Sunday, August 21, 2011
Finally, I got out again, on a perfect blue Saturday. I went up to Sahale Arm in the North Cascades National Park, one of the great day hikes in the U.S. I didn't really want to run, but I did a little bit, and carried a small pack, as a bit of practice for Nepal.
Sahale Arm is an 11.4 mile round trip from the parking lot, climbing up to 7800 feet. I believe Harvey Manning or Ira Spring considered it their favorite hike in the northwest. It was crowded, with an army of Subarus in the parking lot. Besides being a great day hike, the trail to Cascade Pass is the launching point for all sorts of mountaineering trips, with numerous jagged peaks within relatively short hiking distance.
I first saw snow near Cascade Pass, and then up on Sahale Arm there were a few snow crossings, but no problems really. Doubtful Lake still had significant snow in the lake, reaching out to the island. As I mentioned, lots of people out on this beautiful day.
Climbing to Sahale Arm Glacier camp was a bit of work. Nothing too bad, but I was working the hiking pole. I seemed to move faster than most, even though just hiking, which was a good sign, considerng my recent leg troubles. The weather couldn't have been more amazing, 80+ degrees, not a cloud in the sky, but the sun actually got to me after a while. The views were always good, but particularly exceptional from Sahale Camp, where the waves of mountains give visible definition to the name "Cascades." I like where I live.
I managed to blister my heal, breaking in new shoes, probably with the wrong socks. Duh, ouch. Sandals today. No bears, but I saw a mountain goat near the camp--picture below, such as it is.
More pics here.