Quien Sabe Glacier on Sahale Peak

Since climbing the Torment-Forbidden Traverse earlier this summer, I've wanted to get back to Boston Basin.  It's such a gorgeous area that makes you feel like you're in the alps, but is only a 3 hour drive and fairly short hike from Seattle.

With too much PTO and Kate in town on sabbatical, we decided to car-to-car this fun climb.  A 4am departure from Seattle seemed prudent, given the drive and guidebook suggestion that the climb would take somewhere around 12 hours, round trip.  We got to the trailhead at 7am, started hiking, and were on the grassy moraine of Boston Basin by 8:45am.

We found a faint trail heading up toward the bottom of the glacier and followed it across some rough, loose terrain for a ways until we hit consistent snow at the far West edge.  We donned glacier gear, put crampons on, and started cruising up.  It was a beaut iful, sunny day and warm enough that I stayed in shorts and a t-shirt.  Pretty novel.

The boot pack led us up underneath Sharkfin Tower and then across the Quien Sabe Glacier to a steeper section of snow before the bergschrund.  We traversed all the way right, onto some rock, and got up around the schrund.  From there, it was an easy snow ramp to the Boston-Sahale saddle, then a very short 4th class scramble to the summit.  It was a little exposed, but pretty tame compared to what I expected.  We were on the summit by 11:45am.

The views were stellar and we soaked them in while eating lunch.  From there, it was a very quick descent, complete with a few standing glissades.  We were out to the car around 4:30pm and back to Seattle before 8.  Not too shabby for a random summer Tuesday!