Last year Damien and I did this 27.5 mile xc ski trip in three days. The trails makes a circle around Goat Peak (clockwise). We started late on the first day and ended pretty early on the third day, so we thought it might be fun to do the same trip in 2 days. The first day would be all uphill the 2nd 80% down hill… and this time we would get an early start.

Just as last year the temps were frigid and ranged from about 0-10 degrees. We started at the Goat Creek Snopark at about 8am after grabbing a quick snack from the Mazama Store. The trail is not a dedicated xc trail, but a multi-winter use motorized trail. Thus, snowmobiles also use this route. We have always found these user to be very polite and simply step off to the side whenever were hear them coming up the trail. The only troublesome thing is the exhaust fumes of the sleds as they pass. The snow was in good condition though we didn’t get much glide since the trail was uphill. After 3 miles we turned left at the first junction marked for the Goat Peak OL. A few hours later we passed the overlook that was the site of our camp last year at around 1:30pm and admired views of The Gardiners and Silver Star before moving on. Shortly after the overlook the trail descends for about .7 so we had fun slide downhill before the next push up. The ski to mid-point of Goat Peak Lookout TH parking lot is increasingly steep and requires some herringbone technique and sliding backwards. We made it to the parking lot in the dark and made camp in the forest just off the Lookout Trail a few yards in.

The next frosty morning we did not snap on our skis. Instead we carried them down the next .5 mile section which begins just behind the parking lot bathroom. This section fo trail is too steep for xc skis to handle and resembles a toboggan. It is narrow as basically groomed out every winter as a connector to a lower road forming the loop around Goat Peak. Its narrow and I wouldn’t want to be in there at the same time as the sleds so we were happy to do it first thing. Once down the hill and on the next road we put on our skis and glides on flat ground for the next 3ish miles traversing the side of long ridge before dipping into a ravine and circling around to ski back around the other side of the valley. There are two major overlooks/wide areas. After the second one the trail pretty much angles down for the remainder of the tour with varying steepness. There are several junctions and the general idea is to turn right at each one. Due to the downward angle we completed the loop at 12:30pm even though it had been 14 miles. So this year it took us 1.5 days!

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