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polarbear
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polarbear
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PostSat Sep 14, 2002 10:30 am 
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My original plan was to make yet another attempt to get to South Cascade Lake.  I packed wednesday night.  I would try and pack light--no unecessary baggage, because the trail is bad enough without a ton of weight on your back.  Five peanut butter sandwiches, two of them with jelly, orange, pear, apple, banana and I was starting to feel like a walking produce department.  Stove...yes, I had everything.  Parking Pass?   I wouldn't need one as I was sure the trailhead access spur just wasn't used enough for anyone to care about it.  I got up early thursday and made a quick stop at QFC for my dinner food which was two large cans of soup, pineapple, mandarin oranges, and of course, blueberry poptarts.  All this canned stuff would add more weight to my pack, but I figured I had lightened up in some other areas so overall I was doing pretty good.  I hit the road around 6:30.  I took the route through Darrington which was really nice as their were wisps of fog along the road making it quite picturesque.  The drive up the Cascade River road was unevent until I got to the trailhead access road.   What's this?   The road had been converted into a nature trail!   Only hikers were allowed, no biking or motorized vehicles.   mad.gif   This means hiking an extra 1.5 miles, which isn't bad, but now I had to park right on the CCR road and I had no pass.  I didn't want another $50 fine.  I headed back to Marblemout to buy a pass.  Now I was thinking of changing my plans as I was starting to lose time.  Maybe I would hike to Found Lake instead which was shorter.  I got to the ranger station and the lady there said that the road up to the Kindy Ridge trail had to be walked the final two miles (can't remember why).  This was getting frustrating.  Was there no way to go on a normal hike without having to walk miles of road first?   At this point I thought, why not go to Cascade Pass and go up Sahale Arm?   I'd nver been to Sahale Arm.  The ranger at the desk was able to get me a reservation for a campsite at Sahale Arm and off I went, with my newly purchased annual parking pass of course biggrin.gif  waah.gif    At the trailhead, I grabbed my pack and started off.  My pack was alot lighter than usual, so I had to congratulate myself on my packing prowess.   The Ray Way.  I'd never read the book, but maybe I could teach the guy a lesson myself, you know?   agree.gif  My pack was lighter than any previous backpacking trip.  The hike to the pass was slightly buggy, but not bad if you kept moving.  I hiked most of the ways up the trail with a lady I met along the way that was hiking with a slight limp.   She explained that she had been attacked by a hippo on a safari in Keny.  The hippo had her leg in it's mouth for about 10 seconds.   eek.gif   Five or six surgeries later in a Nairobi hospital had her back on her feet.  She still did a bit of hiking but had to be careful about the types of trails she chose.  We reached the pass, and I talked with the ranger there for quite awhile who asked to see my camping permit for that night.  The ranger had some interesting information about the park, for example that there are still mining claims in the park on privately held land.  There were hardly any bugs to speak of at the pass.  Several people could be seen on the southern slopes heading across a snowfield starting the Ptarmigan Traverse.  After lingering along time at the pass, I started up the Sahale Arm trail.  The trail is somewhat steep, but the scenery is so grand it pulls you along.  The views down to Doubtfull Lake, north towards Baker and being surrounded in sea of some of the most beautiful peaks in Washington is a truly great experience.  I want to do this hike again.  I was beginning to wish I'd brought my Pargetter map so I could identify all the peaks, but I'd left it behind to keep my pack light--you have to think of everything if you're packing light, right?  At long last I arrived at the base of the Sahale Glacier and picked a campsite.  The NPS allows for a total of 6 groups max, with 6 people per group max to camp there.  You have to get reservations or you may get ticketed.  That evening there were maybe 3 groups there--a total of 7 people.  As I was setting up my tent I saw a mountain goat about 50 yards above on the rockes.  As evening fell, it was getting quite cool.  I didn't want to dig out the stove yet, but I was thinking a couple of poptarts would certainly hit the spot  agree.gif   I opened my pack and dug around for the poptarts.   Hmmmm.....  Gotta be here somewhere.   There's all those PB  sandwiches....fruit....what about all that  stuff I bought this morning?   Then the realization sank in that the food was in the trunk of my car.  I had forgotten to put it in my pack.  No wonder my pack was so light  huh.gif   All I was carrying was the PB sandwiches and some fruit.  mad.gif   No poptarts.  I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a candybar.  By this time the wind was picking up.  I threw my pack and gear into the tent to keep it from sailing down to the pass.  I also put the rainfly on as it looked like it was going to be quite cool and I figured it would give me some warmth.  There was no chance of precipitation, but the ranger said that a week ago they had 5 inches of snow at the camp.  That night the wind picked up.  I wouldn't call it a strong wind, but it buffeted the tent quite abit and the rainfly made all sorts of obnoxious noise.  I awoke at one point and could have sworn a wild animal was trying to get in the tent but after crawling out of the tent I realized it was just the rainfly.  I would not want to be in this place during a gale.  A light wind was bad enough.  It is really exposed to the elements.  I awoke at sunrise and took lots of pictures.  You need plenty of film for this area. Then I sat down for a peanutbutter sandwich breakfast....yum yum.  This PB diet was getting tiring.  On the other hand my car does make a good bear canister and when the ranger said you should keep your food away from your tent, I'd somewhat done so in an extreme way.  I walked to the eastern side of the rocky area and was able to see what must have been the jagged peaks of Ripsaw Ridge.  Later in the day I discovered that I could see the toe end of Trapper Lake from my camp (The ranger told me that there was a researcher at Trapper Lake working on their MS degree studying the effects of humans on that area).  One of the best panoramic viewpoints though is from the solar toilet where you can get a picture of Johannesburg, the Triplets, all the distant peaks, and Doubtful Lake in the lower lefthand corner.   Another sandwich and I started down the trail.  On the way out I met members of the Skagit tribe--very nice people.  They were reviving an old trading tradition with a tribe east of the pass and were on their way back out after having hiked to Chelan.  They sampled me some clams that they had dried which were pretty tasty.  Their reservation is in Sedro Woolley.  http://www.nwifc.wa.gov/tribes/map.asp
We talked a bit about their language.  Evidently the "m" sound isn't part of their language.  When we got back to the parking lot they gave me a whole bag of the clams (thanks!!).   I was pretty hungry by this time and thought maybe I'd eat in Marblemount at some place that didn't serve peanutbutter sandwiches.  I stopped at the Clark's Cabins on recommendation from a hiker I'd met that day.  If you read the articles on the walls of the restaurant there, the place has an interesting history.  I even met the proprietor, Tootsie.  http://www.northcascades.com/staffphotos.htm  I told them my PBJ tale of woe to the waitstaff in hopes of coaxing a sympathetic tear out them.  All in all a great hike, and I hope to do it again but with dinner.

