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Trip Report    

Goat Mountain (Cle Elum)

On a very hot holiday weekend, (7/3 and 4, 2015), 6 scramblers climbed the North Peak of Goat Mountain, which at 6579' is only about 20 feet lower than the main summit. On 7/3, we had enough of a breeze to both moderate the heat and keep the bugs at bay, but despite the forecast, the wind disappeared that evening and was mostly absent on 7/4. We had Lake Michael to ourselves, and we all had a very pleasant swim after arriving at camp.

We got up early on 7/4, and left camp at about 5:40 am. We descended the trail 150 vertical feet or so, and then plowed through the brush to a crossing of the creek that drains the west side of the peak. A little more brush bashing took us to some fairly open slopes and pleasant travel to the ridge north of Point 6579, which we were able to quickly scramble up. Reports on the web indicated that getting from Point 6579 to the main summit would be "a walk", but this is not the case. It may be a scramble, but there would be some difficult steep scree to traverse, and I decided to stop at that point for several reasons. The heat was one issue, especially for me. Also, while the students on the trip were all doing exceptionally well, I felt that we should only attempt such a questionable traverse with a more experienced group. Finally, the views from the lower peak were excellent, and wouldn't be appreciably better on the main peak. We returned to camp, most of the party enjoyed another swim, and then we hiked back to the cars, returning at around 3:30.

One other note: the Trail Creek trail and the Lake Michael trail have not been maintained for a while, so there were a couple dozen downed trees to either climb over or go around and also some brush to push our way through. This was a pretty minor problem, though, and may be partly why we saw no one (and particularly, no horses) on these trails or at the lake, even on a sunny holiday weekend.

 

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