Trip Report    

Goat Island Mountain Scramble in the fog

Summer scramble in little visibility and late, lingering snow.

  • Sun, Jul 17, 2022
  • Goat Island Mountain
  • Scrambling
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Summerland trail, water crossings all in great shape. All southern aspects mostly clear of snow. Some northern aspects still snow covered.


07-17-2022 Goat Is Mtn Summit Loop

We arrived at the Summerland TH parking lot at 6:45 on a fogged in Sunday morning. Grateful that we are early risers, as the lot was already half full of vehicles.

Setting out south onto the Summerland trail at 7 AM, we were, gratefully, mostly alone on the trail with only two other parties seen up to crossing the Fryingpan River.

The river itself was very easy to rock hop up to the bridge, which is in great shape. We continued along the Summerland trail in the now cool fog, having left the insulation of the big trees.


Just before the switchbacks begin to the Summerland shelter, we paused for a break at 8:30. We then headed west toward the river and followed it up the south bank for a way until finding an easy point to again rock hop across to the north side.


Continuing to head west, but now a bit more northern to the saddle and ridge, the meadow was a lovely green. We were quickly on the ridge, for another very quick snack break. We paused to listen to the booming of an icefall somewhere on the northwest flank of The Mountain.


Enveloped in fog, we mostly easily found the route along first to the lower summit with its GS survey marker. Up to this point we were on screen and dirt, not needing to walk on snow for the most part.



Continuing on we did travel on snow here and there, at one point looking down the steep drop into the Emmons drainage. At the summit of Goat Island Mountain, circled by a small, lovely reddish-brown hawk (I won’t even begin to hazard an uneducated guess!), we sat in the rocks for a nice lunch, still without any view except our immediate surroundings in the fog. Another party arrived from the north, having bushwhacked and scrambled up the ridge and snowfields from the Sunrise Rd. After exchanging notes, we began our decent to the north for the scramble down.


We headed a bit too north, probable because we could not see any landmarks in the fog. Using GPS until we descended below the now lifting fog, we turned east until finding the north-east ridge, followed that for a while then punch stepped into a bowl of snow to the northeast flank of that ridge, only to have descended too low and need to bushwack back up to the ridge again.


Finally, we found the game trial, pungent with the odor of elk and followed that down the rest of the ridge, arriving at the Wonderland Trail alongside the Sunrise Rd. It was a very steep, knee-taxing decent.


From trailhead to summit was 4.5 hrs., from summit to trailhead just under 2.75 hrs. Total mileage 9.7 for the loop. Just to be clear, we departed from the route described in the Rainier 100 guide. Ascent of Goat Island Mountain on 2022-07-17 -