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Josh Lewis

[TR] No Country for Bold Men

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"There are old Mountaineers, there are bold mountaineers, but no bold and old mountaineers." -Ed Viesturs

 

"A sense of uncertainty that is potentially fatal is what makes climbing an adventure. Anything less is just working out" - Jim Bridwell

 

"I refuse to believe in a risk free society where the thrill of living is traded for the safety of existence." -Nick Ienatsch

 

This was my most intense adventure yet. When heading out to the mountains, most of the time I put a decent amount of reason into what I'm getting myself into, but every now and then I get over my head, this time it was all the way.

 

This took place June 30 - July 1, 2010

 

After just climbing Mount Hood, I check my email at home, sure enough another trip invite. As always, most adventures are too good to pass up, this one was no exception. The plan was originally to climb Mount Baker, but I looked into the forecast which was not looking so great, there was a potential chance we could get lost on the Easton or the Colemen depending on what route. Then it dawned on me that Sahale would be the perfect choice, it had a easy to follow ridge, so even if the weather looked bad we would be able to go down with little difficulty.

 

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Bill drove all the way from Oregon to pick me up as well as Michael. We had to sort out a lot of gear, go to REI to buy more perlon and then it was time to head out. I was still a bit tired from the previous trip, but the idea of adventure had me beckoned. At the trail head we tried to figure out a good place to camp, the trailhead said no camping. So the idea was brought up to Camp up on the mountain. The down side was I did not bring a sleeping bag (I did not bring it because the plan was to sleep at the parking lot, and for some reason mine disappeared at home).

 

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The sunset was quite nice with Jburg looming above and had a light dusting of snow on it. Walking to the pass for me was tiring, especially with the heavy load in my pack, there was some snow we encountered as we were heading up. As we neared the pass I had to break out my ice axe due to some steep slopes below. At the pass we were all tired by that point so we decided to set up camp here. Unlike last time though, we took time to find a camp site that would have as little impact on the enviroment, we found a nice dirt area that had a trail that led to it.

 

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Once we were ready to go to bed, looking out at the moon had a very creepy appearance, it almost looked like a nightmare the way the clouds came in and gave the moon a almost swirl appearance with the trees and the mountains as dark shadows. I suppose this was a foreshadowing of what was to come.

 

Michael let me use his sleeping bad, while he slept in his warm clothes although he said it was a cold night for him. The next morning there were clouds all around, it was just like I had imagined it, clear day before and storm coming in, the only diffrence was I was not alone. We headed out going up Sahale Arm taking the strait up path (the trail was barried in snow so we decided it would be best to follow the foot prints).

 

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On Sahale Arm the place had a excitingness to it, the clouds were rolling in thicker yet the sun made an appearance through the clouds making some of the peaks glow. In such a place like this I could once again say to myself "What a beautiful world" because every angle you look around, you are surrounded by natural wonders.

 

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We only saw one other person the entire trip which he did not summit, he told us it was a bit icy above, and once he left, we knew we now were the only ones on the mountain. Once we got to the bottom of the glacier we roped up, and I now was on lead. We were now heading into a white out, Bill fortunately had a gps (it's mostly for back tracking, it's not very good when it comes to finding your way up mountains). The fog became quite dense, I could only see a few feet in front of me, and when ever I would look without my glacier glasses it would be even less, although sometimes I could see a distance high point.

 

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After passing the steep section of the glacier and the more gentle slope, I was plunging my ice axe which fell through the snow, to my amazement it was a hidden crevasse, I dug around it and sure enough it cut across, so I figured a way to get over it. From here the slope began to steeped a lot, and the snow was compact making kicking in steps harder. Going up was slow going, I would have to kick 10-15 times per step, although I might have digged them more than needed, but I wanted my team to feel comfortable on the steep slope. It went on for over an hour (Michael says it porbably took 2 hours) which had drained a lot of energy from me, and I was becoming dehydrated. My fingers were becoming quite cold, my middle finger on my left hand as well as a few other fingers were becoming numb, I had to beat them together to get the motion and feeling back.

