JonParker Posted September 5, 2020 Share Posted September 5, 2020 (edited) Trip: Cascade pass - Magic, Formidable, Mix-up, SahaleTrip Date: 09/02/2020Trip Report: First time S from Cascade pass for me. Wonder what took me so long. I guess the lack of good rock, but it’s really goddamned beautiful. At the knoll before Cache glacier it was drizzling and the strong wind was blowing wet stuff up. I crawled under the leeward side of a small tree, one of the last I could see. Waited for 4 hours, cursing forecasters and getting bitter. I didn’t know that I was in for the most beautiful day in the mountains I ever had. After those cramped 4 hours the weather was still very unsettled but improves enough that I could now see where I was going, so I headed up and over cache col. It was sunnier on the other side. Dropped camp at kool aid lake, pleasantly surprised to be alone, and headed up to magic mountain. It lived up to its name. A crazy glory followed me all along the ridge. It wasn’t a fleeting thing. My first and last photos of it are 50 minutes apart. I had only seen photos of the effect till now, so I don’t know if this is common, but it had a large diameter bright white ring far outside the inner rainbow rings. The outer white ring didn’t come through in my photos. So surreal. I was also treated to sights reminiscent of laser shows when I was on the east side of the ridge. That night moonlight gradually illuminated magic mountain but the moon itself stayed hidden behind Hurry-up peak until much later. Wow. The weather was much calmer next day as I approached Formidable. Route passed above some significant crevasses on the Middle Cascade. Easy, but no-fall terrain, especially in the morning with icier snow. Formidable has the good, bad, and the ugly. Some soul sucking steep dirt and scree, some nice smooth but low angle and ledgy slabs, a scary rotten steep 15ft section just below the summit, and fantastic exposure along a short row of incisors to the summit. Yup, pretty fun overall. Took a long break at the bottom of the glacier on my way back to watch shadows grow across the beautiful mess down below. Most of the abundant ledges here aren’t flat but there could be a spot or two for bivying. Would be very nice to do so if you can get comfortable. A group had showed up to kool aid lake but there is plenty of room to spread out there. After dinner I walked north a little to pick berries. After having my fill I sat on a rock facing west and noticed a bear feeding down the slope maybe a 1/4 mile away. It seemed large and had a light brown coat, totally different than the smaller dark black bear I saw playing in a pool not far from cascade pass the next day. I don’t know if it’s possible it was a grizzly? Then after another incredible sunset at camp in the dusk light popped up a creature I had never seen before. It had a long but tiny body, and was springy/twitchy like a pika or chipmunk. I think it was a weasel. But so much smaller than I pictured a weasel to be. It bounced around, locked eyes with me a couple times, then bounced off elsewhere. Next day I got moving back to cache col to try to get Mixup and Sahale same day. Originally I planned to do mixup on day 1 but the weather prevented that. I found out about the East face route from@bellows TR last year (thanks!). Found one small acceptable route down the moat on the upper right edge of snow. Gross steep dirt and rotten rock to gain the U notch. Wrapped around to the V notch and climbed up and left from there. It’s about 20 ft of I dunno 5.5 or so, but the rock didn’t seem very trustworthy. I only noticed one good spot for pro. It wasn’t terribly loose or rotten, but seem to be fractured into blocks that are probably not glued down all that well. So, beware. White staircase was excellent as advertised. Class 2 until near the top where vertical walls force you right into class 4. There is a very brief awkward but not difficult 5th class move to gain the ridge just north of the summit. I did rap this part on the way down, and a rap to the V notch. The rap station above the V notch was, mmm, creative. Got the job done though. Back at the U notch I chose to rap on a fixed line hanging there. Not sure if that was a great idea, but it’s so dirty there, was nice to skip some of it. Still had to down climb a little bit more precarious garbage after that rap to get back to my overnight pack. On to Sahale. Up till now I had enjoyed quite a bit of solitude. Knew that wouldn’t be the case back at the pass but I was still surprised at how many people were day hiking to sahale arm/glacier. This was less fun. Fun resumed at Sahale glacier. And I was pleased to find a nice short crack near the summit. There was one other climber summiting at the same time, after already approaching quien sabe same day, but turning around due to a sick partner. She was moving fast. Wednesday weather had been so strange and amazing, then crystal clear Thursday through Friday, but Friday afternoon smoke had blown in. Views were still pretty great. Had some nice approach shoe skiing down the glacier and then all of a sudden I was back at the car, enjoying the drive through cascade river even more than usual. Gear Notes: 60m rope for mixup, crampons, axApproach Notes: Back and forth and back and forth Edited September 6, 2020 by JonParker 3 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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