Goat Rocks - Old Snowy
May 23-25th, 2008


IVES PEAK 7840-ft

Photos and story by Jason Hummel

Every year at this time is an annual ski trip. Years past: 2006 and 2007 have been very fun and the weather, for the most part, pleasant. This time there appeared to be some questionable drizzle in the forecast and by friday it appeared Saturday held the most promise. Once Josh's girlfriend Christy arrived from Kirkland, we set off with the hopes of reaching camp before dark. It was already past 4pm as we left the city.

It wasn't looking like we were gonna make it.

Earlier that day, the rest of our party had already left. This included a number of people, all of which are regulars at White Pass Ski Resort. I don't think they expected to see us. After several hours of dank and wet forest, swift moving creeks and winding slopes, we arrived at their camp, much short of our planned McCall Basin, in the middle of the night. It seems the rain had been worse to the east and we had gotten only the tail end of it. Being late does pay off!!! We set up our camps in the dark, finally getting to bed after midnight. A few drank a more than they should have! In response, there are copious amounts of photos below to remind them of what they missed out on :) >>>

In the morning, the weather was perfect. We had all slept in though. But no matter, cause soon we were all ready, and in leaving we all decided on different ways. Josh and Christy theirs, my dad his, and Hannah, Mica, Steve and me, mine. Two groups made it, and my old man was a little behind schedule with his party which enjoyed a grand tour of the area. This was surely a switched scenario! Afraid that the weather was going to come in, we headed out. Once past a small pond we traversed over to N. Tieton Creek, whereby we followed it into the head of McCall Basin. Brilliant, Awesome, Wonderful best describe my feelings. The sun was out, the way was ahead and nothing could hold us back. Fresh water was available where the river had broken though. We were set. Between hot and cold, blue and cloud, we were either on a furnace or freezing. Nature couldn't seem to make up it's mind. We had no such problems. To-a-summit we were a-going.

The summit was wonderful! I've been in the Goat Rocks many, many times and it never losses its sparkle. This once volcano now just a remnant of its former glory still sits in concert with its neighbors. From the top of Old Snowy - Rainier, Saint Helens and Adams ring the horizon. We were pretty happy to be there.

Soon clouds chased us from the top. We put on our skis and made our way down the gentle terrain. Snow was sticky given recent new and only now was getting a full dose of sun after rain the day before. Nevertheless, we plenty enjoyed the skiing until we met up with Mica and Hannah. They were still a stretch from the summit and our lazy break had outlasted the sun, plus it was getting late, past 4pm. They promised to hurry and we left. Further down we caught up with my Old Man and John. They were hanging out on the rocks. After a break there, the others had climbed to the top and skied back down. We all left except for my Old man's skins. He didn't realize he'd left them until we reached the bottom of the Basin. On his way to climb back up, I decided to take a photo of the creek and Christy. My sun glasses decided that they'd be better off taking the creek home! Bummer. I had no such luck catching them up.

The next day the rain was back in force. Throughout the night it had pelted our tents. After breakfast, there appeared to be a lull, so we packed up and headed out. Plenty of ski flossing over trees and branches, needles and moss, creeks and swamps left us gladdened to reach the trail and dry dirt.


At trails end, grins were plenty. All assuredly disappointed the rain had come, but happy to be able to climb Old Snowy. It is well known that nothing is ever guaranteed on Memorial Day! Best to take any forecast with a grain of salt and make the best of it. Plus we've gotten away with a good trip three years in a row. I'm sure we're due for worse next year or the year after. For now, I'm countin' on better weather next year.

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