Goblin Mountain by Kyes Peak / 靠凱斯峯的鬼怪山

  • Reading time:4 mins read

Yesterday we had a relaxing trip out east. Then last night, I learned that Road 63 to the Blanca Lake Trailhead reopened. The perfect timing allowed us to explore Goblin Mountain east of Kyes Peak. Otherwise, with the road closure, we would’ve had to hike an extra 8.5 miles.

Goblin Mountain up ahead
Goblin Mountain up ahead

See more trip photos here.

Goblin Mountain at a Glance

Access: Quartz Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 7.5 miles
Elevation Range: 2460′-5606′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no

Quartz Creek Trail

I wasn’t sure about the road conditions beyond Blanca Lake Trailhead. But we kept fingers (and paws) crossed not to find any down trees or deep ruts. The roadway ended up being in decent shape with some small potholes. Overall, the drive was smooth sailing.

The Forest Service had put up a warning on their website about Quartz Creek Trail conditions. So I figured we’d have to hop over lots of down trees. But to my surprise, the trail was in excellent shape. Only one big tree over the path to step over.

Heading for the unknown
Heading for the unknown

See more trip photos here.

East Spur Ridge of Storm Ridge

At mile 1.5, we left the trail and then crossed Quartz Creek on a big log. Soon, we were fighting the brush through the old growth. There was lots of Devil’s club in the lower section. So we spent quite some time looking for a path of the least resistance.

Things looked promising past 4000′ when we broke out of the trees. Then we had views out to the east below the east spur ridge of Storm Ridge. Snow patched showed up at 4400′ when we went up the steep section. So I left the snowshoes on the ridgetop.

Kyes Peak versus Goblin Mountain
Kyes Peak versus Goblin Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Goblin Mountain via Storm Ridge

A short westbound ridge traverse took us up to Storm Ridge. Then we went north on the ridgeline. There were lots of downsloping slabs on the eastern slopes were full of downsloping slabs and scree. So we avoided them by staying on the crest. But we’d sometimes drop onto the steep, forested west face.

At 5200′, we slowly moved to the steep eastern slopes. So we could bypass cliffs and outcrops. Later we worked our way through several narrow gullies. There wasn’t enough snow in the final bit that led up to the saddle. So we stepped through holes the rest of the way.

Ridge walk
Ridge walk

See more trip photos here.

Goblin Mountain Summit

Clouds had been hovering the west since we were down on the spur ridge. So the sight of Kyes Peak and other places was spotty. The mist stayed in the Quartz Creek drainage the entire time we were on top. But views everywhere else were decent.

I brought a rope for the final bit. Then I saw the register next to a shrub below the summit boulders. So I signed it, and then the pup and I hung out by the sandy platform. We could see Glacier Peak and other remote places in the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness.

East-to-north panoramic view
East-to-north panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Outro

The goal for this trip was to get a close-up look at Kyes Peak. So we waited a while for the clouds to move away. But it didn’t happen until much later. After spending an hour chewing the fat, we headed down. Meanwhile, my mind was on the annoying brush down in the forest.

As we went down the slopes, I kept thinking how microspikes would’ve been helpful. We made it down to the forest at dusk. Then Mr. Cody used his sniffing power and led us back to Quartz Creek. Then we were back at the car soon after moonrise.

Back to the ridge traverse
Back to the ridge traverse

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Susan

    I like your comment about Mr Cody using his sniffing power. What a great mountain dog, Mr Cody is!

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