Bushwacking for Corn on Mt Sahale, North Cascades, Washington
G3 athletes Mike and Andy Traslin are never ones to let winter dictate when they can and can't ski. With loads of snow on Washington's North Cascade peaks, they went for a mid May jaunt up Mt Sahale to kick off the summer ski season...
Up at two am, I decided I could afford another hour of snoozing. After all, my gear was packed for the upcoming day, so I figured I could spare another hour.
First order of buisness was to pack the car, then get gas from the station across from my apartment. Sounds easy enough, but at 3:30am the gas attendant was in a deep sleep, so my brother Andy decided to honk the horn a couple of times. Poor guy launched up and out of his deep sleep, only for Andy to then decide we could drive on empty until we got across the boarder.
Three hours later we made our first point of Marblemount, and from there it was another hour on the Cascade river road to the start of the trip. Like any good roadtrip ski adventure, we had a funny chance encounter with our friend Dan Helmstadter, who lives in his Toyota truck camper, slowly making a name for himself by skiing some the steepest goat ski lines in the North Cascades. I am not sure why, but for a brief moment Dan reminded me of Chris Farley... was it something about living in a van down by the river perhaps?
Finally at the trail head, we made a quick gear sort, and by nine am we were packed and ready to go.
A couple hours of walking on the fireroad brought us to snowline, then 1.5 hours of bushwaking had us back into skinning mode on the glacier. What's a good summer ski trip without bushwacking right?
With a touch and go forecast we were thankful Mt Sahale allowed us the summit pitch with good visibility. The views and mountains of the North Cascades are spectacular, and always leave us wanting more. Somehow the memories of bushwacking and hardwork will fade and sure enough we will be back for more!
11 hours round trip.... 6700ft ascended. Yeehaaa. All we needed was gear, running shoes, ski crampons, a good attitude and willing to suffer a bit for the honor of skiing corn!
Side Note: It was my brother Andy's birthday. On the summit of Mt Sahale, Andy in his usual understated way remarked "Hey, I've been on Mt Logan, Denali, Waddington, Shasta and others I have lost track of, and somehow they were all on my birthday".