[pictures coming]
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polarbear
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: Snow Lake hide-away
polarbear
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PostMon Sep 16, 2002 7:41 pm 
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A few pictures from the hike.  I left out the best perspective as you will have the pleasure of seeing it yourself when you hike this trail.




sahale.jpg
sahale.jpg
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Randy
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Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2848 | TRs
Location: Near the Siamangs
Randy
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PostMon Sep 16, 2002 8:05 pm 
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Thanks for the excellent report and pictures. Maybe next year I'll help you bash brush up to SCL.  Ask me again at the next social and I'll be sure to remember this time!  biggrin.gif
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polarbear
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 3683 | TRs
Location: Snow Lake hide-away
polarbear
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PostMon Sep 16, 2002 8:22 pm 
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To tell you the truth, the views were so great that I was congratulating myself on not having tangled with the SCL jungle.  I haven't totally given up on SCL, especially if there is a volunteer to help bash brush.  up.gif  though hiking roads coverted to nature trails (that probably no one will ever use) irritates me.   agree.gif
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Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)



Joined: 02 Mar 2002
Posts: 1968 | TRs
Location: ex Kennewick, Wa & Lehi Utah
Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)
PostMon Sep 16, 2002 8:33 pm 
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lol.gif What a fun read.  Well done. Reminds me of when  I decided to go stoveless (also going very lightweight) and packed into Nada lake for the night, patting myself on the back for my lightweight prowess only to discover that not only had I gone stoveless, I had also gone foodless. I didn't even have a p-nut butter sandwich to fall back on waah.gif

--------------
Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160
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polarbear
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: Snow Lake hide-away
polarbear
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PostMon Sep 16, 2002 8:41 pm 
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Cascade, I think I brought back one extra sandwich.  Send me a self addressed  envelope with stamp and it's yours!
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Bushwacker
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Joined: 28 Jun 2002
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Bushwacker
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PostMon Sep 16, 2002 8:44 pm 
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Great report, PB.
Looks like another one for the old "Gotta do list".

Bummer about the pop tarts.  frown.gif

BW biggrin.gif
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polarbear
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 3683 | TRs
Location: Snow Lake hide-away
polarbear
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PostMon Sep 16, 2002 9:14 pm 
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Agreed.  The nutrition data is attached to dispel any notions that poptarts are not a true trail food.   biggrin.gif   I'm not sure where they lie on the food pyramid, but I believe they are the bedrock below the base.   At this point the poptart count dropped from 8 to 2.  burger.gif




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McPilchuck
Wild Bagger



Joined: 17 Dec 2001
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Location: near Snohomish, Wa.
McPilchuck
Wild Bagger
PostThu Sep 19, 2002 6:46 pm 
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Ah, Salhale Arm:

www.alpinequest.com/salhale.htm

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in the granite high-wild alpine land . . .
www.alpinequest.com
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Sahale Arm, 9/12/02
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