 

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Soon we reached the ridge which was corniced. Getting on to it was tricky because I did not want to put me or my team in danger, there was some rock above it, so I traversed below the rock and did a rock climbing/ difficult scramble move to get onto it. From here we unroped, Bill decided he was going to try to figure a way to the summit. It looked bad, I realized this was the same ridge I was on last time I was here, but there was not much I could do by this point. Bill soon turned around because the exposure of the South West ridge. Bill said "Were turning around" and we started to head down, I down climbed a diffrent way off the ridge because I did not want to deal with the cornice, after all it was a long ways down.

 

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Bill decided to traverse the bottom of the summit block, slowly I wondered if there was still a chance of us summiting. We reached the South East side which is the standard route for climbing to the top. The snow slope was a bit steep, I would not have minded except for what was below. We reached an interesting little snow ledge which I decided if I'm going for it, I'm taking off my pack.

 

Things got much scarier from here. Bill climbed over some rocks which involved a rock climbing move, during late summer you could have easily avoided this, but the slope to the side was covered in a snow, which a fall could be potentially fatal. As I headed up the snow slope I became more and more uneasy. If Bill was not leading I would have turned around, if it were not Sahale my favorite mountain I would have turned around, but the mountain still beckoned me.

 

I found out real quick that there was some choss (loose rock) and the rock as wet. After getting over the rock I got onto the snow slope, using the rock as extra support. I even did some hand jams and such to make myself more secure. With my ice axe I would always make sure it was fully plunged in, and make my steps nicely kicked it, yet it did not feel like enough. Part of this was that the snow was becoming less stable due to the faint sunlight coming through. This was some of the most nightmarish climbing I have ever done. As I went up, I suddenly got a terrible cramp, I would lean onto my ice axe and just pray that it would some how go away, and it did.

 

The cramps made kicking in much harder, so now I would have to take smaller steps, I could not drink any water because I had left my pack behind. I would take a grab from the snow and eat it, I didn't care if it had dirt or whatever, I needed water, and I needed it now! I kept carefully climbing up, and then suddenly my crampon got caught on my butt as I kicked to high. "This is not good" I thought as I tried to get it off. One hand was holding the axe, and the other was holding the rock. I had to do some wierd wedging with my leg, it took a few minutes, but I some how managed to get it out. What a relief!

 

As I was approaching the last 20 or so feet from the summit, I realized that the snow was a partial cornice, and I saw a repel sling which means people repel off this, not something you want to down climb, espesically in these conditions. I know a lot of climbers would be fine going up and down this on a nice day when dry, but the conditions are what made it scary, plus the exposure. Getting to the summit was interesting, I crawled between the cornice and the rock, grabbed on to the rock just short of the summit, and another rock. As I pushed off the snow, it broke loose... Thank goodness I had my hands well on the rocks, I pulled myself up as fast as possible and thankfully Bill cleared away some of the snow on the summit.

 

I was quite happy to have reached the summit, but I was at the same time fearful of what I went through and what I had left to do. The summit is very narrow and has room for only a few people, it had snow on it, so I had to get good footing just to sit down. Michael was below, and he got 2 feet from the summit, but decided it was not worth taking the risk, I encouraged him not to go up the last few feet. If you want to be technical about it, I did not touch the rock that was 10 feet away and was perhaps a foot higher, but I stood above it, which I think it's fair to say "we all summited".

 

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The way down had me concerned, now the snow was softer, and down climbing steep scary slopes to be difficult. If I were roped up I would have no problem going fast (although chances of falling would still be great), but when your life is at risk, I will take as much time as I need to go down safely. But not too much time because of the snow softening up. Across from us I could see the ridge from the Quien Sabe route which was corniced but glowing with intensity (it was about 15 or so feet away from us, we could not see much beyong 20 feet).

 

According to Michael there were flutings that ran past the summit cornice, getting off the summit rock was a challenge, my foot instantly fell through a snow hole with rocks below it. It took about 5 minutes for me to get it out. From here I got back into the scrawl section between the cornice and the rock (which was narrow). From here I got back to kicking steps in, and the usual cramps would return, and I was forced to lean on my ice axe and wait for the pain to go away. Never had I ever felt this much on the edge.

