Forum Index > Trip Reports > Davis Peak / Goat Mountain traverse - 6/8/2016
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Gimpilator
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PostThu Jun 09, 2016 9:23 am 
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Calm down.  This is the Davis near Salmon la Sac, not the cool one on highway 20.  Iíve been procrastinating this Davis for years because of a dispute regarding which of the 4 main peaks is the highest.  It all sounded like a bit of a hassle, to be honest.  I knew that to claim the peak it would require going to all the various high points.  Yesterday the forecast was better there than anywhere else.

annotated route
annotated route

To summarize our findings, the west peak and southeast lookout site are visibly lower as is generally accepted.  The surveyors made a mistake on the west peak which is at least 50 feet lower than the central peak.  The central peak is definitely a contender for the true summit, however the north peak is extremely close.  The north peak could be the highest, but most folks do not climb it because itís harder to get to.  To further summarize, prominence people should do the central and north peaks while anyone else could be satisfied with the officially named southeast lookout site.

Cle Elum River bridge
Cle Elum River bridge
Point 5988
Point 5988
on the right you can see the scramble ridge between the west and central peaks of Davis
on the right you can see the scramble ridge between the west and central peaks of Davis

Enough conjecture.  Now for the report.  We hiked the trail up to the ridge south of the west peak.  Snow had hidden the trail which descends into the basin between the peaks and we scrambled up the south ridge by mistake.  I realized my error but decided to see if the ridge would go, rather than back-track.  We were blocked by a cliff at 6200 feet.  Traversing around the west side we found a steep loose gully and scrambled back up to the ridge crest and on to the summit.

Lake Terrence below
Lake Terrence below
Daniel and Cathedral Rock
Daniel and Cathedral Rock
we scrambled this ridge to the central peak
we scrambled this ridge to the central peak
central peak summit
central peak summit

From the west peak we scrambled a pleasant and occasionally exposed ridge to the central peak.  We then backtracked to the last notch and scrambled down the north side to some snow slopes.  We traversed a short distance to the pass between the central and north peak and then scrambled down some steep loose rock to the upper Opal Lake basin.

the pass between central and north peaks
the pass between central and north peaks
Goat still a long way to the north
1 label
Goat still a long way to the north
Summit Chief group and Bears Breast above Waptus Lake
Summit Chief group and Bears Breast above Waptus Lake
north peak south face
north peak south face
scrambling down from the pass
scrambling down from the pass
traverse above Opal Lake
traverse above Opal Lake

To our pleasant surprise we found numerous easy gullies and ledges on the east side of the north peak.  The only real scrambling was right below the summit.  After the north peak, it was time to traverse to Goat which is a P2k.  This traverse route seems seldom done.

central and west peaks seen from the north peak
central and west peaks seen from the north peak
north peak summit
north peak summit
nice ledges
nice ledges

We crossed over the rib into the basin north of Opal Lake and then had to drop 300 feet to cross over another rocky rib before coming to the 6060 foot pass directly north of an unnamed lake.  In the next basin we traversed northeast below another small lake to reach the pass north of Point 6539.

Goat Mountain and the intimidating red scree
Goat Mountain and the intimidating red scree

We descended 150 feet and traversed north on scree and talus.  We could see the steep red scree slope ahead of us.  This junky slope is the only feasible way to climb Goat from the south.  It looked pretty ugly, but as we got closer we could see it wasnít as serious as it appears from afar.  Class 2+ with some loose footing.  We scrambled up and then followed the last ridge to the summit.  I was disappointed that no register was present.

actually not that bad
actually not that bad
summit cairn but no register
1 label
summit cairn but no register
Stuart and Ingalls peaks
Stuart and Ingalls peaks
Davis peaks now a long way away
Davis peaks now a long way away
Goat summit crags
Goat summit crags
descending the red scree
descending the red scree

The clouds were building and looking more ominous all the time.  We could see it was raining to the south and the west.  On the hike out we took a final break at the lookout site.  Thankfully it cleared up a little again after that.  Back at the car we did a tick check and I discovered a wriggling monster embedded in my leg.  This was my very first tick bite.  I had been checking regularly during the hike, so it couldnít have been there very long.  It also came off very easily.

nearing the southeast lookout site
nearing the southeast lookout site
lookout site
lookout site

Heather and I agree that this traverse is not all that pleasant.  Also, for the record, we carried crampons and axes but did not use them.

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
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Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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RichP
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PostThu Jun 09, 2016 9:54 am 
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Interesting report. I've been curious about this route since reading Klenke's summitpost page on it. I thought that coming up from Lake Michael might be another option.

http://www.summitpost.org/goat-mountain/154871
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Fletcher
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PostThu Jun 09, 2016 3:20 pm 
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Looks like a fun day, even if the traverse was not all that pleasant!
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Redwic
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PostThu Jun 09, 2016 5:39 pm 
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Nice! What about cumulative mileage and elevation gain for this route?
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Foist
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PostFri Jun 10, 2016 10:25 am 
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How was the trail route through the basin to the lookout site, which you did on the way back?  Getting off that southern ridge can be really annoying in early season because of the big cornice that hangs around there.  If I go there this weekend will I need an ice axe?
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Gimpilator
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PostFri Jun 10, 2016 11:45 am 
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RichP wrote:
Interesting report. I've been curious about this route since reading Klenke's summitpost page on it.

That page is where I originally got the idea for this route, however a few other reports out there showed how some variations are possible.  For instance, we did not drop down and traverse around the long rib above Opal Lake. It was easy enough to pass over it.  I'm not familiar with the Lake Michael route, but I know one person who timed out on the Davis traverse route did return via that route and was successful.

Redwic wrote:
Nice! What about cumulative mileage and elevation gain for this route?

I estimate between 13 and 14 miles and roughly 5300 feet of accumulative gain.

Foist wrote:
How was the trail route through the basin to the lookout site  ...   If I go there this weekend will I need an ice axe?

The cornice is gone.  The trail was partially covered with snow, but not once during the day did we feel the need to use the crampons and axes we were carrying.  Have fun out there and watch for ticks!

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Foist
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PostFri Jun 10, 2016 11:45 am 
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Thanks!  Trust me, I got the message about the ticks loud and clear!
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Matt
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PostSat Jun 11, 2016 10:56 pm 
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Looks much better without all the damn cornices blocking the route.

Davis Lookout viewed from Goat, 4/3/2016
Davis Lookout viewed from Goat, 4/3/2016
More cornices in the way
More cornices in the way
Goat from near Point 6340
Goat from near Point 6340
Goat with Carla
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Goat with Carla
Looking from Davis North to Davis Central
Looking from Davis North to Davis Central

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ďAs beacons mountains burned at evening.Ē J.R.R. Tolkien
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Chief Joseph
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PostSun Jun 12, 2016 11:27 am 
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Matt wrote:
Goat with Carla
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Goat with Carla

Anyone else spend a minute looking for the goat in the photo before they realized....? lol

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Gimpilator
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PostMon Jun 13, 2016 3:20 pm 
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Thanks for sharing the photos Matt.  Looks much prettier with more snow.  It's good to know that others use this route.

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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