Three Days In the North Cascades

During the Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada, I drove down to Washington State to go ski touring with a couple of friends. 

It was one of the tougher trips I've done (that said, it feels like every trip we do is the toughest one I've done!) and really pushed me out of my comfort zone. 

 Some of the gear. Not picture: skis, poles, boots, additional warm weather gear. 

Some of the gear. Not picture: skis, poles, boots, additional warm weather gear. 

 After a 5km walk down a logging road (in ski boots, carrying our gear), we should have had an fairly easy ski up to camp. Snow conditions were brutal, it was a lot more technical than we thought and there was a lot of swearing.

After a 5km walk down a logging road (in ski boots, carrying our gear), we should have had an fairly easy ski up to camp. Snow conditions were brutal, it was a lot more technical than we thought and there was a lot of swearing.

 Our camp on the fist day. This was either immediately before or immediately after we got hit with freezing rain, and laid low in the tents for an hour or so. 

Our camp on the fist day. This was either immediately before or immediately after we got hit with freezing rain, and laid low in the tents for an hour or so. 

 Sunset view from camp facing the other way. 

Sunset view from camp facing the other way. 

 Sahale Peak was our destination: that little black triangle in the centre of the photo. It was still a a long ways off, but the weather was great. This photo was taken around 8am, after a 6am departure from camp. 

Sahale Peak was our destination: that little black triangle in the centre of the photo. It was still a a long ways off, but the weather was great. This photo was taken around 8am, after a 6am departure from camp. 

 Rearranging gear and getting a drink as we head up Sahale Glacier. 

Rearranging gear and getting a drink as we head up Sahale Glacier. 

 Pete out ahead, boot packing the last snow section until the peak. It was steep. 

Pete out ahead, boot packing the last snow section until the peak. It was steep. 

 Just relaxing before the summit. 

Just relaxing before the summit. 

 Different angle as previous photo. Just chilling near the summit. 

Different angle as previous photo. Just chilling near the summit. 

 Ty lead-climbing the final summit section with his skis and gear - what an animal! He was planning on skiing off the far side, but conditions weren't good for it.   Not pictured: Me freaking out when I had to climb this section and almost not making the summit. Thanks for pushing me through it, Ty and Pete! 

Ty lead-climbing the final summit section with his skis and gear - what an animal! He was planning on skiing off the far side, but conditions weren't good for it. 

Not pictured: Me freaking out when I had to climb this section and almost not making the summit. Thanks for pushing me through it, Ty and Pete! 

 Pete's boots as he belays Ty. 

Pete's boots as he belays Ty. 

 Summit view. 

Summit view. 

 Rappelling down from the summit (thanks for the photo, Ty!).

Rappelling down from the summit (thanks for the photo, Ty!).

 We found some nice snow to ski down on the descent. Not pictured: my huge, wide turns (my legs were too tired to make pretty turns). 

We found some nice snow to ski down on the descent. Not pictured: my huge, wide turns (my legs were too tired to make pretty turns). 

 Skiing out the final section after waking up in the clouds. You can sort of see some glaciers up on those cliffs, with big waterfalls running off of them. 

Skiing out the final section after waking up in the clouds. You can sort of see some glaciers up on those cliffs, with big waterfalls running off of them. 

 Hiking back out 5km down the logging road with our gear - the green of the temperate rain forest felt like a different world after two days of snow, ice and rock. 

Hiking back out 5km down the logging road with our gear - the green of the temperate rain forest felt like a different world after two days of snow, ice and rock. 

It was an unbelievable trip, and there was no way I could have done it without Ty and Pete planning, leading and guiding me through it. 

I'm glad I pushed through and made the summit for no other reason than the sense of accomplishment.