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

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 didn’t know the road conditions beyond Blanca Lake Trailhead. So we kept fingers (and paws) crossed not to encounter down trees or deep ruts. The road turned out to be in decent shape with small potholes. And overall, the drive was smooth sailing.

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

Heading for the unknown
Heading for the unknown

See more trip photos here.

Getting up to Storm Ridge Spur 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 to look for a path of the least resistance.

Things began to look promising past 4000′ when we broke out of the trees. Just below the east spur ridge of Storm Ridge, we finally had some views to the east. Snow appeared just as we came to the steepest section at 4400′. There wasn’t much of it, 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 Summit via Storm Ridge

A quick westbound ridge traverse took us up to Storm Ridge. Then we traveled north on the ridgeline. The eastern slopes were full of downsloping slabs and scree. But we were able to avoid them by staying on the crest. Occasionally, we would drop onto the steep, forested west face.

At 5200′, we slowly moved to the steep eastern slopes to bypass cliffs and outcrops. Then we worked our way through several narrow gullies. There wasn’t enough snow in the final section leading up to the saddle. So we punched through rocks most 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 views of Kyes Peak and other high points were spotty. Even after we got to the top, the mists continued to obscure the Quartz Creek drainage. Though, views were decent everywhere else.

I brought a rope for the final crux. But then I saw the register placed next to a shrub beneath the top. So I decided not to climb the summit boulders. The pup and I then hung out by the sandy platform down below. We could see Glacier Peak plus other obscure high points 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 through the valley. But it didn’t happen until much later. After spending an hour chewing the fat, we headed down. All the while, my mind was on the annoying brush down in the forest.

As we slowly went down the slick slopes, I kept thinking how nice it would’ve been to have brought microspikes. We made it back down to the forest at dusk. Then Mr. Cody used his sniffing power to get us back to the Quartz Creek crossing. We were back at the car shortly 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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