Forum Index > Trip Reports > Gilbert Peak-Goat Rocks with 2 dogs 9/20-21/22
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seattlehikertoo
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seattlehikertoo
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PostSat Sep 24, 2022 11:55 am 
Summary: We camped at Warm Lake. The dogs hogged my sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and extra blanket I lugged, but I was happy to be relieved of carrying a ridiculously heavy pack. They also ate the beef stroganoff I cooked, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I made, and the burger I cooked the previous day, but I looked forward to making coffee in the am. From Warm Lake, the easiest way up is to head SW from the lake up a discernible boot path that goes right through a green patch of heather that seems isolated on an otherwise sand and scree slope. We gained the ridge after about .4 miles and 550 feet or so of elevation. This is by far the easiest/safest way, especially with dogs. Then, we simply followed the path all the way to the summit block. The ridge line has metal USGS stakes along it almost all the way to the SSW summit ridge. It's 2.2 miles to the summit scramble from Warm Lake. Some detail: Took my 2 pups (Milo and Swabbie) to Warm Lake via Conrad Meadows to see if I could get them both up to the summit of Gilbert. We had the entire lake and mountain to ourselves. We got within yelling distance of the summit and maybe 75 vertical feet before both pups let me know they simply wouldn't. I carried a concerned Swabbie up the first couple of easy class 3 steps (practically class 2), and could see the remaining class 2/3 to the summit. Milo could have hopped up there easily, but when he saw Swabbie concerned, he yelled at me to stop. I know some dogs could make this climb and have, even on hot days. I think it is unwise to carry or boost dogs up over these types of steps with one person and 2 dogs. Swabbie was visibly spent. In any case, approaching from the SE on the Klickton Ridge above Warm Lake, there are 2 key easy spots within a hundred yards of each other to make the ascent to the summit AFTER you go around the steep and jagged S trending buttress around 7900 feet. The first comes less than a hundred yards and trends diagonally away climbers left of the steep forbidding black spires of the S ridge. The other and easier way is just another 200 feet along an obvious boot track that goes climbers right into an obvious notch leading directly up the remaining 80-odd vertical feet to the knobby summit. We turned around there as the dogs were spooked. IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THOSE WITH PUPS: THEY CAN MAKE IT ALL THE WAY EARLIER IN THE SUMMER WHEN THERE IS STILL SNOW GUARDING ALL BUT THE LAST FEW STEPS. For this peak, that likely means June and maybe into July for big snow years. Anyway we retreated to the easy, but very dusty/scree path which goes to the NW shoulder/saddle for more spectacular views. I could see the smoke from the fire just starting to rise up, but views of Rainier were unobstructed and the air quality was fine. No road issues at all. Any vehicle can make it. Trail Ascent/descent notes: At 2.7 miles is a twisted bridge over the Tieton River. It is easily crossable, but late summer when the flow drops, much more pleasant to just walk across it, especially on a hot day. One of my dogs couldn't negotiate the logs to access the bridge, but they both were easily able to wade across, and then took to wrestling and darting around afterward. The first 4.25 miles gains 300 feet and undulates 20 feet or so constantly along the river until you come to an unsigned fork between the south and north branches of trail number 1120 marked on USGS maps. It is here that I ran into Milda and Dave. They kindly gave me MUCH-needed matches (Thank you!) and warned me about the blowdowns on the north branch. They weren't kidding. I took this way down as they indicated it was shorter (it is by 4/10 of a mile). There is literally a blowdown every 100 yards, with 3 of them within a quarter mile of the fork requiring leaving the path and going up/down around them. In any case, the south branch takes you along the north shore of Surprise Lake. It was 5.5 miles to Warm Lake from the fork going up this way. 9.75 total from the TH. Watch the horse poop. There is little to no water available by late summer between the fork at 4.25 miles and the lake if taking the N branch (blowdowns) because most of the creeks crossings will be dry until the precip starts again. Even the S branch (horse poop), there is a spot about half mile past the fork. It's 2 more miles to Surprise Lake if you didn't fill up.
Route Info: Crossing private land. Thanks!
JctTr1120Fr1000-1.8mi. Go right
2 mile tree
Very low Tieton crossing at 2.7 miles
Swabbie near where the path appears to go toward a basin,but faint path goes left directly to Warm Lake
Swabbie's ear points the way
Easy class 2/3 to summit. Less than 80 vertical feet and 200 feet of scrambling.
Swabbie says no

Tom, RossJames, RichP, geyer, HikingBex, kite, flatsqwerl, fourteen410, Randito  jaysway
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jaysway
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jaysway
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PostMon Sep 26, 2022 6:24 am 
Fantastic trip report, thank you for sharing all of these photos and route descriptions. Probably the trip that I most wanted to do this season but never got around to it was a backpacking trip to see Warm and Cold Lakes plus Gilbert. Hopefully next season...your pictures have me stoked!
seattlehikertoo wrote:
I absolutely love this shot. Perfect.

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RichP
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PostMon Sep 26, 2022 10:53 am 
Thanks for the helpful annotations. I haven't climbed Gilbert but intend to someday.

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iron
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iron
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PostMon Sep 26, 2022 10:39 pm 
good stuff sh2. nice to see a post from you!

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texasbb
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texasbb
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PostTue Sep 27, 2022 12:05 pm 
Great trip and very informative report! The Conrad Basin area is one of my favorite places.
seattlehikertoo wrote:
Very low Tieton crossing at 2.7 miles
That torn up bridge actually crosses Conrad Creek. The USGS map still shows Trail 1120 crossing the Tieton, but the trail was rerouted around the marshy area and now crosses Conrad Creek mere feet before its confluence with the Tieton River. MapBuilder has the correct routing; compare the USGS trail with the MapBuilder red line here.

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