Exploratory to Goodykoontz Peak (7558')
Leaders: Frank Goodykoontz, Joe Young, Diane Dunbar, Sandy Burnside, Bobcat Thompson, Byron Prinzmetal
Frank Goodykoontz needs no introduction as you all know he has led the HPS list four times (twice as many as the next nearest HPS leader) and has climbed all of our peaks nine times (the second most times by any HPS addicted hiker in our entire history).
Because of Frank's dedication to the HPS, a group of us wanted to name a peak after him. Looking high and low, we finally settled upon a peak worthy of our most accomplished leader. The peak sticks high up above Williamson Rocks and looks easy. Well, looks are deceiving. No matter how you do this peak (and it can be done from the north, south, east and west), it is not easy. Besides being a great hike, it takes good navigation and route finding skills. And, the view is more than fabulous as it lies in the heart of the San Gabriel high-country. One can see for miles and miles around and spot many a HPS peak.
So on Sunday July 7th, a first HPS exploratory to this peak was held. It was a nice, clear warm day with a large number of very experienced, addicted hikers who started the long, fabulous climb of Goodykoontz Peak. Actually, earlier in the day a slower group headed by the one and only Frank Goodykoontz, Joe Young, and Diane Dunbar plus many others who have completed the list a decade or so ago started up the trail Mount Williamson. A somewhat faster group led by Sandy Burnside, Bobcat Thompson, and myself started about an hour later. We all met at the top of Mount Williamson where we all celebrated this great new peak. You ask why celebrate at the top of Williamson? Well, to be truthful the hike from there is a great hike, but it can be tiring especially for our more senior members so we elected to celebrate early and let the younger and more aggressive ones go onto the peak.
Now you ask why climb Mount Williamson first? Well, Goodykoontz Peak is the large mountain that sticks way up above Williamson Rocks that the rock climbers are always straining their necks to look up at the top of the real mountain, not just at the top of the rocks. As stated earlier the peak can be climbed from many different directions. We elected to climb it by first climbing Mount Williamson, then proceeding as if we were going to do Pallett, then continued along Pleasant View Ridge until we got to the bump where one turns off to the airplane wreck and from there changed to a long ridge that goes generally south over many bumps until Goodykoontz Peak is reached. Our return was down the steep, at times very steep, east running ridge and from we walked back to our cars via a climbers trail.