Mt. Goode - Megalodon Ridge ( IV+ 5.10- )Date:
Last Wednesday, my friend Sol Wertkin and I headed out to the North Cascades National Park on an attempt to stretch a little more summer into what was rapidly becoming fall. The intended destination was a climb of the complete East Ridge of Mt. Goode. After seeing photos and encountering the ridge last month, I knew it would be a "big fish to fry" hence Sol coined it the " Megalodon
Ridge" in honor of the biggest and scariest fish to ever swim the seas. The ridge runs from L->R across the skyline.
On the first day we approached the base of the technical climbing and had a perfect bivy on the ridgeline before it steepened up. A few drops of rain fell on us, but by morning it looked as though things might clear up.
After crossing some icy snow in the morning, we started up the ridge, with the summit often lurking in distant clouds.
Dan Hilden and I had climbed this first part on a traverse a few weeks ago, but bailed off due to 40lb packs, and very little climbing gear.
We made one 50m rappel and began swapping leads along the crest. The position was amazing, with alpine lakes below us, and the sun coming out just when we needed it.
The rock wass often pretty good along the crest, with memorable highlights including a 5.8 finger crack and another overhang corner of the same grade. Soon the steep wall of the SE peak began to loom closer ahead of us.
Sol fired off the first headwall pitch, which ended up being a splitter 5.10- hand crack to a nice belay ledge.
I got the next pitch which started up a perfect corner before stepping left and doing some delicate stemming to the top.
A bit of scrambling brought us to the last pitch on the SE peak, which Sol lead through with scanty protection. "No life Guard on Duty" here...
From the SE Peak we skirted the steep glacial ice by climbing through the moat. Ross and Sky skied from near here ~5,000' down to Bridge Creek a couple years ago, that just blows me away.
Some steep solid rock and an au-cheval crest led us up to the final pinnacle before Black Tooth Notch.
We had joked around for much of the climb about all the potential shark-themed names, which was fitting as our crux involved this pitch climbing down into Black-Tooth Notch. I belayed Sol down and across the wall to the notch, with several thousand feet of exposure to bridge creek below his feet. He protected this lead perfectly and memorized nearly every move so as to feed me beta as I seconded the traversy downclimb. It ended up being overhanging 5.10 climbing, but it brought us back "on the map" and past all major obstacles. From there we did one long running belay to the summit.
It was late and we were tired, so we did some quick construction and settled in for a night on the highest point in the National Park.
An amazing sunset and meteor shower had us in awe all night.
The next morning's chilly sunrise was a nice sight as well...
As Sol says "Livin' the dream, life is Good(e)"
Yesterday we made the 5,000' descent down the south side of the mountain to Park Creek and were thankful for the cool fall breeze on our 19-mile hike back to the car. There was also a forest fire that provided some temporary entertainment.
This was a really fun trip with a great partner. The summit bivy spot is (obviously) highly recomended by us both. The register which was there last summer is gone now though... Gear Notes:
Standard climbing rack. Should have included goldfish crackers to complete the fish theme. Approach Notes:
Up N.Fork of bridge creek for 2 miles, turn left and cross the creek through open clearings when the ridge is obvious.