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| | |-+  May 9-10 Goat Rocks (Gilbert) solitude and turns
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Author Topic: May 9-10 Goat Rocks (Gilbert) solitude and turns  (Read 2318 times)
kamtron
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May 9-10 Goat Rocks (Gilbert) solitude and turns
« on: 05/11/15, 07:07 PM »

We were trying to decide on a plan for the weekend. Baker sounded good, then we found out it had snowed a foot on Tuesday. Maybe too manky.... Shuksan was tossed around but people weren't interested in permits. Glacier would be okay, but man that sounded like a lot of walking. After a few glasses of wine and browsing through the book, I said "what about Goat Rocks?" None of us had ever been, so a plan was made. The recent post had my fire stoking Friday.

We didn't leave until early Saturday morning because I had tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera (a blast and played throughout my head all weekend). The drive through Cayuse pass was pretty and felt short. Stopping at the White Pass convenience store, the two ladies running the place tried their best to sandbag us. "You're going in the S fork Tieton river? You won't get there in that thing [Subaru Forester], ya gotta have a high clearance vehicle for sure. Better would be to head up the ski mountain and go in to Goat Rocks that way." Yeah right, lady.

Conrad Meadows is a beautiful trail to start on, flat and spacious. We could see snow-capped peaks in the distance. We did not think we would have to walk all 7 miles to that snow, at first. Then, as the trail wound on and remained entirely dusty and dry, we realized that, yes, maybe we would have to walk all the way to the snow.

During a break in the hike near the snow line, we encountered a solo skier and TAYer on his way down who had left that morning, tagged Gilbert, and was heading back to the car shod in TLT6's. I was impressed and encouraged that we were not the only lunatics hiking so far for turns when they can still be had straight from the car at WA pass or Rainier.

Once skis were donned, we quickly made it to the killer campsite at the gap S of point 6290. Ditching our packs, we were able to ski two nice pleasure laps before sunset.

The next morning, we left camp at 7 am and skinned towards Gilbert. We were able to skin the whole way without any issues. Tristan and I left our skis and ran up to the summit. Axes were mandatory on the snowfield under the summit, and I was definitely glad I had crampons as well. We took a quick break on the top to take in the views with perfect weather, almost no wind. We noticed a number of goat track on the way up, which looked like they continued into the distance towards Ives and Snowy.

It was noon when we skied down from the col on sweet corn. The corn on the Conrad glacier was even better, just an inch or two of soft snow and no stickiness whatsoever. Everyone was psyched!

I was so psyched I transitioned as fast as possible and made a rapid-speed skintrack back to the top, where I ripped skins for a westward traverse back under Gilbert and skinned towards its west ridge. Inspired by ryanl's TR from a month ago, I headed for the top of the striking couloir that splits the big buttress. We had a good view of it during a sunset lap the day before, so I felt okay with the conditions and my ability to find the entrance.

The entrance wasn't hard to find. It is steep! I fashioned my axe into a whippet and made cautious jump turns while managing sluff. But all was good; the snow was soft but not too soft, and it rode like a gem despite the small runnels. The narrowest part may have been less than 10'. Excitement. The snow stayed good throughout the entire gully, then got sticky and heavy in the apron below. I met up with the rest of our group back in the basin, where we picked up camp and started the long trek home. We counted ~25 "significant" (meaning: large detour or climbing or crawling shenanigans required to pass) trees down on the trail.

Thanks to Meira, Dafna, Meredith, and Tristan for a great company and adventure!

Notes:
There is accessible running water in a few creek holes in the basin below the couloir.
If planning to ski this soon, take the Surprise lake fork of the trail. That north-facing side will get you to snow faster (we went the other way).
« Last Edit: 05/11/15, 07:20 PM by kamtron » Logged
kamtron
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Re: May 9-10 Goat Rocks (Gilbert) solitude and turns
« Reply #1 on: 05/11/15, 07:18 PM »

Camp in the morning



Looking down from the Conrad-Meade col while the group rests.



Arriving at the top of the Conrad glacier, stoked for another corn run (our tracks in background).



At the top of the little couloir. Looking down the steepest, narrowest bit.



Perhaps there are two entrances?



Ready to open it up out the bottom (2 images stitched)



Rowdy Goat Adventure Zone (pano)

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andreism
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Re: May 9-10 Goat Rocks (Gilbert) solitude and turns
« Reply #2 on: 05/11/15, 09:10 PM »

Hi Guys,

Glad you had a good skiing time. That solo stranger (which you met) was me.

Goats tracks show their toes are flexible (extended), when goat wants to float/stop on snow.


* GoatTrack_small.jpg (250.66 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 749 times.)
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wcurchin
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Re: May 9-10 Goat Rocks (Gilbert) solitude and turns
« Reply #3 on: 05/11/15, 09:14 PM »

Awesome stuff Kam! Looks like that line is probably already gone!

.....and another trip added to the to-ski list.
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garrettww
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Re: May 9-10 Goat Rocks (Gilbert) solitude and turns
« Reply #4 on: 05/11/15, 10:06 PM »

Oof - 7 miles to snow! I almost headed up to Goat Rocks myself this weekend. Looks fun, but that hike would have put a damper on things. Nice view from your camp!
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kciari
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Re: May 9-10 Goat Rocks (Gilbert) solitude and turns
« Reply #5 on: 05/12/15, 10:13 AM »

Awesome work Kam! Loved the TR! Definitely putting this on the list!
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tabski
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Re: May 9-10 Goat Rocks (Gilbert) solitude and turns
« Reply #6 on: 05/12/15, 10:48 AM »

Nice Kam! Lots of fin des enseguidas para ti. Matandolo.
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jacoblmandell
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Re: May 9-10 Goat Rocks (Gilbert) solitude and turns
« Reply #7 on: 05/12/15, 04:18 PM »

Awesome trip! I was checking out that couloir, it looked sweet!
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kamtron
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Re: May 9-10 Goat Rocks (Gilbert) solitude and turns
« Reply #8 on: 05/12/15, 05:37 PM »

Thanks for all the good vibes, everyone!

andreism, it was nice to meet you out there. Strong work on your part with the 1-day push. Thanks for telling us some goat trivia. Tristan was probably wishing he had goat toes while climbing to the summit without crampons.
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