Goat Perch, Great Gully. On June 4 Dusty Perkins and I made an ascent of the Great Gully (IV 5.8 M3) on the Goat Perch in the Sawtooth Mountains. This line may have been climbed in the past, but no record we know of exists. We searched past issues of the AAJ, as well as old records of Iowa Mountaineers outings. The Goat Perch was a regular destination of the Mountaineers during that club’s 30+-year history. Hans Gmoser made the first ascent of the North Ridge, and we assume that subsequent visits followed that famous line.
Start as for Weekend Warrior (AAJ 2005, p. 175) but continue 300' to the col between the Goat Perch and Eagle Perch. The couloir becomes steep at its top and is guarded by a large, overhanging cornice. Depending on conditions, pass the cornice by aid or free wet rock on the left or climb snow and alpine ice (up to 85°). From the top of the couloir travel south (left) to the large gully below the northwest face of the Goat and up easy mixed terrain (Class 4) or talus and scrub-brush, depending on conditions, for 300’ to the base of the summit pitch. One hundred feet of climbing on beautiful granite leads to a rappel station, with fantastic views into the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains. Two rappels and downclimbing to the west lead to the top of couloir, which we rapped and downclimbed. The round-trip from Redfish Lake Inlet camp took 13½ hours. Conditions in the couloir vary greatly. In 2004 the snow was soft and wet, with obvious difficulties, and in 2005 it was hard, and we front-pointed most of the route. Snow in the couloir can last until September, and conditions may be very different when the couloir is thin, the snow in the large gully is gone, and the rock is dry. Good pro exists throughout.