Mt Gould and Dragon Peak

31 Jul - 1 Aug 2004 - by Steve Curry

July 31, 2004 Saturday

7 participants met at the Onion Valey trailhead at 7 am.

We hiked approx. 2 miles and 2000' on the Golden Trout Lake trail and made camp beside a meadow below Golden Trout Lake.

Around 10 am we were hiking to the summit of Mt Gould following the creek to Golden Trout Lake. We boulder hopped our way into a talus gully that ascended west onto the ridge south of the summit. The wildflowers were displaying themselves beautifully-Palemonium and Mousetail in abundance. Gaining altitude climbing the ridge we met some dayhikers from Kearsarge Pass-WTC leaders from Orange County, Bob Neighbor and Markey. We all climbed to the summit block together and spotting each other made and signed the summit register.

What a beautiful peak and it has a great view of the Kearsarge Pinnacles and surrounding area. Downclimbing the way we had come up put us back into camp around 5 pm and happy hour was a fine affair. Several climbers were tired out so they went to bed early while the revelers stayed up until (almost) 8 pm. (joke)

A full moon and high winds scuddy cloubs across the sky made for a picturesque night.

August 1, 2004 Sunday

Up at 5 am and heading north across the meadow at 6 am for Mt Dragon. We climbed the broadest talus slope toward the summit's south ridge, turned north at this slopes end into a chute, up the chute to a chimney with a chokestone on the right. We moved left (south) at the top of the chute to avoid the chimney and it's awkward chokestone move and gained the ridge. Following the ridge and climbing on the west exposure we gained a slab with a horizontal crack about boot width just below the summit. Helen (leader) and Scott (second) set up a belay line for this exposed move and we all crossed easily and without incident. By 11 am we were doing summit snacking and picture taking. A fine and beautiful day.

The wind picked up so we elected to have lunch below in a notch between the east and west sides. A fine repast.

We backtracked our ascent route and crossed the talus slope and moraine field and several late season snow fields that were soft enough to walk on by kicking steps or a standing glissade or a sitting glissade. Back in camp about 3:30 pm and packed up and departed about 4:30 pm and at the trailhead at 6 pm. What a great day and a great weekend. Thank you everyone.

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