Trip: Goode - NE Buttress Trip Date: 07/02/2021 Trip Report:
Ever since hiking over Park Creek Pass and seeing the true glory of the park, I've wanted to return and climb Goode. Albert and I hadn't seen each other since before the pandemic, and were stoked to get out on an adventure. On Monday, things weren't looking good. Seattle recorded its hottest day ever, and the temperature at the bivy was forecast to be 100 degrees Fahrenheit. By Thursday, however, the heat dome had dissipated, and an attempt seemed feasible. Our original 3-day plan was complicated by the washout of the North Fork Bridge. Instead of descending to the Park Creek Trail and returning to the Bridge Creek Trailhead via the PCT on day 3, we'd have to hike to High Bridge, take the bus to Stehekin, and hike back 17 miles via McAlester Pass on day 4.
An hour-long line at Marblemount welcomed us on Friday morning, but we were able to get a cross-country permit no problem. The ranger told us that the bridge had just been repaired, so we reverted to our original 3-day plan. We left Bridge Creek at 9:30. We reached the turnoff for the North Fork trail at 1:30, and got a visual of the new bridge from atop the cliff. We optimistically believed that we'd be able to make the bivy by sunset, summit on Saturday, and return via the bridge on Sunday.
Fording Grizzly Creek presented the first challenge. The creek crossed the trail at a point where the water seemed quite swift and deep. Luckily, the creek was broken up by islands of trees about a hundred feet downstream, and we were able to pick our way across knee-deep sections. Faffing about always takes longer than it seems. It took more than an hour to cross the creek, dry off, and get going again.
We reached the North Fork crossing at 5:30. We were hoping that there might be logs conveniently laid across the creek, but the creek was raging everywhere up and downstream of the crossing. There appeared to be sections where we could definitely make it halfway across, but we were unwilling to traverse rapids of unknown depth beyond that. We debated putting on our harnesses and using rope tension to "rappel" across, as suggested in Blake's guide book, but neither of us had ever tried this technique. We were losing time and were exhausted. Even if we made it across, we and all of our gear would get wet, and we'd still have to climb 2000' to the bivy.
We decided to hike another 1.5 miles upstream to the crossing described by Beckey. When we got there at 7:00, we found that the snow bridges had already melted out, and the creek was equally high there. We made the decision to bail. We bivied on an island of rock in the middle of the creek, gorged ourselves on our extra food, and limped back the next day.
The next time I attempt Goode, I'll not underestimate the difficulty of the hiking, and will probably take an extra day for both the approach and the descent. Despite not even reaching the base of the climb, it was still an unforgettable experience.
Gear Notes: Backpacking gear for 4 days. 60m half/twin rope. 5 cams 0.4"-2", nuts. Approach shoes for scrambling, trail runners for hiking. Approach Notes: Two high, swift water crossings (Grizzly Creek and North Fork). The Bridge Creek bridge has been repaired.