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Goat Mountain

WA Cascades West Slopes North (Mt Baker)
Posted by MuradN on 12/13/20 9:53pm

Kate, Jordan, Kirk, and I explored Goat Mountain Saturday to take advantage of another sunny weekend day. We dropped a car at snow line up Twin Lakes Road with plans to go up and over and started from the Summer trail on the south side. We made good time in trail runners to almost 4k before skinning and aside from a slight deviation from the summer trail had easy travel. We were stoked to find ~8" of quality snow above the crust on south aspects.

We couldn't resist taking a lap on the south side before it got cooked by the sun and enjoyed an over 1k run into the valley. Ski quality was great and on the moderate angle we did not feel the crust much. A short traverse brought us back to our original track and we made our way to the west shoulder to scope a few couloirs I was curious about. At around 6300 on the west shoulder we found the leftmost couloir and easily skirted a cornice to enter it. Snow in the couloir was a bit deeper than what we found on the south side and turns down the apron were excellent.

We were able to skin around to a lower angle notch further down the ridge and easily skin back to the drop in point. From here we traveled to a high point on the ridge a little lower than the true summit. We all agreed that the true summit of West Goat was not worth the hassle with the limited day light we had remaining and with more quality snow that needed skiing. Our next run was into the west bowl from the summit ridge. Jordan and I continued down into the rightmost couloir while Kirk and Kate skied more open slopes to the right. A third of the way down the couloir we were able to exit to the right and skin back up with Kirk and Kate to the summit ridge. Peering down the rest of the line had us intrigued though. Once back on the summit ridge we made the decision to exit via the drainage to the west as opposed to the Swamp Creek exit to the north. Since we had not gotten eyes on the north exit yet and could see a clear route down the west side we figured it was a better option. It also would allow us to ski the full length of the couloir.

The full run down the couloir held overall great snow and was quite aesthetic. The lower portion was pretty low angle but had a really cool rock wall on the left side with some small ice flows. During the day we referred to the couloirs (per Jordan's idea) as the Left Udder, Middle Udder and Right Udder. I'd imagine they have seen tracks before but was unable to find anything about them.

As the sun was about to set it was time to pay the piper. Some alder thrashing, survival skiing and downhill booting/post holing got us down to Swamp Creek. With no obvious crossing nearby we chose to just walk through the river with the freedom of the road just short scramble above us. A quick glide out on the road got us back to the truck where I could finally pour the water out of my boots. All in all a great day of skiing for early December and well worth the exit fee!




Skinng up the south ridge


Looking down the Left Udder


Skinning out of the West Bowl


Kirk Skiing the Left Udder Apron


Skiing the West Bowl


Jordan Skiing the Right Udder


Wow..8" of QUALITY snow over the crust?? Baker always seems to deliver! 

Looks awesome, thanks for sharing - brings back some good memories on Goat Mtn! 

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2020-12-14 05:53:53