Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Goat Mt gate Thwart and Cole Butte West 5502'

I had hoped to climb Goat Mt. via some logging roads branching off Road #41 just West of Easton. I found my spur road at around 3.6 miles from the end of the pavement. The weather was much better than expected so I left some layers in the pack. While I could have driven the road I chose instead to walk to make the most of the day. I soon arrived at the second junction where I was stonewalled by a stout gate with many no trespassing signs, making the situation worse was the barbed wire fence making going around the gate tedious. I certainly felt like this was someone serious about not wanting people on their land.

I backtracked and followed the road to the nice little pond and I spent some time exploring the area. I returned to the car but not wanting to go home empty handed I decided to drive further up #41 to see how the conditions were higher up. In the past I had climbed Cole Butte West 5502' via a spur road off of #41. I instead stayed on the main line heading steeply up. I was surprised with the quality of the road, since there is an active logging operation using this road it is great shape.  I crested and the road started down hill so I parked. I decided to explore the road further on foot. I grew weary of walking the road and I decided to head in a more direct line to the roads above. The area is an old burn so the going is open and easy and the grade is pleasing. I popped back out on the road and could see a multitude of points within easy reach. I was very tough to determine which was the highest and since I didn't have a map I decided to keep climbing on the road hoping it would become obvious which was my new objective. Soon I reached the ridgeline and I followed a road heading West which looped around one of the highpoints. Guessing this was the proper bump I headed up along the ridge and found mostly easy going. A few blowdowns needed to be circumvented but I reached a point that seemed to be the highest but being unsure I continued on until I was satisfied that I reached the summit.

I returned via my ascent route when I reached the road I continued heading east and was dismayed to find the road ended and didn't reconnect with the road I needed. Undaunted I picked my way through the slash to reach the trees remaining on the ridge and followed that back to the proper road. For the descent I was tempted to head directly back to the car I could see directly below me but instead I decided to stay on the road the entire way. There is  a gate blocking access to the upper portions of the road. Soon I found my way back to the car thankful for making something out of the day.

Silver Peak 10.18.16

Headed up Silver Via the PCT. The road from Hyak was in good shape and snow free. The road is a bit rough right before the PCT junction.  The rain was pounding as I layered up but thankfully abated as I made my way along the soggy PCT , many small creek crossings along the way . At about 1.8 miles there is a cairned climbers trail junction . The trail reaches the ridge in short order . I encountered snow at 4200' but the trail was mostly melted out. Soon I reached the rocky slopes where the grade steepens . There was enough snow to make it easier than without snow. The weather was calm until I reached the more open slopes were I was greeted with a stiff 25 mph wind with stinging sleet. The wind blown snow was much more annoying to walk on. thankfully the route returns to the wind sheltered side with much better footing . The last 300' was open and the wind was really howling. Since I had been atop Silver on a few previous visits I decided not to hang out in the howling wind for another 30 minutes. Some care was needed for the decent but I soon found myself back to the car.

6.5 miles 3:15 car to car 2000' of climb

Thorp and Hard Knox

I have been slowly working my way back to peak bagging after taking quite a bit of time off to pursue other interests. While my new pursuit has been giving me much joy I still have been missing the call of obscure summits. I have been trying to strike a balance between the two. With today's less than stellar forecast I felt it best to lace up the boots and don the rain gear. Earlier in the year I had been to Thorp Lake with the kids and wasn't successful in convincing them to continue on the lookout above . I didn't want to repeat the route of my last visit so I chose instead to approach from the Easton side.

I used the Kachess Dam Road to access the myriad of logging roads above the lake. The road was in fairly good shape and it was quite fun putting the Allroad brought its paces. I reached the terminus of the road and suited up. It was in the upper 30's so i layered up. Not only had the expected rain not arrived the sun was breaking through the clouds. I did give some thought. Of reconfiguring my attire but instead decided to stay with my original choice. I followed a faint trail at the end of the road to access the ridge trail that I followed north towards The lookout site. There are more than a few ups and downs along the way but the tread  is in good shape and easy to follow. I passes two ladies coming down to before topping out. The weather started to turn into sone wet snow showers . I didn't linger long before heading back. After reaching the base of Hard Knox on the way out I decided to go for the bonus summit. I used the easy SW slopes to make my was easily to the summit.

I was able to cut a bit of distance off on the way out by heading straight to the road joining just a bit downstream from where I parked. The bumpy ride out went very quickly I found myself in Easton joined by sone fairly heavy rain . It was very good to visit a couple of home court peaks I had already visited

Approx 6 miles 2500' of climb

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