Here is the promised TR for our Goat Mountain last Sunday, US Mt. Baker National Forest.
I wish to thank Ling for joining me on this hike despite the cloudy overcast and light rain. We kept it comfortable with rain gear, and change into dry shirts up on top before we headed down.
This trip was set up for Sunday as weather forecast 5 days previous called for mainly sunny skies, what a joke. turns out this Sunday had the poorest weather for the entire week, and it was also somewhat chilly up on top as well. +5'c
Note the hike starts out as a very pleasant forest hike, lots of switchbacks to ease the grade for up and down, We made note of the alder and bushes as we ascended, they showed as being less developed in terms of spring growth. to the top where the leaves had yet to burst.
Elevation begins around 780 meters; and we encountered the first snow patches around 1380 meters, and quickly become total and deep at 1400 meters elevation (south facing slope) There were tracks and we followed them as I noted they followed the summer trail closely. You could hear the rush of water below the snow as we walked, i.e. the trail was a creek under the snow. We wore rain gear most of the time, taking jackets off only when the rain stopped. We had lunch on what is a great overlook near the end of the official trail, but views very limited due to valley cloud, mist, and clouds wrapped around the mountain tiops. The snow is consolidated and provides easy walking on top; microspikes stops slipping and makes it a lot easier to walk up.
Snow depth was surprising; about the 1550 meter level, estimate snow about 1.5 to 2 meters deep. Our furthest point just before the slope steepens up rapidly (1740 meter level), snow was deep on flat and gentle. But there were bare patches and gaps on the slopes above. At this time had considered cramponing up top, would have been marginal to do, but weather misery made us stop here.
STATS: 1000 meters elevation gain.. with 14 km return .... 6 hours including lunch; 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Trailhead, parking, and Topog Map
Heading up the pleasant forest trail, includes two or three boardwalk type bridges to keep you feet out of mud or watr..
Up to the top of switchbacks trails before ascending gentle into a blueberry meadow. Which is also solid with snow cover 1 meter depth ....
Waterfall above the trail, hiked straight up for a closer look.
Back at the Trailhead, generous cover of Ground Dogwood nearby.