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JonParker

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Everything posted by JonParker

  1. Trip: Eldorado + Dorado Needle - N ridge on Eldo, NW ridge on the needle Trip Date: 09/08/2022 Trip Report: Plans with a partner fell through again, so I took off on another last minute solo. I’ve had a lot of these this summer. It’s not a real complaint because I’ve been having a lot of fun. I feel fortunate to have some many great options near home. I hiked toward the Inspiration with several options in mind for the day, which turned out to be much smokier than I expected from the forecast I saw. I entered a pretty bad layer by the boulder field and abruptly popped out just past the E ridge campsites. The fact that only Eldorado was above the smoke made it an easy choice for the first objective. I climbed the N ridge. What little I found online about it tends to oversell it IMO. I think it’s a stretch to call it a cool route. While the rock quality is quite good, I found that difficulties were too short, usually only one or two moves at a time. It’s also devoid of exposure, at least the way I climbed it (on or just left of the crest) making it feel like a long V0 boulder problem. Slightly disappointing, but I contrived some fun moves here and there. At the top I wrapped around the NW side of the mountain, went up and over the summit and descended the E ridge. Partway down I split off and started traversing towards the pass leading to the McAllister. Klawatti was still enveloped in smoke so I headed down onto the McAllister towards Dorado Needle. My first time on this awesome glacier. The route up to the NW ridge looked intimidating from afar, especially solo. But it was never very steep and there was a pliable layer of snow the whole way, so my steps felt secure. At the notch I put rock shoes on and left everything else behind. I enjoyed this route more than the N ridge of Eldorado. Though short, it feels more like real climbing. The stone is pretty good, and there are some memorable sections, like an easy arete traverse with a piton at your feet trying to trip you, and a cool top out. At the summit I saw two pairs of climbers nearing the top of the E ridge route. Their profiles on the skyline looked cool when I was back down on the glacier. Climbing down was just as fun as climbing up, and the McAllister descent went without incident. I was visited by a bird before returning to the pass. By now Klawatti was finally out of the smoke but I was running a little short on time. Seemed like a waste to climb it on such a hazy day anyway. Couldn’t see Moraine lake at all, and Forbidden was barely visible. So I headed back to the car, with a long break to pick berries above the boulder field until I started to feel a little crazy. Despite that delay I avoided headlamp time, reaching the bottom around dusk. Took a ritual dip in the creek and headed back to civilization. Gear Notes: Approach and rock shoes. Axe and crampons Approach Notes: Inspiration glacier
  2. Moat was not an issue for the NW ridge. The photos just before the hawk photo show the glacier conditions as of 10 days ago.
  3. Probably got some snow in the last few days but it was dry when I was there
  4. Trip: Bear’s Breast + Summit Chief - SE Face on Bear’s Breast; E to W ridge traverse on Summit Chief Trip Date: 09/01/2022 Trip Report: On Thursday I climbed the slab on SE face of Bear’s Breast (BB). From a bivy at Shovel creek, the next day I hiked to Chief creek and followed it to a lake below Summit Chief (SC), climbed the east side of the massif, traversed the ridge to the summit, descended south back to the lake, then went back down Chief creek to trails leading eventually back to the car. This involved tons of hiking but the mega slab on BB was really fun and the process of discovery made the SC excursion especially rewarding. Early Thursday morning I had driven an hour in the direction of the N cascades before I remembered to check the forecast one last time. I didn’t like what I saw. I had somewhat bold plans for 3 days in the Eldorado area. It seemed like a fair bit of smoke was forecast. The area’s main draw for me is the view, so I shelved that plan for another day. The smoke forecast looked clearer further south so I turned around and headed that way. Jason’s mega slab TR came to mind. I took screen shots of his unusually detailed beta before leaving service. Neighboring SC was also in the back of my mind. I didn’t know anything about it, but was pretty sure it had a scramble route. To make up for the comically long drive I did a mix of fast walking and slow jogging on the trail to Waptus lake, reaching it in 2.5 hours. I kept going until I found the Shovel creek campsite. I put my harness on to save space in my tiny summit sack and headed to the wall, reaching it about 4.5 hours from the car. I got water at the base, but partly due to the tiny pack I deluded myself into thinking 2L water would be enough for the climb. I would have probably run out even if it took 3L. It was a hot day and the route was in full sun. And the climbing, though easy, was pretty physical. The movement was close enough to hiking that I would invariably go too fast and have to stop to catch my breath. I found mostly class 4 (felt like 3 as long as you didn’t look down) and felt like I had to go out of my way to find low 5th bits, which I did seek out. High up on the face I found a repeating pattern of perfect horizontal foot/hand rails that I used to