Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sept 22 - Goat Rocks; ROCKS!!!

Absolutely amazing! Goat Rocks Wilderness is fantastic! Glad I had good weather. First climbing to the top of Cispus pass was full of views and wildflowers. After the pass I met Up with Tokyo Japan Keichi at a fantastic waterfall. I would continue to leap frog with Keichi most of the day. Climbing my way up toward Old Snowy Mtm the views just got better and better.

A group of Marmots on the rocks and the terrain reminded me of the Sierras but with more snow left on the mountain sides. Crossed the largest snowfield yet and the views of Packwood Glacier and the clouds lingering below in all the valleys was beautiful. The misty low clouds would linger below me the whole day.

At the Washington state PCT highest point I just had to take a rock scramble side hike to the top of Old Snowy Mountain. Fantastic 360 degree views from this high point and looking down at the knife edged Goat Rocks trail ahead with a ghostly view of Mt Raineer hovering in the air. Scored a home made spinach and orzo dinner from a weekend hiker.

From Old Snowy the trail got even better, if that's possible, as I went over the ups and downs of the knife edge past Elk pass. The view of Raineer was smokey but at least I finally saw it. Lots more waterfalls, valleys and mist, and wildflowers. As I dropped down I entered the cloud layer and it got cold and moist. The water condensed on the trees and leaves and it was actually raining under the forest. Where the sky was open above me there was no rain and the ground was dry. Only under the trees was there this condensation rain. Then as I climbed up again above Shoe Lake I came out of the mist into the sun again.

The view of Shoe Lake was grand with the mist blowing on and out over the mountains and lake. Then to finish the day the trail was carved unto the steep sides of Hogback Mountain as I made my way down toward White Pass.

I camped tonight at Ginnette Lake; just past mile 2300. The Kracker Barrel store closed at 5pm so no reason to rush down to the pass. Sorry to hear its just a mini store and not a restaurant. I heard all day that Hollywood's gang of seven was rushing down the Goat Rocks to make it before 5pm. A south bound couple said they made it at 4:57pm. I hope they stopped to enjoy at least some of this fantastic section. Looking forward to at least a hot coffee and breakfast sandwich in the morning. I hope I can recharge my camera and get some fuel from the hiker box. Today just might be the most scenic day on the whole PCT! It would be worth returning in a year without fire smoke blocking the farther away mountains from view.


  1. Great views even with the smoke. It is hard to decide what area to visit on a vacation trip.

  2. Hi Papa Smurf, We enjoyed our visit with you near Old Snowey Saturday. We're looking forward to following the rest of your hike to Canada! Hope you enjoy the spinach and orzo dinner. Happy Trails, Fred & Karen - Vancouver WA

  3. The spinach and orzo was fantastic! Love the section we shared around Old Snowey and Goat Rocks! PapaSmurf