|Goat Creek Peak, aka Peak 8754|
John had a free weekend and wanted (needed) to get out. I'd visited his webpage last week and re-read the Sister Creek Peak trip report ( http://www.splattski.com/2016/pk_8530/index.html ) we'd done last spring. The trip report reminded me of a peak we opted not to do during that snowshoe trip, since were a bit too wiped out to attempt it. The area looked like it would be a good ski, so I offered up this peak to John. He was all in!
We met up at 7AM, outside of Cascade, with both skis and snowshoes. At this time of year you just don't know if it can be a ski or will end up being a slog. As we drove over Big Creek summit and saw all the fresh snow, I was thinking only about skiing. Screw the slow shoes!
With skis on our backs, we were climbing up through the dead fall and buck brush a little after 8AM.
|It wouldn't be an outing with John without some dead fall|
|Moon over a ridge on the other side of the road|
|Still climbing through the buck brush|
|Note the handy coat rack!|
|John moving quickly up the ridge|
|More John, more ridge|
|Looking across the valley to the east|
|We traversed this ridge to the high point in the center|
After a couple of hours of steady uphill, our peak finally came into view.
|Goat Creek Peak (just to the right of the thicker cloud) way back there|
|And a close up view of the peak|
|More of John's rear end|
Once up and over Point 8355, the view of the Goat Creek drainage came into view. By this point, I was singing the my theme song for the day - "Everything is Awesome" from the Lego Movie. The views were that good! Unfortunately, we had to drop a few hundred feet from Point 8355 to get down to the ridge that would allow access to our peak. John, always thinking ahead, took an angled route down so we could use it as a skin track on the way out.
|Goat Creek drainage|
After a not so short traverse around a cliffy section to our left, we took a short rest to fuel up for the final 300' push to the summit. With clouds moving in from the west, we moved as fast as we could to try and get to the summit while still in the sunshine.
|Looking back at our skin track in the gathering clouds|
We skied to within 30 feet of the summit, dropped our skis and booted to the top. From the picture below, it looks like we beat the storm. But if you look closely at the photo, you can see the snow falling. Oh well.
|All smiles on the summit|
We spent a few minutes on top enjoying the not so clear views before clipping into our skis for the descent. This would have been a great place to ski laps as the area is open and has a 30-35 degree angle. I mentioned to John that if we were 20 years younger we could probably do a few laps. He agreed and added we would probably also try it if our IQ's were 20 points less.
|Looking back from the summit|
The initial descent off the summit provided a few turns in some nice powder, but we mostly traversed our skin track out. Once we reached the uphill section, it was time to stop for some lunch. Though cloudy with light snow falling, it was not windy, and lunch was pleasant.
|John following the skin track|
It was all downhill after we climbed back to point 8355. The snow was fantastic for 600-700 feet and we both enjoyed some nice April turns in the buttery snow. After a bit the snow thickened, and the turns required a bit more concentration.
|John getting his April turns in|
|All smiles as we make our way down to the truck|
The last mile down was the same as the uphill; dead fall and buck brush. Before we knew it we were back at the truck feeling great but tired. Another awesome day hiking (skiing) to an obscure central Idaho peak!
John's trip report: http://www.splattski.com/2017/pk_8754/index.html
Distance: ~9.5 miles
Elevation: ~5000 feet
Time: 7.25 hours
Theme Song: "Everything is Awesome" from The Lego Movie