 

I fell though yet another snow hole with one foot, getting it out was difficult, and then I would kick in steps as though my life depended on it. I began to get the feeling like the odds were against me going down, after the trip I asked Michael and he said the same thing. As I was taking a large step down and kicking in, one of my crampons fall off. Michael looked up, and knew this could be bad. I instantly felt like a character from a book of some crazy climbing story. I had to reach down in such a way (I did not want to get a cramp here, and I had to make sure I was stable) that I would have one hand holding the slope, and the other hand reach down to get it to make sure it does not fully fall off. But then I realized my right hand was leached to my ice axe which contributed to the problem. Eventually I managed a way to get it to my hand, I carefully tied it to my ice axe leash and then was able to continue down climbing.

 

It was wierd having the crampon attached to my axe, but what other choice did I have? My left foot placement now had to be more cautious than ever. When I finally got to a ok standing place, I rested a moment, and then looked up and thought "I should take a picture of this", it seems so strange, but then I figured I'm on a safe enough spot, and how often will I see this steep section? I put myself in little danger taking the photo. ;)

 

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From here the down climb to the packs was not too bad, although there was a rock move I had to carefully get off of. From here I grabbed my pack, drank some water (although I was low on water by this point). We now traversed down to the lower summit block area, and headed over to our old tracks for the decend.

 

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As we were travelling along, Bill Slipped. He went down the slope, ice axe arrested, but started to dissappear through the fog, I felled out "Billlllllll!", fortunately he managed to stop after a ways down. The slope now was much more unstable, which I was thankful we left the summit when we did. Michael and I traversed back to our old foot prints. We then started down climbing which with the nice steps that were kicked it, it was fine going down.

 

Once we reached Bill we headed down to the glacier. At the glacier we passed the crevasse, which we glissaded past to have as little of wieght on the snow as possible, I had a few plunges right before it that had me a bit concerned. The white out ruined our glissade, we could hardly see a few feet in front of us, we had our tracks, but we did not want to loose them. Near the bottom of the glacier we were able to see the bumps which meant it was safe enough to glissade.

 

We had originally planned to study up more on z-pulley, but Bill did not feel like it, Michael was tired, and I was very cold from the wet conditions. Although getting down Sahale Arm was not that difficult, there were some times were it became so wide that it felt out of place. We had some more fun glissades although they were cold.

 

The Decent to Cascade Pass was a little tricky, now it was raining making the foot prints harder to see, although still visible. According to Bill's GPS we were off route, so we headed to the right, which was not acually the right way, I suppose the clouds had created some interferance. Going down the steep woods in slushy snow was not my version of fun, this was the only time turning the trip that I broke out my ice tool (I did not use it easier on the summit because I left it with the pack) and I still had to take caution on the slope. After getting past the logs at the bottom, I did a test ice axe arrest which did not work very well until I reached the bottom and swung my tool which worked like a charm, but probably would not have worked above.

 

Soon we found the camp, I was miserably cold, most of my clothes were soaked (although the inside of my jacket some how remained dry) and my pack was soaked. Bill talked about sleeping here, but there was no way I would want to do that, as it was, I feared getting hypothermia, I was shivering a lot, and much of my body heat was lost through my legs due to thin pants. The heavy mist that rolled in plus the wind made it even colder, packing things became difficult with cold hands.

 

We packed the tent and headed down to the car. It felt like a long time going down, switching back down the pass, some areas of the trail were flat and I started to wonder "did they purposely make this longer?". By the time we reached the car I was so glad and we rested, and drank water, and Bill had a few remaining cookies. This was the most scary adventure I have endured. On the ride home I said to myself "This is No Country for Bold men".

 

Thanks Bill for leading the way at the top, you were an excellant mountaineer, also thanks for driving us to Sahale for free and being good company.

 

Thanks Michael for helping kick steps on the way down, lending your sleeping bag, and carrying the tent.

