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Goat Mountain

 
Goat Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 47.46890°N / 121.063°W

Object Title: Goat Mountain

Elevation: 6600 ft / 2012 m

 

Page By: Klenke

Created/Edited: Oct 26, 2005 / Sep 15, 2006

Object ID: 154871

Hits: 7187 

Page Score: 84.82%  - 19 Votes 

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Overview

There are three of Washington's many Goat Mountains on summitpost right now. And only Washington seems to have any Goats. So what's one more? Besides, every one of us should own a goat. Don't be an SP goat; get your goat. I'll get this one. And if you give me a chance I'll show that this Goat doesn't blow goats. {Okay, okay, enough of the goat puns lest this hircine scene become ob-scene.}

This Goat Mountain (6,600+ ft) has a kidship to two of the other three SP Goats: it has over 2,000 ft of prominence (2080P). And so by that standard alone it was a worthy objective for me. Certainly I'm not in the habit of climbing up Goats' backs, unlike my friend Martin S.. I have also climbed the other two WA 2kP Goats. I have not climbed Alpendave's Goat. But perhaps one day. Maybe Dave's protective of his goat.

So, other than this Goats' broad bulk, what makes it such a special Goat? Probably the most striking aspect is its towering height above the Cle Elum River on the east. The mountain rises roughly 3,500 ft in one horizontal mile. That's an average angle of 33 degrees but it seems steeper.

It is Goat's towering presence above the river that had me thinking of a new measure of a mountain, something I might call relief. Bob Bolton has espoused the spire measure whereby a mountain's average steepness on all sides is taken into account. My relief measure would quantify the overall vertical rise of the summit above the river on the approach side of the mountain because it is typically this side that strikes the initial awe in those gunning to climb it. Alternatively, it could be the rise above the approach road. Be it known that this is just brainstorming and I don't intend to take it much further than this mountain page.

But what of the mountain's west side? From that vantage it has only a moderate presence but it still possesses the ruggedness that defines peaks of this height in the Cascades. There are no glaciers or remnant snowfields but escarpments, gullies, and talus abound. Lake Michael and Lake Terence as well as several unnamed lakelets occupy this side of the mountain.

To the south of Goat is Davis Peak (6,500+/- ft) for which a USGS quad is named. Davis Peak has a trail up the south side and is a popular objective--even in winter as a backcountry ski. To the north of the Goat massif is the mountain's "Noah's Saddle" (4,520 ft) near Squitch Lake. The other side of this saddle rises up to eventually meet Mt. Daniel, the dominant summit in the area.

Getting There

From Interstate 90 take the exits to Roslyn (Exit 80 and Bullfrog Road from the west and Exit 84 from the east). Drive Highway 903 (Cle Elum River Road) northwest then north. The road is paved all the way past Cle Elum Lake to Salmon La Sac Campground (13 miles from Roslyn?). Continue north up the now gravel or dirt road. There are three viable routes to the top of Goat Mountain. The horns of your trilemma is to choose wisely the route best suited for you. Two of these are discussed below and one can be found here. I won't attempt to pull the wool over your eyes, but things might get hairy.

Davis Peak Traverse

An easy route but long, or seemingly long. Class 3 at worst.

At 1.4 miles north of Salmon La Sac Campground is the Davis Peak Trailhead (2,760 ft). The trail crosses the river then works its way up Davis' long, dry South Ridge eventually making it to the former lookout site on the eastern promontory summit (6,426 ft) in 5.5 miles. Allow 2-3 hours to make this 3,700-ft ascent. It's switchback city!

Find a way off the north side of the summit and descend to Opal Lake (6,000 ft) or just uphill of it. Cross over or around a minor rib (some scrambling) to the next minor basin to the north. Stay high (between 5,800 ft and 6,000 ft) across open country to the broad, timbered 6,060-ft saddle WSW of Pt. 6539. Bear NE to the 6,340-ft saddle north of Pt. 6539. Drop a couple hundred feet down the east side of the saddle and continue NE toward the final saddle west of the main summit. The saddle itself is comprised of crags. To the right (east) is a moderately steep scree and dirt slope that offers a bypass of the crags. Once on the final ridge, hump up to the summit.

Allow 2-3 hours from Davis Peak and 4-6 hours from the car. Add an hour if its snowy. Could be done in winter as long as avalanche danger was minimal.

North Gully

A steep route. Expect routefinding issues through cliffs. Class 3 or 4. May be easier as an early season climb when snow fills the gully. This route has been climbed in the dark, so it can't be that bad.

At approximately 8.2 miles north of Salmon La Sac Campground you will be 1.7 miles NNE of the main summit of Goat. Park and ford the river (can be difficult) at approx. 3,300 ft. Bring a change of sox or expect to cross barefoot. Keep to the south then east side of the stream that comes down from the north side of Pt. 6579. At 4,600 ft in the gully cross to the west side of the stream then up to a minor basin at 5,600 ft. Find a steep section with a ramp just north of Pt. 6579 Once atop Pt. 6579 walk easily over to the main summit 1,000 yards to the south.

Allow 4-5 hours from the car. 3,300 ft of gain over 2 miles.

Red Tape

The Tucquala Meadow trailheads (Cathedral Rock and Deep Lake trails) require a Trail Park Pass. I'm not sure if the Davis Peak Trailhead requires one. Certainly you don't need one to park at the North Gully start point. Goat Mountain lies within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. If starting from Tucquala Meadow you will need to fill out a self-issue permit.

When To Climb

Goat could be climbed year-round were it not for the closing of Cle Elum River Road three miles or so before the Davis Peak Trailhead. The road is closed to automobiles but open to snowmobiles in winter. In winter, therefore, the Davis Peak route would be the most direct. Expect a full day. Other than this consideration, climb Goat whenever you want.

Camping

There are several campgrounds along Cle Elum River Road. Best to consult a mapbook. The Davis Peak route would offer camping at the several lakes encountered on the traverse to Goat. For the west side route, Lake Michael or the basin below its outlet offer camping. There are a few other spots along the Lake Michael Trail.

Mountain Conditions

Localized Forecast
Rosyln Forecast

Views from the Mountain I


Views from the Mountain II


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