traverse right, trying to find a little shade. I eventually reached a crest and continued on to its apex, but cliffed out there. I backtracked a little and downclimbed suspect choss to the west side of the ridge, finding a gravelly path leading to the notch by the summit block. I was bonking pretty badly at this point and still hadn’t realized that I was becoming massively dehydrated. I put my rock shoes on at the the notch N of the summit block. I found the climbing just barely difficult enough to justify bringing these, my harness, and some rap cord this far. The chimney pitch might be cruxy if you’re a wide person. I’m pretty slim and I managed to wedge my torso quite snugly. The summit views weren’t great. It was hazy enough that I couldn’t make out much of the Chimney rock area. To the east I saw a landscape comprised mainly of dirt. On the descent I climbed down past the first rap to the station above the chimney pitch. It took me forever to set up my rap due to my growing exhaustion. After the rap I downclimbed exposed ledges to the skier’s left of where I began the climb. Back at the notch I had no choice but to sit and rest for a while despite noticing that I was beginning to fall behind schedule. The snow was firm coming down the E side of the mountain, so I used my axe. Crampons would have been nice but they didn’t fit in my tiny summit sack. At the first seeps I found I took another long rest and began guzzling water. As I drank and drank I finally realized how dehydrated I was. A few liters later I started to come back to life and picked up the pace. The scrambling on this side had pleasant solid slabs and ledges. I was racing the fading light. The darkness won but by the time I had resort to headlamp I had less than 200 feet to descend to reach Shovel lake. I did a bit of controlled veggie assisted sliding down the final slope, stumbling out at the exact spot where a single big river shoe sat. Descending Shovel creek in the dark turned out to be nontrivial. It wasn’t terrible but there was a little bit of everything, from dry log jams to bushes to gravel bars to boulder fields. The highlight was running into a small patch of berries that I wasn’t familiar with. Seemed to be delicious small red salmon berries, cap-like, almost as thin as thimble berries. I reached my bivy near 10pm, about 13 hours after leaving the car. It was a longer and more difficult day than I anticipated. I tried to eat and continue rehydrating. I slept poorly and felt physically and mentally sluggish the next morning. I considered hiking back early, or the grim prospect of relaxing by Waptus lake for a couple hours Instead I adopted a low commitment mindset to exploring for a way to Summit Chief. I crossed Waptus river and hiked to the junction with the DMG trail. Maybe I could take up the hill for while, and then traverse west at around 3600’. I’ll probably never know how that works because I was enticed by Chief creek. When I reached it I saw that it was perfect for rock hopping. Given the hour and the unknown, a summit seemed unlikely, so I decided to just go up the creek for fun and see what happened. It felt good to explore with this low commitment mindset, but it also weighed heavily on my mind that every step forward was a step further from pizza. I used some dry open ground to the left of the creek but mostly hopped rocks for 15 minutes until I reached a waterfall. I bypassed it with a bushwhack up to the side then rejoined the creek. More waterfalls followed. One bypass on the S side took me high above the creek and I went for a while through the forest there, trying to find the driest ground I could. I may have crossed the creek once or twice more, I’m already forgetting. At one point on the S side of the creek I realized I was entering a mile long stretch of impenetrable alder, but saw mature forest on the N side, so fought my way down to the creek and crossed again. There is another creek running S and E from a 5200’ knoll down to Chief creek. After crossing this I gradually moved several hundred feet uphill from Chief creek with relatively reasonable shwacking. This path reached a drainage leading N into the alpine. The huckleberries were out of control here. I contoured around another knoll and reached a beautiful unnamed lake SE of SC only 3 hours after I started up river. From there I saw appealing rock on the east side of the mountain and took high quality white ledgey slabs adjacent to a water course. I reached a shoulder and found that the nice slabs continued up a broad, barely convex gully-face. I rapidly ascended from the lake to near the top of this face. The wide face was narrowing to a point and the rock transitioned to blocky choss. The large blocks formed a fun hand crack system that I climbed at 5.5ish for around 40 feet to the first false summit. The false summit wasn’t too surprising given the topo, but I failed to notice how far away the true summit was. I kept expecting the next tower or blob to the west to be the summit. I was fooled about 3 times before I got a view of the real summit, still quite a ways off with several more notches in between. I began to feel concerned about my exit strategy should I encounter a gap too steep to climb. I could downclimb the way I came, but it would be more time consuming and mentally taxing than I would like. Continuing on I did one short low 5th downclimb on the S side to get around a small tower. I was able to traverse on dirty but sufficiently wide and flat ledges on the N side to bypass a couple