Goblin Mountain by Kyes Peak via Storm Ridge + Quartz Creek / 鬼怪山

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Goblin Mountain of Storm Ridge by Kyes Peak overlooks Quartz Creek below Curry Gap. Despite having a trail through its eastern foothills and a road on the south, this obscure peak seldom sees visitors. Though hard to reach, the rewarding views of the tall neighbors from the top are hard to dismiss.

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

The Preface

Yesterday we took a relaxing trip out east. Then last night, while researching the area, I learned that Road 63 to Blanca Lake Trailhead had reopened. So the perfect timing allowed us to explore Goblin Mountain east of Kyes Peak.

A couple of friends and I have talked about climbing the mountain over Halloween, as the name was quite fitting. But either snow or road closures have kept us away from it. Otherwise, the extra 8.5 miles roundtrip would be tough to swallow.

Quartz Creek Trail

I wasn’t sure about the road conditions past Blanca Lake Trailhead. But we kept fingers (and paws) crossed not to find down trees or deep ruts. The roadway turned out to be in decent shape with only small potholes; the drive was smooth sailing.

The Forest Service had warned about Quartz Creek Trail conditions on their website. So I figured we’d end up having to hop over massive down trees. But to my surprise, the path was in excellent shape, with only one big tree over the trail.

Heading for the unknown
Heading for the unknown

See more trip photos here.

Storm Ridge East Spur Ridge

At mile 1.5, we left the trail and then crossed Quartz Creek on a big log. Soon, we fought the brush through the old growth. The massive Devil’s club in the lower forest had us spend much time finding a path of the least resistance.

Things looked promising past 4000′ when we went above the trees. Then we had views to the east below the Storm Ridge. Snow later showed up at 4400′ over the steep section, and then 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 traverse west put us on the main ridgeline as we veered north. The eastern slopes were full of downsloping slabs and scree, which we avoided by staying on the crest. But we’d sometimes drop onto the steep, timbered west because of the rocky ridge.

At 5200′, we slowly moved to the steep eastern slopes to bypass cliffs and outcrops. Soon, we worked our way up through several narrow gullies. There wasn’t enough snow here to reach the saddle without keeping postholing.

Ridge walk
Ridge walk

See more trip photos here.

Goblin Mountain Summit Views

Clouds had been hovering the west since we were down on the spur ridge. So we had spotty views of Kyes Peak as well as other places. Even Sloan Peak farther up north was visible. But the mists over Quartz Creek stayed put the entire time we.

I took the rope out for the final bit before seeing the register next to a shrub below the boulders. So I signed it, then we hung out by the sandy platform. There were also views of Glacier Peak plus other remote places inside Henry M. Jackson Wilderness.

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

See more trip photos here.

Outro

My goal was to see Kyes Peak up close, so we waited a while for the clouds to shift. But it didn’t happen until much later. After spending an hour chewing the fat, we left the peak. Meanwhile, my mind was on the annoying brush in the forest.

As we went down the slopes, I kept thinking how helpful microspikes would’ve been. We made it back to the forest at dusk, with Mr. Cody leading us back to Quartz Creek with his sniffing power. Soon, we were at the car 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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