Goodykoontz Peak, December 3, 2016.

This peak was the last HPS peak North of Hwy 2 I still needed to climb, so I finally decided to do the 10 miles loop hike via Mount Williamson. The Angeles Crest Hwy was littered with rocks and at one point a dead tree had fallen on the road. Getting around it was no problem, fortunately.

When I got out of the car at the trail head, the wind was blowing hard, and it was freezing cold! After getting my gear, I started hiking up the PCT which was covered with a few inches of ice and snow. After several switchbacks the PCT keeps going southeast to Islip Saddle, but I took the use trail to the summit of Mount Williamson. The wind was now howling from the east, and the snow on the trail got deeper, making the climb to Williamson quite difficult. At the summit, I found the HPS Register, but the little notebook was frozen solid!

After enjoying the view, I could see the ridgeline towards Goodykoontz which had several up and downs. The downhill part from Williamson was very tricky, being quite steep and covered with snow. After that, the “trail” follows Pleasant View Ridge going over several bumps. At the top of one of those bumps I lost the trail, and was not sure how to proceed. I decided to diagonally drop down the north side of the slope, but after slipping a few times on the steep ice covered slope, went all the way down to the gully, where I checked my GPS for directions. I followed the gully for a little while to a point where the GPS told me to hike straight back uphill on a snow/ice covered slope. Seeing now other way, I very carefully climbed to the top of the ridge from where I hiked a short distance to a viewpoint. I tried to get my bearings here, and noticed a steep ridgeline which I initially thought I should take (but, afterwards found out to be the ridgeline I should have taken to get to this point). With the help of the GPS I was able to see the route I needed to take to get to Goodykoontz. The route now was easier to follow, going up and over a few bumps, carefully negotiating the ice covered ridgeline, until I finally reached the top of Goodykoontz.

The summit itself is somewhat disappointing with limited views due to all the trees. I easily found the rock pile that holds the HPS Register, but after removing the top rock saw only a hole: no canister that would hold the Register. Quell disappointment!! After a short lunch break, I checked my GPS again to find the best route down the steep ridge back to the trail head. I found a “use” trail, which took me all the way down to a wash, from where I used a very faint climbers trail to get back up to the road and my car. The hike had left me pretty exhausted, especially because of all the snow/ice and powerful wind gusts.

This Peak was named after Frank Goodykoontz who was the first HPS leader to lead the entire list four times. He also completed the list nine times. In 1986 he received the John Backus Service Award, in 1988 the Chapter's Outings Service award, and in 1999 he received a special HPS Leadership service award which had never been given in the past.