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Gaston

[TR] Sahale - East Face Couloir 10/18/2011

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Trip: Sahale - East Face Couloir

 

Date: 10/18/2011

 

Trip Report:

On Tuesday Kurt Hicks and I wandered over to the Davenport glacier on the east side of Sahale. We climbed a long and exceedingly narrow couloir that gains the ridge just north of the summit, visible in this Scurlock Scurlock Photo of Sahale E Face photo. I don't know if it's been climbed or not.

 

Sahale_Arm_0.jpg

The entrance was the crux and very fun: a chimney fest between a vertical fin of last year's snow and the wall of the couloir. We found snow of varying hardness, 50 degrees with a few steep bulges of ice and rock. In these thin conditions the couloir is maybe 5 feet wide in places--very cool. The pics in my blog post might give you some idea of how things look up there if you have been wondering.

Sahale_Armor_1.jpg

 

There's a lot of snow and with a little more melt-freeze there will be all sorts of fun to be had up there.

 

Gear Notes:

Screws, pins, rack, tools.

 

Approach Notes:

Road open to the end. Intermittent snow began just short of the pass, or 5,000'. The Arm was mostly snow covered.

Edited by Gaston

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I recall seeing that Couloir from Buckner? and wondering if it had been climbed. Looked like a cool route.

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Nice!

 

There is another couloir over to the left of this one, how did that look?

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I don't know which one you mean Alex. There is only one prominent bottom-to-top line on the East Face, though you could climb the snow slope to the left of our line that starts in a long, overhanging ice plug.

 

Dan - We went up the Arm to the Sahale Glacier Camp at 7500' (3 hours), then had some shenanigans down to the Davenport via a rock rib (the SE ridge, kind of) and snow slopes all the way to 6300' before climbing back up to the start (2 more hours to the base). Good route-finding in the dark was crucial.

 

BTW - the rock in the couloir was quite good and rock pro, though spaced, would be the best for belays.

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Would dropping off the arm earlier and down into Horseshoe Basin rather than taking the high route as an approach make any sense?

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Crossing lower than we did isn't really possible given the steepness of the terrain between the Sahale Glacier Camp and Horsehoe Basin. Maybe you could drop into Doubtful Lake and traverse from there? The least technical approach (but most elevation gain) would probably be to walk over Cascade Pass and down into Pelton Creek, then turn onto the Basin Creek Trail and trudge up into Horseshoe Basin.

 

Camping where we did, however, make the descent easy and you don't have to carry over. An easy 30 minutes from the top to camp.

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Really cool looking line! In the conditions you guys found, what would you have graded it? Just wondering if it is a moderate weekend warrior route or not....you guys are guides after all. ;)

 

 

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we didn't talk about a grade. Maybe II+, AI3+? The difficulties are in the first and last pitches (with a couple mini-cruxes along the way). The middle of the line is pretty mellow overall, but some may want to pitch it out.

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Thanks for the photo John! You can see in the last photo how much the route is threatened by the massive cornice that forms later in the winter...

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