 

It's not always good to be bold in the mountains, sometimes there are times when you should say no. As for the Cascade Pass deal, had we slept higher up, we would have been much worser off, the weather was terrible above Sahale Arm. My perspective on steep slopes have changed in the past week, my friend Mark once told me "Steep snow climbs are not that safe because it is usually unprotectible" and now I see what he means. In the future I do not plan on doing this kind of mountaineering. But in all it was a good learning experience.

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I feel bad for having so many photos in the trip report, some of them did not even load. Should I take some of them out?

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An FYI Josh- Don't write about illegally camping at Cascade Pass. That is unless you want an email from "the man" (in this case a woman) in Marblemount. The rangers don't have much of a sense of humor . . .trust me.

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An FYI Josh- Don't write about illegally camping at Cascade Pass. That is unless you want an email from "the man" (in this case a woman) in Marblemount. The rangers don't have much of a sense of humor . . .trust me.

 

Yep bad idea

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WAAAAY too many pictures posted! Post only the best ones.

 

(This is Bill, the 3rd climber on the team.)

 

Hmmmmm.... an overly dramaticalized report. I didn't feel the way Josh reported the adventure. But is was interesting to see his viewpoint on our adventure. I never regarded this trip as dangerous, but yes, it was quite an spectacular adventure.

 

Hmmmm... that's the 2nd time Josh went without a sleeping bag and paid a small price. If he had informed me that he had no bag, I would have loaned him one, because I think I had one right in my car.

 

I was fresher than these two younger men, yet was much older and a little slower - almost 62 years old. Makes we wonder, Josh deverted our climb from Mt Baker to this - because of snow forecast on Mt. Baker. Instead we got a few snowflakes falling on the entire climbing portion of the trip. The two mountains aren't THAT far apart.

 

I guess, I was out of the loop and left the decision making to these two - because they've been here twice before. I'm just here to look after myself and try to keep up. Afterwards, I realized they've never done this in snow conditions.

 

The first decision at the trailhead - sleep in my van or climb up to Cascade pass? So, camping is illegal here? I don't make decisions here. They probably didn't realize I could have removed seats and made a nice bed for all to sleep in the van. Anyway, I'm glad we did climb 1,700 feet to Cascase Pass and make camp. Leaving after dusk, we made the pass at 1am with a rising moon in the night sky. We found about the only pracitcal place to camp - admidst a clump to alpine trees with plenty of soft forest ground. I was bedded down in a warm bag inside my bivy bag by 1:30 am. Josh and Lewis shared a 2-man tent.

 

We had agreed to wake at 4am. But... that gave us only two and half hours to sleep! As I did my 3rd rollover during my sleep - I realized it was getting light outside - 4:30 came really fast! I felt like sleeping longer... so I slept on... We ate our breakfast snacks and were on the move at 6:20 AM.

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By now, the clear skies were completely overcast and a few stray snowflakes were falling.

 

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We made our first section - 1,000 feet up to the "Sahale Arm". Yep, as Josh put it, the views are spectacular all right. It would have been even nicer if the misty clouds would clear. I wrongly assumed the weather would clear. No direct sun was ever encountered - yet a faint halo of sun through the clouds would eventually leave me and Michael with moderate sunburns. We put sunblock on too late.

 

The climber's trail on the Sahale Arm was approximately 85% snow covered. We met a solo climber coming down. Since I was of poor hearing, I let Josh do the talking.

 

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Once past the climber's campsite area at 7,000 ft, the climb was fully snow-covered. We could see the summit at times when the light haze wasn't too thick.

 

Contradictory to Josh's account, the fog was never "thick". We could clearly see at least 200 ft to adjacent rocky outcroppings and knew where we were. The snow was never at any time "icy", but rather good stuff for cramponless climbing. I was working up a good sweat all right - until the climber's camp, things chilled down a bit for me to put my waterproof shell on.

 

I may have been a bit slow, taking a brief rest break every 6 vertical feet or so. This is my normal style about 700 vertical feet/hour. Josh and Lewis carried heavier packs than me. I carried my JetBoil and didn't carry so much "heavy" water in my pack. They did their climb on less water than I did. I was warm, dry and confortable and nowhere near being tired.

