I first tried this peak 3 weeks prior but decided not to summit after wasting 2 hours worth of energy finding the Milk Creek crossing. Obviously I had to go back and "get 'er done"... This time I took a friend. We hiked in to Vaclav Lake, set up camp, and ejoyed a pleasant evening of solitude and beautiful scenery. We woke up at 7:00, bushwhacked to the saddle between Jefferson and Goat Peak, and ascended via the north ridge. The summit block was a fun scramble... class 3 w/ a small class 4 traverse. SICK views from the top, much better than I had expected. There was a fire blazing to the north east adding some extra spice to the view.
Note: I called the Detroit Ranger Station to see about hiking the PCT through the limited access area. They said if you are not staying the night within the restricted area a permit is not required. Yay!
Wednesday, July 24th, 1996 was forecast to be one of the hottest days of the year at 100 degrees or more so deciding on whether to work or play was not too hard a decision. I did "paperwork" until about 11, handled a few phone calls and then left for the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area to get in a few miles at a high enough altitude for the air to be reasonable cool.
I chose the Woodpecker Ridge trailhead and at 2:21 (and a temp of 92 degrees) took off uphill. About two hours later I was rewarded with temperatures in the 70's, patches of snow and awesome views. The air was dry with about a ten MPH wind. By the time I made the summit of Goat Peak at 7,159 feet it was cool enough to put my t-shirt back on but still very comfortable. A few aggressive mosquitoes kept me moving briskly as I made my way down the north side of Goat Peak, south across the plateaus of The Table to rejoin a trail that would lead me back to the PCT.
I arrived back at the trailhead at 9:06 in near total darkness except for a first quarter moon. The temperature was down to a surprisingly cool 59 degrees then but the gallon of water I left in the sun in the car to shower off with was still about 95 degrees! I had a complete change of clothes with me and boy, that was a great shower! I did manage to fall three times this trip, once through a weak spot in the snow cutting my shin on a rock in the process and twice, hard, on the trail gaining several big bruises and cuts. The rock climb up the summit spire of Goat Peak also did some damage but nothing too serious and I'm ready to go again.
I had been in the area before but didn't climb the peak until now and have been back several times since. Most of the pics I posted on the Goat Peak page were taken with a Fuji disposable camera from the above trip.