Eightmile Peak by Big Craggy Peak via Billy Goat Trailhead / 八哩峯

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Happy Fourth of July! Eightmile Peak by Big Craggy Peak rests on the north end of Isabella Ridge. Together with West Craggy Peak and North Craggy Peak, they form a cirque above No Dice Lake. The proximity to Billy Goat Trailhead allows for a day climb.

Eightmile Peak summit up ahead
Eightmile Peak summit up ahead

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Eightmile Peak at a Glance

Access: Billy Goat Trailhead
Round Trip: 8.2 miles
Elevation Range: 4800′-7840′
Gear: helmet
Route Info: Matt Burton
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

Last-Minute Plan Change

I had a bigger goal for the holiday weekend. But instead, we found ourselves swimming in a sea of debris past Black Lake in Lake Creek Basin. So, in the end, we made a day trip out of the ordeal.

I had set my mind on climbing at least one peak off the back burners. Though, not wanting to do any more driving, I looked to the nearby places. Then we visited the obscure Eightmile Peak at a couple of basins away.

Billy Goat Trail
Billy Goat Trail

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Billy Goat Trailhead

It was our third time here. During the first two visits, the ongoing roadwork had forced us to walk from the gate at Eightmile Creek. Though, this time, we were able to drive right up to the trailhead.

Later as I filled out a wilderness permit, a man car camping at the trailhead came up to chat. The self-touting talk had me rolling my eyes inside. But if I had to hear “I’m a photographer” one more time”…

Pasayten Wilderness
Pasayten Wilderness

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Hidden Lakes Trail to Eightmile Pass

Despite a late morning start, we reached Eightmile Pass at mile two in no time. A brief stop to check out the route, then we made our way south. The aftermath of the 2017 Diamond Creek Fire was evident throughout.

We tried scrambling south as direct as possible. But the tree debris had us zigzag and look for a path with the least resistance. Later at 6000′, we went uphill through the west end of a massive talus field.

Eightmile Peak awaits
Eightmile Peak awaits

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Eightmile Peak North Gully

Without snow, accessing the north gully was grunt work. Then at 6400′, we had no choice but to hop through the sea of boulders before us. But at least it was less painful than walking in scree.

As soon as we reached the bottom of the gully, we hugged the headwall on the west. It also allowed us to avoid potential rockfalls in the center. Slowly, we made it up to the milder terrain below the north ridge.

600 feet too long
600 feet too long

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North Ridge Traverse

Most snow has melted other than the few patches below Eightmile Peak. We took a break on top as I marveled at the first sighting of The Craggy peaks. From there, the actual summit was another .25 mile to the south.

We traversed mainly on the crest. Despite the constant breeze, the air was a little stuffy. It likely had to do with the smoke coming in from Canada. As we neared the summit, we stayed west of the ridgeline.

This way to Eightmile Peak
This way to Eightmile Peak

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Eightmile Peak Summit Views

The sheer north side of The Craggy peaks was quite impressive. Though, the view from across No Dice Lake Basin three years earlier was even grander. It grew pretty warm, and so we stayed just long enough for the photos.

From the top, I scoped out some potential climbing goals to the east. There were also a few places up north I want to tackle before the season ends. I saw a sliver of Sherman Peak to the south, as well as Three Pinnacles west of here.

Southern panoramic view
Southern panoramic view

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Outro

Later we retraced our steps back to the north summit. From there, we dropped down through the rocky gully. On the way up, one of the pups set off a rock that aimed right at my helmet! So I kept them close by going down.

Boulder hopping was even more tedious in reverse. But it was a relief when we reached the trail. Then two miles of walking got us back to the car shortly. The man from this morning was still hanging around, waiting to talk to someone. Eek.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

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