 

 

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We stopped to rope up. Michael was pretty efficient about the whole process, roping and tying all the knots for me. I was learning a lot of new stuff about rope technics. I have taken a rope climbing class, but was not taught any crevasse rescue tactics. We never really needed to use all this stuff, but at least I was learning new things. He was just being nice and careful about the whole thing. That solo climber we met... climbed just fine without ropes.

 

Once under ropes, we continued onward. Snow balling in our crampons was a problem. Close to around 8,000 ft we encountered our one and only crevasse, barely 100 ft long, intermedantly hidden with freshly fallen snow - of sorts. Maybe six inches wide at the most. Not nice to step through, yet not large enough to swallow a man.

 

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The slope was now approximately 35 degrees. Josh started kicking steps in the snow for us. It took us an hour to cover a measy 200 ft doing this - SLOW! Who makes steps anymore? The snow was firm enough just to climb with smaller toe-steps. But below, the snow had not really solidfied. An ice axe handle would sink clean to the end. It was quite laborous to pull our handles clean out of the snow every time. I switched to using a lighter touch - try not to sink my pick into the snow - unless needed. It was kinda frustrating waiting for Josh to kick extra-extra secure steps. Did he REALLY need to do all this? Yet avalance danger was an issue. Snow was semi-wet deep down but no evidence of "layering". I'm no expert here. I wasn't too worried. Why didn't Josh climb closer to the rock outcroppings where avalance danger would be less? Well, Josh did all that extra work... leaving me plenty of time to stand around and rest up. But standing around, I was beginning to chill down.

 

Once we reached the rocky craig of the summit it was clear from the lichen-covered rocks that these were secure rocks - they haven't moved in eons. Still it seemed like a fantastic climb so far. I was happy with me accomplishments and told them I'm ready to go down. Josh seemed a bit more determined to summit - all the way. We unroped and did a little rock scambling. Still wearing crampons, I climbed the rocks a short ways and soon realized it was not worth the risk.

 

Josh seemed to want to try the other side. I led the traversed the 40-degree slope to the other side. I was just mindful not to walk anywhere where I would slip and slide into rocks below. Near the end of the traverse, there was a 60-degree slope below - and beginning to get scary. This was a time to be more careful.

 

 

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There was a notch between two rocky craigs where the snow was only 40 degrees. The far side of the notch, the snow was 60 degrees. So I just kept climbing... hugging the rocks and using rock handholds where possible. Nothing seemed that dangerous to me. A "knob" of snow got in my way with a 70 degree slope. I cut away the top 8 inches and leveled it somewhat make a more level path. NOW I was getting worried. I carefully took a peek over the edge and saw the sheer drop-off on the other side. The risk of a unseen overhanging cornice was a concern. I crept up slowly, testing the snow and ALWAYS keeping an arm on a nice firm rock ledge just in case the snow-tongue/cornice collasped.

 

One must trust the good solid rock - NOT the snow. Eventually there was plenty of rock for me to hold onto and continue. I made the summit before I knew it.

 

 

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There was a geographical marker at the top... set in 1939. The rocks have not moved for at least 70 years... probally much longer. So I knew I was standing safe and secure.

 

It felt good, a slight breeze and wet fog was blowing. Visibility stunk tho. Boston Peak could not be seen. I wore my pack all the way to the top... really not thinking about it.

 

Yet, 30 ft below Josh and Michael were trying to follow my steps upward. They were slow, their legs seemed shaky and the fear of heights was on their nerves.

 

 

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Josh is right, the absolute true summit was about 10 feet away and a foot higher. Yes I could have easily stood on it, but there was no need to take additional risks. The tiny spot had room for one person to stand - with near-vertical drop-off of 50 feet on 3 sides - enough to give anybody shaky legs!

 

 

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Interesting, I could see three different webbing ties and caribeaners left on various rocks. I guess this is a true "rock climb". Thanks to this tongue of snow extending all the way to the summit, we did not need any rock climbing equipment.

 

Likely we should have used rope here. I felt confident and secure regardless.

 

Going down, I was much surprised to find my two friends were re-kicking new steps down. Why? We already kicked steps coming up. Use them! Their condifence was not so good. I realized I better show them what to hold onto and where to put each step. Things went a bit faster after that. I normally do not like to tell people what to do.

