August 20, 2009
North Cascades Extended Trip
Cascades Pass is rated one of the best hikes in the country, and it did not disappoint. Heck, the views from the parking lot were worth the drive. It was a very hot day as we started up the switchbacks. The mountain views across the valley just got better as we got higher. Near the Pass we broke out into meadows and talus fields. A mother and large baby marmot and a pika crossed the trail between hikers in our group. At the Pass, the views surrounded us as we eat lunch.
After stopping to appreciate the spectacular views of Cascade Pass, several hikers ventured up an old prospector’s trail along a ridge of alpine wildflowers. The trail soon became more difficult as we ascended a steep, rocky section where we were rewarded with views of a pretty alpine lake below and the Stehekin River Valley to the east. The whistling calls of marmots could be heard in the distance as we continued ascending Sahale Arm. We stopped for lunch just short of Sahale Glacier where we had 360 degree views of jagged peaks and many small glaciers. After eating and snapping off a few photos, we headed back down. Along the way, we spotted a marmot on the side of the trail. He hung around long enough for Ken to snap and couple of photos and then scurried down the rocks. By this time it was quite warm – about 88 degrees so we were grateful when we reached the series of switchbacks through the cool forest.
Hikers were Mari Baldwin, Don Bienvenue, Pat Esch, Ken Frazer, Mary Frazer, Gisele Garrity, Sachiko Iwasaki, Daphne James, Valerie Metcalfe, Georgann Pasnick, Charlene Pierce, Carol Scherer, Marian West and Jim Pierce, leader.