Sahale Glacier Camp Overnighter
Where: North Cascades National Park
Permit: I got the permit for Sahale camp in April. This was the first year the NCNP did a reservation system besides walk ups for permits. I put in 5 different dates for Sahale and got one for a Sunday in September. Putting a weekday or Sunday increases your chances I would think. You have to hope for the best for weather though going this route. It's $20 if you get a permit or not. There is space for up to 12 on a permit, but you put a number down when you apply. I put down for 8 and brought 7 people. You also need a bear cansister up here as required by the national park.
We left Seattle early and arrived to the marble mount ranger station where we picked up our actual permit and he went through some rules and information. From here it's a long one hour drive to the trailhead on a bumpy road. Even the parking lot had amazing views. Wang, Catherine and Amy and I all trekked out by 10:30. Doris, Cody and Paul would be joining later. The hike has 33 switchbacks in the beginning through woods. Then a long flat section to the pass where we stopped for lunch and saw rangers that checked my permit. The weather so far was beautiful. The higher we climbed the more the cascades exposed themselves. The hills were painted with fall. We climbed up some more and finally Sahale mountain comes into view. A little further Doubtful lake comes into view down below. From here we saw our first bear sighting. 2 grazing on a hillside very far away. We also saw many marmots very close. We climbed the arm to sahale. The last section of the trail is a bit of a scramble/ rock thing. After this we finally reached the camps. We picked the first one that looked the best. They are all rock piles stacked high to block the wind, which would come to be very helpful. We set up camp, explored, and made dinner at 7,600 feet. The views are incredible up here of the north cascades. Unfortunetly the fog came in and was total white out for the most of the night. No sunset for us. It also got windier. I had to go in the tent pretty early with how windy it was. The wind actually kept me up most of the night. I had never experienced wind like that before whipping the tent so hard. I wasn't cold at least sleeping between Wang and Catherine in my 3 person tent. Around 5:30 we were all awake and finally got up around 6:30. I was expecting white out again this morning, but we had a bit of a sunrise with views to boot! Amazing. We packed up camp and made the trek out. We saw the same 2 bears on the way out and a third a little way further down as well. The north cascades are truly stunning. It's my goal to spend more time in them next year.