 

We stood on a rocky ledge at the snowline about 50 ft below the summit and took a snack break.

 

Going down, we did not rope up, it was important to move laterally and carefully downward - AWAY from any steep slopes or rocks that we could potentially slide into. Shortly after reaching this safer area - I slipped.

 

Snow had balled under my crampons so I made yet another one of many slips. This time, neighter my other foot nor ice axe saved me.

 

I fell into self arrest position nicely... but the snow was too soft to hold. I went down, down, down in a rather controlled slow slide. 200 feet down, I tried lifting my axe handle and pressing the head deeper into the snow. That worked. I was never worried. I knew there was nothing below that I might smack into.

 

Looking back up, Josh and Lewis were still working their way down. At least I made a quick, smooth descent!

 

We followed our footsteps down... making a careful crossing over that one small crevasse.

 

Most of the descent was uneventful except we were using ocassional sitting glisades.

 

Below the Sahale Arm, the weather took a turn for worse, becoming a drizzle and eventually light rain. Because of this, we could not see our campsite. A thin layer of fresh snow plus some snow melting hid our climbing tracks at times.

 

I had to trust Josh's direction. I carried a GPS and had our climbing path recorded. But Josh seemed slightly confused and my GPS did not clearly record our path up. In my haste, I think I gave them wrong directions and we got slightly lost. I inadvertantly led them down a steep snow-covered wooded gully. Oops... sorry about that!

 

I've been in a similiar situation before. Coming DOWN a mountain in foggy or forested areas without sun or clear landmarks - is RISKY BUSINESS! We could easily have spent the night bivouacing without tent, food or sleeping bags.

 

Trusting my GPS had correctly recorded our campsite... the tiny forest patch emerged from the fog and drizzle - once we got within 50 yards of it.

 

I was tired. All of us were! I wanted a nap. My gloves were soaked, but my hands were warm. I had dry, waterproof clothing. My boots were recently NixWaxed, were fully wet on the outside, yet my socks were dry inside. Michael told me he was dry and warm. Somehow, cramming 3 men into a 2 1/2 man tent didn't seem inviting. Where would we put our muddy boots? How would we keep our packs and equipment dry?

 

We packed the tent and hiked our - arriving at the trailhead a 9:30 PM as darkness set in. We had been on the move 15 hours.

 

Overall, I thought this was a FANTASTIC adventure! I don't share Josh's opinion that this was a risky nor dangerous undertaking.

Personally, I think is trip caption is quite an extrageration.

 

I am NOT a rock climber and I have no intention on becoming one. I lost my hearing due to ear infections, but thankfully my balance was never affected.

 

Being a sailer who has survived ocean storms, this is peanuts!

 

 

Edited by billisfree

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Next time you go there Do not camp at Cascade Pass. You're lucky a ranger wasn't there to see your campsite.

 

Camping out at the car lets you get an early start. Sahale should be a one day climb from the car. If you were to camp I believe you can up high on Sahale Arm, but not without a permit.

 

Camping doesn't involve permits to the south, as in Cashe Col or south, since you leave the park.

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Lucky the ranger didn't catch us? LUCKY? Define lucky!

 

Of all my years of hiking/camping/climbing I've rarely met a Ranger. When I do - they've never asked for my papers.

 

Like when I climbed St. Helens, 85 of 100 permits were issued.

I was one of only two people to make a serious attempt on

the summit. We DID meet two Rangers coming down, but neighter

botherd to ask to see our permits.

 

I repeatedly see people parking where a northwest forest

pass was required, and never once saw a ticket on the windshields of those who never had one.

 

ONCE, I saw rangers issuing tickets at a ski resort parking lot where SNOW-PARK passes were required.

 

Even on Rainier, people make climbs without permits and

rarely get caught.

 

But, for peace of mind, buy the permits if practical. You'll

feel happy and secure if you did.

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I never regarded this trip as dangerous, but yes, it was quite an spectacular adventure.

 

Being a sailer who has survived ocean storms, this is peanuts!

