OverviewThe often overlooked Goat Perch provides some excellent, clean granite climbing with a relatively easy (by Sawtooth standards) approach. This striking tower sits directly across (.75 miles) from the Elephant's Perch which may contribute to it's lack of visits. The Elephant's Perch is considered the home of big wall climbing in Idaho and is only rivaled by the 18 pitch Baron Spire near Warbonnet Peak. Nonetheless, Goat Perch is the highest point on it's own ridge and is next to two other classic climbs: Eagle Perch and Chipmunk Perch. Chipmunk Perch contains a Grade IV 5.9 climb of 15 pitches. Goat Perch's best route is an aesthetic 6 pitch 5.9.
Here are 2 of the known routes on Goat Perch:
1) North Ridge (III 5.9) - Ascends the obvious exposed ridgeline. Route described in more detail under "Routes"
2) Southwest Ridge (Easy 5th Class) - This route starts in the Chockstone basin on the opposite side of the North Ridge. The trail-less Chockstone basin is reached from the Redfish Creek Trail. After approximately 4 miles from the Redfish Boat Transfer Camp, leave the Redfish Trail and head south up into the rugged Chockstone Basin. You'll need to cross Redfish Creek which is usually difficult crossing in the early season. A snow couloir is climbed on the West Face of the ridge to a notch between Peak 10200 and Goat perch. This couloir is Class 4 climbing. From this notch you can reach the summit of Goat Perch by climbing easy, but exposed Class 5 climbing.
Goat Perch was named by the Iowa Mountaineers in 1960, but was not ascended until 1972 by Harvey T. Carter. Neighboring Eagle Perch was first ascended in 1960 by the Iowa Mountaineers, led by Hans Gmosser.
Getting ThereRoad Approach
From Stanley, Idaho take ID-75 south for 5 miles and turn west (right) onto the Redfish Lake Road. Take this road 2 miles to the backpacker parking lot.
Hike / Scramble Approach
Either take the Redfish Lake shuttle boat (fee), or hike 5 miles around Redfish Lake on a high lateral moraine. About 2 miles from the Redfish Boat Transfer Camp, the trail crosses a stream coming down off the south side of Mt. Heyburn. Just after this stream, cross Redfish Creek (difficult at times) and follow a climbers trail south toward the Saddleback Lakes Basin. The Elephant's Perch will be on your left (east) , Goat, Eagle and Chipmunk Perch will be on your right (west). Total approach from Redfish Boat Transfer Camp is 3.5 miles and 2400 ft elevation gain (to the start of the North Ridge route).
Red TapeNo permits of any kind are required. No fees or passes are required
When To ClimbStandard climbing season is June through October. Conditions vary greatly. The Sawtooth Valley can be one of the coldest areas in the nation during the winter. Negative readings are often common. Snowfall can vary and occur at any time. Summer days can still be hot, but you'll probably never experience 90 or above, especially once you get up higher. Nearby Stanley, Idaho Climate Data:
|Average Max. Temperature (F)||27.0||33.7||42.5||50.3||59.9||68.4||78.7||78.4||68.6||56.6||38.1||26.0||52.4|
|Average Min. Temperature (F)||-0.5||0.3||9.7||20.3||28.3||33.9||36.0||34.0||27.2||20.6||12.0||-0.8||18.4|
|Average Total Precipitation (in.)||1.64||1.33||1.02||1.02||1.17||1.16||0.59||0.59||0.78||0.92||1.46||1.55||13.24|
|Average Total SnowFall (in.)||16.9||13.2||10.2||3.4||0.9||0.2||0.0||0.0||0.4||1.7||10.4||14.6||71.9|
|Average Snow Depth (in.)||18||20||15||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||8||6|