PCT: Day 151: Goat rocks

Goat Rocks Wilderness

Miles today: 21.3

Trail miles sum: 1613.1

Trail location: 2295.4

Elevation: 4410

Spinning on the turntable:

Guthook Screenshot

Guthook Sep 9

Today was all about clearing the Knife’s Edge on Old Snowy Mountain. Today was the first time I was truly concerned about seriously hurting myself with a trip, slip or a fall.

PCT Washington

Rock cairn

The early morning hike was uphill, but not too serious. The skyline towards Mt. Adams was somewhat clear.

PCT Washington

Cloudy day

I had hopes for a cloudless day so that I could see all the mountains, but sadly it was not to be.

Goat Rocks Wilderness

Steep rocks

Soon I hit rocks. The trail was steep. I stopped every few minutes to catch my breath.

Goat Rocks Wilderness

And a snowfield

This snow field was pretty easy to hike across (with utmost care) until the the last 15 feet. The final 15 feet were solid, shiny ice. I was able to find a few rocks to use as stepping anchors and I did ok.

Goat Rocks Wilderness

And another snowfield

The next snow field crossing was a bit more challenging with a choice of a upper or lower crossing. I opted for the lower crossing, reasoning that it gave me less distance to slide if I fell. Maneuvering to the lower crossing was a steep downhill trek on loose, shifting shale was nerve wracking as the rocks I stepped on shifted positions. I survived.

(I jealously watched the younger hikers rip through this section as if they had wings.)

Goat Rocks Wilderness

Crossing on the ridgeline

If you look closely at the picture you can see the path I’m going to follow across the ridge line.

Goat Rocks Wilderness

So windy

The clouds were rolling in and the wind had picked up considerably.

Goat Rocks Wilderness

Goat rocks

If you look closely at the center of the picture you can see the path I just descended and ascended. The stones were very loose and I really had to work to maintain my footing in a few locations.

Goat Rocks Wilderness

Snow and rocks

Notice how I had no pictures from the center section as I hiked through it? That’s because my sphincter was puckered so tight a greased BB couldn’t slide in! Seriously though, I don’t like heights and this was seriously sketchy for me.

PCT Washington


I was relieved to come back down into lower elevation. I passed two ladies in their mid-late 60’s who were hiking up! Love it!!!

One SOBO day hiker had everyone’s attention with his back pack. It was gigantic. Epic sized. Easily a foot over his head. I asked the unthinkable about his pack weight and he told me 70lbs. 70lbs. Good Lord. He was traveling at a snails pace.

Later I heard that other hikers were also asking him his pack weight. 😂😂😂

PCT Washington

Cold lake

The weather was far too cool for a swim but this lake sure looked tempting.

PCT Washington

Big flat mushrooms

I was passed around 4PM by two hikers who were running down the trail for the free trail magic and chili at the trail head. Running.

Goat Rocks Wilderness

Goat rocks sign

I’m sort of sad to be leaving Goat Rocks wilderness. So much hype about the views, but so much cloud cover today.

The shifting weather has me a little uneasy. I really don’t want to hike in the rain. The weather forecast for the next week looks good. Fingers crossed.

This week has been a long uphill grind. Tomorrow we’ll take a zero and recover a bit.

1 Comment

  1. Chainsaw Manlove

    Nice work! That looked brutal and beautiful.
    Hope the chili was able to unpucker you later.


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