On an early Saturday morning late in September, I drove to an almost empty parking lot. It was still dark, and the famous Seattle drizzle was accompanying the few drivers on the road. I was 15 minutes late to the parking lot – our designated meeting spot. Few had already bailed out as the weather was not that ideal. The rest of the group was about to leave as I showed up. John drove the three of us in his red Ford sedan. The next two and half hours I was dizzy, compensating for my lack of sleep the last night. It was day at the trail head and a little chilly with clouds blowing away. We started hiking around 9:30 in the morning. As per WTA our summit was 6 miles away and 3600 feet up.
We reached Cascade Pass after we breezed through 34 switchbacks ( by the way, this is not a made up number) and elevated by 1800 feet. Dense clouds floating by the valley literally took the shape of a water fall. As we continued higher up over the Sahale Arm piercing the clouds, the wind grew stronger and visibility reduced. Both my fleece and camera body started soaking with condensed water from the cloud. Although we could see hovering clouds in the lower valleys, after reaching the ridge at the top of the Arm, clouds cleared out. Finally sun light shown through the layer of clouds obliging us as we huffed and puffed our way up to the Sahale camp area at 7200 feet.
On our way back, sun stayed with us until we reached Cascade Pass, at which point thick clouds and fog dominated the landscape and we experienced low visibility and chilling wind once again.
Sahale became synonymous as panoramic and definitely defends it’s case well as one of my favorite hikes. May be the pictures will help my point.