Approached from Conrad Meadows, hiked up to Warm Lake where we camped for the night. Snow level at 5,000 feet, and trail disappeared at Surprise Lake. From Warm Lake, which was frozen except for an edge where we pumped water from, we gained the crest of Klickton Divide after about 600 feet of climbing. Crampons used during the entire ascent, as most of the ridge climb was on frozen snow and some patches of dirt/choss. Great early season non-technical climb/scramble, but long and tedious approach. I doubt I would like this route in late season, but Warm Lake is a very fine and scenic camp destination. Route is certainly preferable and better overall quality than the hideous "Gully of Doom" from Cispus Basin.
What an amazing day to be climbing. I think this is one of the most beautiful areas I have been. The Mead glacier was in perfect condition for kick stepping. No crampons needed. The scrambling was also great. We did see seven goats on the way up. Good thing since this is the Goat Rocks. We were the only ones on the mountain that day.
A couple of years ago i came up to climb this and we thrashed around all morning barking up blind gully after blind gully until we ran out of time and patience and turned around. This time i came up with a group associated with a reputable local climbing club and much to my astonishment found that when we turned around the first time we were but a mere 50 feet away from the key to the route. After that, a stroll.
Duane, Dennis and I camped at Goat Creek, climbed from there, then broke camp and hiked out in the dark after the climb.
This is one route where the approach is better than the climb! Refer to hkutuk's post below ... we hiked in on the Snowgrass Flats trail and met up with the PCT towards the beautiful Cispus Basin. Not seeing any obvious trail in the basin we continued to Cispus Pass before deciding which route we wanted to take. Instead of backtracking to the basin we traversed across the ridge to the saddle below Black Thumb. From here we tried to follow Beckey's route description but we ended up mainly following the goat droppings. The worst part was over when we arrived at the far edge of the Goat Citadel; from there it was a fun, easy scramble up the ridge to the summit. We enjoyed the dramatic summit view for a whole 4 minutes before beginning the tedious, dangerous descent back to the basin. Happy to have all of our bones intact, we set up camp above the basin and cooked our dinner in the fading sunlight. Beautiful location, nice summit - but not a great route. If I climb this peak again in late season, I'll approach from the other side!
Jim and I climbed the mountain from the west up the gullies following Becky's description as best we could. The entire west side consists of dangerously loose rocks and scree. We first skirted under the large rock complex of Black Thumb, little and big horns until we reached the saddle left to a large rock block Goat Citadel. From there we again traversed below and slightly down hill to the southern end of Goat Citadel. At that point we saw that Curtis Gilbert was far to the south separated by a wide sandy ridge and followed by another rocky narrower ridge. The daylight was limited so we opted to drop our packs here and make a run to the summit. Instead of going to the right as described by Becky we chose to climb the only fun and solid rocks reaching "shortly" to the summit. We stayed short enough to sign the register and back to Goat Citadel. Down climbing and traversing the steep scree and loose rock was very treacherous. This increased the obscenities in our language, which were blocked by the rumbling sounds of rocks that we would dislodge with every step. Luckily we were the only brave souls on the mountain. Made it back down by 7:30 and were rewarded with the best campsite ever, overlooking the entire Cispus basin. Use helmets and make sure there is nobody above and below you!