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Ascent of West Goat Peak on 2014-09-01

Climber: Eric Higginbotham

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, September 1, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:West Goat Peak
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:10793 ft / 3289 m

Ascent Trip Report

This hike has it all. A nice well-defined dry trail, creeks, no trail, bogs, multiple trails, lakes, and a peak with gorgeous views of other peaks you will want to climb. I traveled over to trailhead following Jim Perkins’ directions . Thanks Jim, I found the trailhead in the dark thanks to your instructions. I grew up in Ravalli County so I knew your instructions would make perfect sense to me. There is no sign at the trailhead, just a place on the downhill side of the road to pull over and a trail leading up the hillside on the opposite side of the road. As someone else noted in their trip report, watch for the large awkwardly placed culvert that crosses the road just before you reach the trailhead. After a few hours of sleep in the bed of the truck, I started up the trail soon after sunrise. I lost the trail several times during the hike. I’m not sure if there is any trail through the boggy section before reaching the saddle. What saved me time was I had Ken Jones’ GPS track loaded into my GPS and when in doubt I checked to see where Ken had gone. Thanks Ken. Ken is a peakbagging legend and I am happy to follow in his footsteps, but I must note there were times I was not on the trail, but Ken’s track was on the trail. And, there were times I was on the trail but Ken’s track was not on the trail. I tried not to worry about being on the trail and marched towards the objective. Make sure to wear shoes suitable for walking in two-inch deep water for about a quarter mile as you cross through the bogs. Tons of elk tracks and trails in this area and I often had to abandon an elk trail to find the real trail. After leaving the “trail” at the saddle by the sign about Fishtrap and Mud creeks, I curved along the base of East Goat Peak and climb up to the outlet of the first Lost Lake. What a beautiful little valley and I finally saw my goal West Goat Peak. I took the East Ridge up to the summit. Beautiful view of Warren Lake and Peak. I snapped some photos and drank some water but then my dog began to whine and wouldn’t stop. I left the summit heading back down the same route I took up. About 300’ of elevation off the summit I hear a big hullaballo of noise coming from the top. Three climbers were at the summit hollering their success. I have no idea where they came from, as there were no people tracks on all trails I walked. Then it dawned on me that was why the dog was whining, she had spotted the climbers approaching the summit. I didn’t see them at all, which speaks volumes about why I never get anything hunting, but I assume they came up from the Warren Lake side. If your reading this, send me an email I have a couple of pictures of you on the summit I can share. I continued down to the higher of the two Lost Lakes and stopped to share a can of sardines (lightly smoked) and crackers with Dori the Dog. Beside the three climbers the only other people on the mountain were a half dozen coeds from Butte Tech participating in some sort of hazing for their sorority by plunging swimsuit less into Lost Lake. Dori and I watched while we snacked and on the hike out, I stopped to talk to one of them but she was so inebriated I couldn’t make sense of anything she said. We then dropped down out of the hanging valley and trekked down the mountain back to the truck. It was a beautiful day, sunny with a few clouds.
My suggestions, use Jim Perkins driving directions, download Bob’s track into your GPS and wear waterproof boots, then relax and enjoy the hike. I also enjoy loading my GPS track into Google Earth and then displaying the elevation profile. Lots of fun to track your progress over the hike, it shows elevation, speed, and slope for each point along the track.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
East Goat Peak from northeast ridge of West Goat Peak (2014-09-01). Photo by Eric Higginbotham.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4865 ft / 1481 m
    Extra Gain:246 ft / 74 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.7 mi / 22 km
    Route:TR 129 Lost Lakes East Ridge
    Trailhead:Trailhead of TR 129  6420 ft / 1956 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2/3
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Some high clouds and the occasional cloud on West Goat Peak
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 5 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 10 Minutes



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