Category Archives: Washington pass

Wet and cold – Must be the North Cascades in October

It is somewhat ironic that I am tired as I have probably averaged 11hours a day in my sleeping bag for the last couple of weeks. We headed into the Sawtooth Range of the North Cascades for the mountain section of this years Wilderness Instructors Course and were quickly met by rain and snow. Joel and I had opted to both take our own stoves (Jetboils) so that we could cook from our sleeping bags and this proved to be key to our comfort. The harsh conditions were pretty tough on our students (who cant cook from their sleeping bags!) and most of us had wet feet for most of the 2 weeks. We did still manage to see the beautiful fall colours and do some climbing etc though some days were definitely more focused on trying to stay warm….

Fall colours below Turtle lake near the end of the section
The first storm of the section rolls up the Copper Valley. (We did manage to climb Copper Mountain the next day in the only clear weather window of the whole section)
“The Pouch”. We rappelled (abseiled) into this cave and climbed out along fixed lines in the morning. Funnily enough it turned out to be the clearest night of the whole two weeks. (you can actually see the rope hanging down the middle of the cave. I belayed from the top and then the doubled rope was not quite long enough so I down climbed half on the tree and half on Joel!)
Joel trying to decide – tea or soup? The double jet boil system in place.
Very pleased with ourselves – the funny thing in this shot is that we are both wearing our rain jackets in our sleeping bags inside the tent.
Tired students at the end of the first day of hiking. Inside the “Mega-Mega” group shelter
The “Mega-Mega” lit up with the storm rolling past.
Black and white of a fallen log.

Now its all sunny in the Mountains but its time for me to leave. Might manage a days climbing tomorrow and then start driving south towards Bend and then Red Rocks.
Also posted in mountainstothesea, North Cascades WA