This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Boston Basin again, this time in the company of Dan. A fairly recent transplant from Utah, Dan has been skiing and playing in the mountains his whole life. This was his first venture to a North Cascades summit. It only dawned on me late in the trip, but Sahale was also my first summit in the North Cascades. It truly is a fine introduction to the range, to alpine climbing, and to a world of possibilities.
When I was 18 years old I took a 12 day mountaineering course. I enjoyed the whole trip, but it was our nights in Boston Basin that really enthralled me. I watched the northern lights swarming above Forbidden Peak and the pale glaciers on the dark mass of Johannesburg. Our summit must have been splendid, although I don't remember it. Mostly I recall the sense of possibility, the new reality of endless, mysterious mountains spilling out in all directions from Cascade Pass.
Dan's trip combined an introduction to glacier travel and crevasse rescue with a summit of Sahale. The Quien Sabe route is a great way to encounter the essential elements of alpine climbing, especially for back-country skiers looking to expand their repertoire. It will also get you excited about further adventures. Whether your aspirations involve ski traverses, classic alpine ridges, steep descents, or wild lonely summits, the view from Sahale will tantalize you.
Thanks to Dan for a great weekend!