5:00 PM.  Round trip was about 15 miles and 7000 feet of gain.  It was a good day.

Gear Notes:
Skis, ice axe, crampons

Approach Notes:
Lots of snow.

Edited by needtoclimb

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1 hour ago, AlecE said:

Nice TR! Did you happen to get any photos of J-berg? 

The very last photo has Johansburg in the background, just over my right shoulder.  I don't have any other shots of Johansburg.

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Cool! Looking for some recent photos of CJ, but thanks anyway. Looks like a nice day out. 

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On 4/29/2019 at 12:01 PM, AlecE said:

Cool! Looking for some recent photos of CJ, but thanks anyway. Looks like a nice day out. 

When I was there on 4-20 C-J was pretty ugly from a skiing perspective, mostly avy debris the bottom half or more. Not sure if you're looking to climb it, probably doable.

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