This Yolks On You (Sky Lakes Wilderness) 16-Oct-2020

DISCLAIMER: The LovedOne played no part in this hike (she’s busy trying to re-start volunteer activity at the library). Nor did she have anything to do with the title of this post. In fact, she begged me to come-up with a more mature title. But I claimed artistic license. Laughter ensued. And that’s no yolk! 🙄

Goose Nest (not to be confused with Goosenest near Mount Shasta) sits east of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in the Sky Lakes Wilderness. Last August, I made an attempt to hike to its summit from the west. That didn’t work out. 😦 But, staying with the goose theme, I saw the Goose Egg (7,124 feet / 2,171 m) sitting right next to the PCT a little farther to the south. If not the nest, then the egg! So, egged on by thoughts of omelets dancing in my head, I struck off for the Egg today in perfect hiking weather (which is one of those ying~yang, good thing~bad things in these drought-stricken times).

The trailhead for this one is within Crater Lake National Park and I could see my goal as I was driving into the park on Highway 62.

The view over the cows from Highway 62: (1) Klamath Point, (2) Maude, Ethel & Ruth, (3) Goose Egg, (4) Goose Nest

From the trailhead at the Lodgepole Picnic Area, I went west on the Pumice Flat Trail to its junction with the PCT. The trail register that was there in August has been removed, signalling the end of the official hiking season.

On the Pumice Flat Trail

Then it was south along the PCT, through the damage inflicted by the 2017 Blanket Creek Fire. The trees are just snags now but little patches of green have been popping-up here and there.

Union Peak through the damage caused by the 2017 Blanket Creek Fire
Some green along the PCT
Mount Scott (S), the park’s high point, and Goose Nest (G) from the PCT
Goose Egg comes into view from the PCT

About three miles south on the PCT, Goose Egg came into view. The obvious line was directly up it’s northeast ridge. The 2017 fire had obliterated the ground cover here which, sadly, made for a straight, barrier-free shot up the ridge. Just short of the summit ridge I ran into a steep slope of loose scree but was rescued from the frustration of that by a line of solid rocks.

Up the ridge through the remains of the forest
Climbing rock instead of volcanic scree

The top of the Egg isn’t a point but rather a long ridge of lumpy, reddish lava rock. On this clear day, the views from along the ridge and from the high point were magnificent (even allowing for the crappy sun angle to the south).

Looking north from the summit ridge
Union Peak from the summit ridge
Looking south from the high point: Mount Shasta (1) was barely visible on the far horizon
Looking west to where the 2017 fire rampaged through Solace and McKie Meadows
Looking north: (1) Mount Bailey, (2) The Watchman, (3) Llao Rock, (4) Mount Thielsen, (5) Crater Peak, (6) Garfield Peak, (7) Applegate Peak, (8) Mount Scott, (9) Goose Nest
One last look at Union Peak from the summit ridge
Fort Klamath from the PCT (the reverse of the photo I took from Highway 62)
Back along the PCT

Except for giving a descent of the west ridge a try (it looks easy until it isn’t and then you’re 200 feet lower than you need to be) the going back was uneventful. The PCT always feels like a freeway compared to some of the less loved trails we’ve hiked around here. The soft air said summer but the fading light definitely said Fall. This out-and-back hike came to 13.5 miles round-trip, with 1,300 feet of gain. It was a good hike on a great day for one. 😀 All yolking aside, maybe one day we’ll see about getting to the summit of Goose Nest. 😛

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3 comments

  1. There used to be a trail up past Goose Nest from the east starting from near Cedar Springs. Traces of it can still be found. Going east from the PCT to Goose Nest is doable, it just might take some extra effort.

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  2. I was just up on Devil’s peak and Lucifer on Saturday looking North and comparing my observation with the topo map. I was trying to figure out from there how to do a Goose Nest and Goose egg connection without starting from the road along the east edge of the wilderness boundary. That way almost seems like cheating but it might be how I get it done. I know the skyline trail went through there so it would be neat to see any sign of that.

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