Skiing the Cascade Volcanoes
        Amar Andalkar's Ski Mountaineering and Climbing Site
Ski Mountaineering Photos & Trip Reports Equipment & Info Cascade Volcanoes Ring of Fire Site Map

Table of Contents | Introduction | Ratings | WebCams | Bibliography | Highest Volcanoes | Snowfall & Snowdepth | Monthly Chart | Conifers | Compare | Distance | Sun Chart
  Lassen Peak
  Mount Shasta
  Medicine Lake Volcano
  Mount McLoughlin
  Pelican Butte
  Crater Lake
  Mount Bailey
  Mount Thielsen
  Diamond Peak
  Newberry Volcano
  Mount Bachelor
  Broken Top
  Three Sisters
  Mount Washington
  Three Fingered Jack
  Mount Jefferson
  Mount Hood
  Mount Saint Helens
  Mount Adams
  Goat Rocks
  Mount Rainier
  Glacier Peak
  Mount Baker
  Mount Garibaldi
  Mount Cayley
  Mount Meager

| Skinning uphill below Old Snowy Mountain
on the west side of the Goat Rocks in June
(photo by Amar Andalkar, see panoramic version below)

Goat Rocks
    8184 ft (2494 m) .
Major Peaks:
Mount Curtis Gilbert:     8184 ft (2494 m)
Old Snowy Mountain:     7930 ft (2417 m)
Ives Peak:     7840 ft (2390 m)
Tieton Peak:     7768 ft (2368 m)
Location: Cascade Range, southern Washington,
90 miles (140 km) SSE of Seattle
Lat / Long: 46.5° N, 121.5° W
Volcanic Type: Dissected stratovolcano
Volcanic Status: Extinct
First Ascent: Mount Curtis Gilbert:   Fred G. Plummer, 1899
First Ski Descent:
Skiable Vertical: almost 5000 ft (1500 m)
Timberline: 6000-6500 ft (1800-2000 m)
Administration: Gifford Pinchot National Forest / Yakama Indian Nation
Protection Status:   Goat Rocks Wilderness
User Fees: Northwest Forest Pass required for parking
(Sno-Park Permit from November-April)

The Goat Rocks are the eroded remnants of a once-great stratovolcano. One to two million years ago, this cone would likely have been similar in height and structure to typical present-day Cascade stratovolcanoes, reaching over 10000 ft high. But once the eruptive activity ceased, the forces of glacial erosion tore away the outer layers of material, leaving exposed the rocky lava spires where magma once solidified within the conduits of the volcano. The present eroded massif has several peaks reaching about 8000 ft, and the north sides are still host to about a half-dozen glaciers. Most of the approaches into the Goat Rocks Wilderness are somewhat long in trail mileage, so the routes below are all probably best done as overnight (or multi-day) trips, despite the comparatively moderate elevation gains.

Route Ratings Starting
Quality Effort Ascent Descent
Ski Mountaineering Routes:  
Mt Curtis Gilbert
  via Conrad Glacier

4000 ft
(1200 m)
4300 ft
(1300 m)
15 miles
(24 km)
The shortest and most direct route to the Goat Rocks' high point. The route follows a creek for miles from Conrad Meadows, all the way to the relatively gentle and inactive north-side glacier. It then heads straight up the glacier towards the summit. See vol.1, p.71 of the Cascade Alpine Guide (CAG) for a fine route photo.
Mt Curtis Gilbert
  via Meade Glacier

4000 ft
(1200 m)
4300 ft
(1300 m)
18 miles
(29 km)
A somewhat longer and more circuitous route than the previous, starting from the same trailhead but ending up on the east side of Curtis Gilbert. Perhaps not that great of a ski route, although CAG does mention good glissading terrain on the northerly edge of the Meade Glacier.
Old Snowy Mtn
  or Ives Peak
via Snowgrass Flat

4600 ft
(1400 m)
3700 ft
(1100 m)
12 miles
(20 km)
The standard hiking and skiing route into the Goat Rocks, reaching the Pacific Crest Trail at Snowgrass Flat (5800 ft). Follow obvious gentle gullies to Old Snowy-Ives Col on the ridge above and then continue to either Old Snowy Mtn or Ives Peak. From Snowgrass Flat, many ski runs are possible.
Mt Curtis Gilbert
  via Snowgrass Flat
and Tieton Glacier

4600 ft
(1400 m)
4800 ft
(1500 m)
19 miles
(30 km)
This route follows PCT southeast from Snowgrass Flat, then ascends north to the ridge crest before reaching Cispus Pass. It then drops onto the Tieton Glacier on the north of the crest, and traverses/climbs east to Mt Curtis Gilbert.
Old Snowy Mtn
  from the north
via McCall Glacier

3300 ft
(1000 m)
4600 ft
(1400 m)
17 miles
(27 km)
This route starts from the N Fork Tieton River, climbing to Tieton Pass and then traversing south into McCall Basin. It then climbs directly up the McCall Glacier to the summit. A longer approach, starting from the top of the lifts at White Pass ski area and traversing the long ridge to Tieton Pass, is also possible in winter or early spring.

Upcoming additions: Topographic map showing all ski routes.

| Panoramic version of the photo at top, showing the west side of the Goat Rocks in June with Old Snowy Mountain at left and Ives Peak at right
(digitally composited from 3 photos by Amar Andalkar) <click to enlarge>

| Panoramic view looking south from Mount Rainier, with the Goat Rocks massif at left and Mount Adams visible in the distance at right;
the Tatoosh Range in Mount Rainier National Park is seen at lower right
(photo by Amar Andalkar) <click to enlarge>

Useful Web Links:

Gifford Pinchot National Forest: Home Page  (contains the western part of Goat Rocks)
Gifford Pinchot National Forest: Recreation Reports
Gifford Pinchot National Forest: Trail Reports
Gifford Pinchot National Forest: Road Reports
Wenatchee National Forest: Home Page  (contains the eastern part of Goat Rocks)
Wenatchee National Forest: Recreation Reports  (see Naches Ranger District)
National Weather Service Office: Seattle, WA
Yahoo! Weather: White Pass Village, WA, Forecast
USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory: Goat Rocks

List of Guidebooks:  (detailed references on the bibliography page)

100 Classic Ski Routes in WA Old Snowy from north (skiing info)
Backcountry Skiing in WA Cascades Old Snowy from south, briefly Mt Curtis Gilbert(skiing info)
Oregon Descents Snowgrass Flats routes(skiing info)
Cascade Alpine Guide (Vol. 1) All routes, especially Mt Curtis Gilbert(detailed climbing info)
Selected Climbs in the Cascades Old Snowy from south(climbing info)

More photos, routes, links, references, etc. coming soon...
Please contact me with any suggestions, additions, or corrections.

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Table of Contents | Introduction | Ratings | WebCams | Bibliography | Highest Volcanoes | Snowfall & Snowdepth | Monthly Chart | Conifers | Compare | Distance | Sun Chart
Ski Mountaineering Photos & Trip Reports Equipment & Info Cascade Volcanoes Ring of Fire Site Map

Amar Andalkar   Seattle, WA, USA   <About the Author / Contact Me>
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