#4 hike; Chief Joseph Mountain traverse

July 25, 2009

I've been farther up that mountain than you been away from home

I had Erica drop me off at 5am at the end of lake shore road for the start to this “epic” hike.  From there I bushwhacked straight up the hill until I ran into the Chief Joseph trail (taking 2 miles out of the climb) then crossing the trail I went cross country again to eliminate another mile of switchbacks.  My route to the ridge top was up the first avalanche chute on the left in the picture above.  Once on top the route became pretty easy and I found a nice basalt band that held lots of fossils (neat).  Once I arrived at the top I called the Reiningers and they busted out the spotting scope to see me jump up and down like a idiot.

the summit turret in the upper right

I was discouraged that I hadn’t seen any goats yet because they were supposed to be everywhere.  I read the entries in the log book at the summit and 10 days previously someone had written “large group of goats on ridge to the west”.   I glanced up from reading and the picture below is what I saw.

goats ahoyyyyyyy !!!!!!!!!!

Deep in the clutches of mountain goat fever (m.g.f.) and forgetting to even take pictures from the top, I went tottering off towards the goats like a moth to a flame.  Sneaking around and through the herd I was able to get pretty close to a nanny and kid until they spotted me (here).

I think they notice me

After I recovered from seeing the goats and my m.g.f was under control I stopped to take a panorama video of my surroundings.  sawtooth is the pointy peak on the right and legore lake is just to it's left (not visible)

Following the long summit ridge west brought me to a small drainage leading down to Hurricane Creek and my final destination.  The viewpoint before I headed down the ankle twisting slope, showcased my next climb. Up Sawtooth Mountain and to Legore lake (highest lake in Oregon).

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