 

It was certainly a fun adventure, but that last summit block felt scary for me. I don't think you had horrible cramps, got your foot stuck, and crampon fall off. You mentioned something about me kicking in extra on the way down from the summit block... well yeah, it's my life on the line, would you not do a lot to protect yourself? Although you saw some of the dangers on there, I think you don't know all the cliffs all around there as I do because I've been close to the summit in clear weather. What made the slope feel dangerous was the unstable snow, the rock was a bit wet as well, Michael also recalls it being one of the scariest things he has ever done. Any friend I asked about this trip told me they would have bailed, most mountaineers would agree. I feel much safer rock climbing, and feel safer going up steeper, but more stable snow. The potential danger is what had me scared, plus the footing was not so great which is why I kicked in more. When you told me to high dagger my ice axe, that would not have been a good move. It's great on steep solid slopes, but not for loose snow.

 

I'm certainly no sailor, and I don't intend to be one.

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yes you were lucky no not get busted up at the pass. They are very serious about the permit system there and at boston basin due to previous excessive damage to the fragile area. I have been asked for my permit as I walked through the pass and we barely escaped a heavy fine for illegal camping. Only true ignorance (summit of buckner is in park), honesty, not so honest remorse and the fact we filled out a voluntary climbing permit saved us. It was early july and he was parked there, chatting away with hikers, asking everyone about their permits. NCNP rangers spend a larger fraction of their time in that area vs others in the park. He/she would have been livid to see a tent there on the grass, especially if you popped off with your examples. You get the FREE permit to not get busted with a fine in NCNP. They are required to minimize impact and gather information to get the federal funding they need badly.

 

For a 63 year old, you have no clue and are a bad example for the young-uns. With all your experience of "years of hiking/camping/climbing", you should have known better.

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I'd forgotten that camping at the Cascade Pass parking lot was a no no. That fact doesn't matter though.

 

If you drive down valley past the Eldorado parking lot you're out of the park. There is a Forest Service campground and a number of pull outs where you wouldn't get in trouble for camping at. You can drive the last couple miles to the parking lot in the morning.

 

"buy a permit" :rolleyes::laf:

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Billisfree, you sound like a real classy guy. How noble of you to air out your criticisms of your partners on the interwebs. Quibbling about how thick the fog was... :provoke: Those in glass houses should not throw ice axes.

 

Thanks Bill for leading the way at the top, you were an excellant mountaineer, also thanks for driving us to Sahale for free and being good company.

 

Funny, he gave you kudos... :wazup:

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Edit link dissappears after a certain amount of time which is why I have not been able to remove any images. Notice my trip reports after this one have less photos.

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I forgot to mention, I apologized to the rangers and had a formal agreement not to be camping at Cascade Pass. Because I could not edit my trip report, I did not include that. I usually do well in being kind to the environment, I have friends who are witnesses, I pick up trash and encourage people not to litter.

 

But I will be honest, that was one of my favorite comments ever "Holy Train Wreck". :laf:

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Wow 62 years old and the kid has more class than you. Its people like you that corrupt the youth.

 

Josh keep it up man, nice to read a honest report that is from the heart! Was a great read!

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You guys had to have passed signs at the trailhead that spell it out pretty clearly that no camping is allowed at Cascade Pass. For thirty plus years a lot of folks have put a lot of time and effort into restoring the vegetation ground cover at Cascade Pass. One night of your tent pitched there potentially causes significant damage and is a setback to all of that work. There is no excuse for this act. Train wreck indeed!

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This is no to excuse what was done, nor encourage it in the future. But what is the impact of snow camping on plants?

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This is no to excuse what was done, nor encourage it in the future. But what is the impact of snow camping on plants?

 

None really. People on CC.com just like to act high and mighty like they're the keepers of the holy grail or something. I'd like to roost my snowmobile onto Sahale Arm someday. Now that would really send some greenies into a cheetah flip!

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This is no to excuse what was done, nor encourage it in the future. But what is the impact of snow camping on plants?

There is little to no impact from locating your tent on snow, as long as the snow pack is thick enough to protect the underlying vegetation and your camp kitchen is on the snow as well. The photo from the trip report (above) shows a tent pitched on dry ground.

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