Our other plans had fallen through due to permit problems, so we arrived at the Cedar Grove Road's End ranger station at 4:45am Thursday morning to be second in line. We hoped to secure two of the five "day of hike" permits available for Copper Creek. The party in front of us was headed up Bubbs Creek, so that was no problem. The ranger arrived late at 7:15, and it was 8am before we received the permit, endured the lecture, and moved the car to the lot near Copper Creek. We made decent time initially, arriving at Granite Pass at 4:30pm (11 miles, 6,000 feet). At this point, our progress was slowed considerably by snow obscuring the trail, difficult stream crossings, clouds of mosquitos, and the effects of a long day. I had hoped to make Glacier Valley, but we settled for the States Lakes / Simpson Meadow trail junction which was reached at 8pm (5 miles from the pass).
The next morning we were off just before 7am. We followed the trail to upper State Lake and then followed R.J.'s broad chute on the southwest side of State Peak (class 2). By 11am it was clear the Marion would be too much for our tired bodies that day, so we stopped for lunch. We summitted at 1:00, and spent two hours enjoying the beautiful views on this clear day. We returned to camp at a leisurely pace, arriving at 6:30pm.
Saturday morning we broke camp and hit the trail at 8am, reaching Granite Pass at 11:30. We stashed our packs and headed for Goat. We followed Larry Hoak's route up the drainage to the headwall beneath peak 12,076 (on the 15 minute topo), then southeast up a class 2 chute to a broad saddle. This saddle leads to the north ridge of Goat, which is an interesting jumble of trees and large boulders (class 2). We reached the summit at 3pm, enjoyed the clear weather and scenic views for an hour before returning to the pass at 6:30pm. In retrospect, this climb would be easier from Granite Basin, but leaving our packs at the pass allowed us to camp there and avoid some (but not all) mosquitos.
Sunday we left the pass at 8:45am and reached the cars at 1:30. We carried ice axes but did not need them.
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