August 9, 2011

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We attempted to go trhough Goat Rocks from Walupt lake to white pass. Starting at the lake, we took Walupt lake trail that goes east and then meets with PCT across from the Nannie peak. Start looked good and free of snow and major obstacles. Mosquitos, however, were a problem.

First snow was encountered near PCT, once we got little higher, and it was not a huge issue. Trail was always visible, or easy to spot when occasionally it was covered with a foot or so of snow. Blow downs were not that bad either. It stayed this way much of the way when we went north on PCT. On approach to Walupt creek, though, snow became more of a problem. ~5 feet of snow was not uncommon. The creek itself had snow banks on both sides, which made it quite dangerous to cross: we basically had to walk on a little patch of snow over the creek that formed a bridge. And this piece will be gone soon, which is going to be even more problematic to cross.

After that, snow became almost constant companion. 5-10 or more feet of snow, often on the trail. Steep side slopes, and constant up-and-downs make a hike quite a challenge. Many blowdowns, and lots of places where you can’t see where snow cover ends and trail continues. We had to use GPS quite often.

We made it all the way to the approach to Cispus pass. Eastern exposure ensured that the whole stretch is covered with snow, and it’s quite a steep side slope. Since we did not have ice axes or crampons – we decided to turn around, and hike back.

In contrast to the other reviewer, we found plenty of water. There hasn’t been a mile of trail where we wouldn’t see a creek of some sorts.