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.

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