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Mt. Goddard Trip - August 9-12, 2006
Short Report

Mount Goddard is a 13,568 ft (4136 m) high mountain in a remote area of the Kings Canyon National Park, surrounded on three sides by John Muir Wilderness. We started at the Maxson Trailhead, on the east side of the Courtright Reservoir, on Wednesday, August 9, 2006. The trailhead could be reached in a five-hours drive (230 miles) from Palo Alto.

(All pics from this hike).

Thursday, August 10: After spending the previous night at Rae Lake (9,894 ft), we crossed Le Conte Divide from west to east via the aptly named Hell for Sure Pass. View of the upper valley of the South Fork of San Joaquin River from the trail on the east side of the pass. Martha Lake, where our base camp will be, is at the top of the valley.

Mt. Goddard (13,568 ft) at sunset from Martha Lake (11,004 ft).

Summit detail: The highest point is the pinnacle at the very left edge of the picture. What looks like the top, in the middle of the picture, is a false summit (South Peak). Further to the right is the southwest ridge, which we plan to reach via a chute on the back side of the mountain.

Friday, August 11: Ascending a snow field on a chute above an un-named lake ("Lake 12,240" on topo maps), in order to reach the southwest ridge of Mt. Goddard. Crampons and ice axe were useful here.

Three pinnacles on a narrow crest, all within 200 feet, form the top of the mountain. Some simple class-3 moves are required on each. The most northern pinnacle is the true top of Mt. Goddard. We came from the south and had to climb all three. Dom at the middle pinnacle.

Top at last, at 2 pm! It took us four hours to reach the summit from Martha Lake (and about two hours to get back).

Somebody stole the summit register, but its container was still there. Writing a note on a piece of paper that was left in the box in lieu of the official register.

Martha Lake (left) and an un-named lake (right) from the top. The small lake on a plateu in the background is the Confusion Lake.

Enjoying the view. Almost all significant Sierra peaks, including all 14ers, could be seen from Mt. Goddard, due to its central and isolated location. This picture shows several peaks in the northeast to east direction. From left to right: Mt. Mendel (13,710 ft), Mt. Darwin (13,831 ft), White Mountain (14,246 ft, in the distance), Mt Haeckel (13,418 ft), Mt. Fiske (13,524 ft), and Mt. Thompson (13,494 ft). Wanda Lake (11,452 ft) in foreground.

Pausing for a moment at a rocky ridge just above Martha Lake. Our camp site is on a small peninsula at the far (west) shore.

Meal time at the end of an interesting day. Tomorrow we have a long trip (about 21 miles, and two passes) back to our car.

(All pics from this hike).