Marc Ankenbauer's 10+ year quest to jump in every named lake in Glacier and Waterton National Parks for charity.
168 lakes. Only 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
-- Marc jumped into Fisher Cap Lake on Sunday September 8th, 2013 to complete his goal! --
Read about Marc and how this project started...

Goat Lake – The right around the corner adventure

Some days during the Waterton Glacier Lake Jumping Project have been really, really tough.  More difficult physically than anything I’ve ever done in my entire life.  These endeavors normally end in a mind blowing paradise, though.
Some are aweful.  Bogs filled with stagnant, stinky water with leeches swimming around.  These tend to be pretty close though.  In life you pay one way or the other.
Sometimes, like in Goldie Locks…They are just right.
An off trail trip to a destination that you know is hardly ever visited.  It’s also a pleasant adventure.  A logical route that is neither the world’s worst bushwhack nor a simple on trail hike.
Enter, Goat Lake.
Goat Lake is a spectacular spot tucked into a pocket in Goat Mountain.  It has always been intriguing to me. Its so close to the main day use areas around St. Mary and Rising Sun, but no one ever goes there.
I got the chance to enjoy this trip with two good friends.
Pat who has been on more of the top end, ridiculous, off trail endeavors than anyone else.
Chelsea who has been a huge supporter of the Waterton Glacier Lake Project through the years. I was very proud to have her along.
She was really excited too, and in the end she did spectacular.  I was glad to be able to provide such an appropriate adventure to someone that cares so much.
This was one of the only day endeavors that I had left.
It was a perfect late August day.  Sun was high in the sky but not oppressively hot.  Late enough in the season that the heavy late season snows were gone and the waterfall chute was dry enough to be safe.
We branched off of the Otakomi Lake trail and headed up an avalanche slope towards Goat Mountain.
We had to cross Rose creek to get to the avalanche slope that started the off trail portion of the hike.
We followed the open slope and pushed up towards the mountains above.
I’m in there somewhere.  It was pretty thick but nothing we have not dealt with before.
Looking into the Goat Lake hanging basin
We had to side step for a while through loose scree, chunky talus and off angle bear grass clumps.
Talus slopes filled with wildflowers
We fed into the falls that drain the lake and found a nice game trail through a few shelves.  Once we gained the hanging valley with the lake in it the views were remarkable.
It’s a mountain that I’ve looked at a thousand times, but once you are up in the bowls of the mountain you never know what things will look like.  Everything was very windswept with nothing but very low lying sub alpine firs.
Luckily there was a route around the trees though, since sub alpine firs will tear your clothes to shreds.  I guess evolution of a three foot tree that lives in 80 mph winds is to become stiff as a rock.  Avoid them as much as possible.
So, we kept to the left of the stand and pushed further into the basin.  We gained a few rises and eventually dropped into a paradise like lake bowl.
Two thousand foot cliffs on all sides but one, the only way in or out.  We all dropped pack and hopped in.  Lake 148 for me, about 40 for Pat and one great first for Chelsea.  Great day.
Lunch was enjoyed and the sun kept us warm.
Often the most unfortunate part of these lake excursions is that we tend to be there for 15 minutes.  Hours and days to get places you will never be again and in the end you spend 10 minutes calculatedly hopping in an obscure body of water.  Often in very unpleasant weather conditions.
This day was for enjoying.  Joking, laughing and simply making the most of the gift we earned.
Eventually we meandered our way back out in reverse.
We took a bit more wooded exit instead of the original avalanche slope.
Chelsea and I waded across Rose Creek to get back on trail.
Pat chose a bit more adventurous route.  He chose to cross a huge downed tree, 15 feet above the creek.
Looking back up valley it all made sense.  The lake is up in that hanging valley on the left.  If you ever go, I hope you get as amazing a day as we did.
When we got back we enjoyed burritos from Bad Frog Cantina and played some bean bag tossing game(corn hole) back in St. Mary.
Great trip.  Thanks Pat, Chelsea and great weather.  Onward to the next lake.
And if you enjoyed this, there are plenty more stories.  Also if you are interested in what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and how to help out  Camp Mak A Dream, check out my website