Saturday, June 17, 2006

Mount Angeles Mountain Goats - 6/17/2006

Today our party of seven scrambled to the top of Mount Angeles(6454 feet), experiencing a complete set of wintery conditions; mist, grauple (hail), snow, and a little mixed sleet/ rain.

To our complete surprise, our climbing party attracted two uninvited guests who accompanied us along most of the rocky ridge scramble - they were Olympic Mountain goats, complete with horns and an onery, territorial, challenging attitude.

At times the goats blocked our climbing route and clearly challenged us, snorting and lowering their horns, ready to ram us rather than run. Patiently, we engaged in stare-downs, then slowly worked our way around the wild creatures.

Soon, the goats were shadowing us up the steep scramble, performing gravity defying jumps between ridge boulders with the greatest of ease. It was very entertaining and I believe the highlight of our trip.

From the Mount Angeles summit, visibility was poor as we were enveloped in the whiteness of a very dense fog. It was snowing on the summit, but there was almost no wind so we had that to be thankful for.

Since the highlight of this trip was our encounter with the mountain goats, you will find their likeness in the pictures below taken at nearly every stage of our scramble to the summit.

Note on picture size: Click on picture for LARGER view.

Mountain Goat - Initial Encounter Posted by Picasa

Mountain Goat - He looks courious Posted by Picasa

Mountain Goat Trick #1 Posted by Picasa

Mountain Goat with Attitude Posted by Picasa

Our Constant Companions Posted by Picasa

What a Team! Posted by Picasa

Mountain Goat Trick #2 Posted by Picasa

Mountain Goat Trick #3 Posted by Picasa

Human Mountain Goats Posted by Picasa

Mount Angeles Summit Posted by Picasa

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