more bumps nearing the summit block. At the base of the real summit block I took a ~5.0 left trending ramp to top out. The ridge traverse had been an exciting and interesting way to go, with some pretty fun climbing. I’m really glad it worked out the way it did. I think it took about a half hour from the false summit. The day was much clearer than the day prior, so I enjoyed the summit views more than the last one. I could see that descending S looked pretty smooth. Going that way I reached more great slabs which led to snow. Even in the warm sun it was firm enough that I had to find a low angle entry (didn’t bring traction on this day) to keep it safe. I glissaded with sharp rocks for brakes then kept down climbing fun ledgy slabs. I gradually trended skiers left to meet my ascent path near the bottom. I gorged myself on more huckleberries past the lovely lake and found minor improvements to my path traversing slopes above Chief creek. At the creek’s junction with another creek, I found that I could keep my bypasses to the S shorter and nearer the creek, and did more rock hopping between waterfalls than I had on the way up. This was probably a little slower than traversing in the forest but it was downright delightful. I reached my overnight pack 9.5 hours after I left it where DMG trail crosses Chief creek. I was very happy with the way the river travel turned out, with all the nice solid rock, with ‘onsighting’ a ridge I knew nothing of, and all those berries. It was a strange contrast to the day before, which felt a little like the mountain was working against me. This day it felt like the mountain gave way, continually drawing me upward with a steady rhythm of dissolving riddles. There was the small matter of being I don’t know, 14 miles or so (? I didn’t record it) from the car. I packed up and hiked to Waptus lake. Had a short swim at dusk then marched on through the night. I passed many tents but shared the trail only with nocturnal insects, toads of unusual size, and ridiculous amounts of horse shit. Autopilot worked well until about 2 miles from the car, when I started to get drunk legs. I finally arrived at the car a little before midnight for a 15.5 hour day. If anyone has been up Chief creek or traversed the SC ridge I’d be curious to know how you liked it. I rarely set off exploring with no beta. I found it very engaging and rewarding to do so. Easy to say, but I think it was mostly just good fortune that Chief creek ended up being relatively sane and that I wasn’t forced by terrain to settle for some sub-summit on SC. Gear Notes: Axe, rock shoes, rap for BB (crampons would be useful) Approach shoes for SC. Traction for snow is useful but didn’t seem mandatory. Approach Notes: Follow the creek . . . ?
  5. That’s cool @olyclimber reminds me that I heard one last week near Waptus lake, but didn’t see it either. If you find yourself near Frink park (central Seattle) at dusk in the spring, it’s quite the haunt for barred owls.
  6. It looks gnarly from a distance. Better up close?
  7. Trip: Johannesburg - DD x2 Trip Date: 08/21/2022 Trip Report: I took Doug’s Direct there and back yesterday. It’s a little tedious but quite scenic. I’m not totally sold on it. If I go back for the NE rib or a rock climb on the face E of it, I might try going early season and making a rapid descent from C-J instead. This is how it happened - I was stoked to do the NE rib in a day, but awoke to a thick damp fog. I didn’t like the sound of soloing the steep slabs at the start if they were extra slick. Getting soaked in the brush and trying to navigate for 1 or 2 or who knows how many hours without being able to see the route was also unappealing. But since I had to work the next day I didn’t have time to wait around for it to burn off. I would come to regret abandoning the plan as the weather gradually improved. I think I let the route’s reputation get into my head too much. It probably would have been fine. Oh well, it was still a fun day out. I decided to scramble Buckner instead, since I haven’t been there. A half hour into the hike it suddenly dawned on me that I could just take Dougs Direct both ways and pivoted to that plan. I had left rap stuff behind, so was committed to climbing/down climbing everything. This turned out to be a good move. There’s no reason to rap anything on the route unless you enjoy dodging rockfall. From the notch N of Mixup I should have looked around first but instead I headed down, winding along dirty ledges until I reached scree. Tried to continue right and down but quickly realized I was in dirt/rock avalanche terrain, backtracked to the bottom of the ledges and traversed skiers left to a mix of rock and heather. I went this way all the way up to the notch on the way back, much better. The huckleberries are IN. And the view of the Cascade glacier is incredible. The entire glacier is seen head on, with lovely meadows in the foreground. The steep side hilling seemed worst under the Triplets, but there really wasn’t a ton of it. There are many dry creek beds running down the bowl. You can use them to minimize slippery side hilling. There was some unstable steep talus and a bit of hard snow on the way to C-J col. I felt like I was moving quickly aside from route finding issues coming down from Mixup, but it was still almost 6 hours from the car by the time I started scrambling up Jberg. From the col the route was intuitive going up. Less so on the way down. I can easily imagine straying from the easiest path if trying to onsight the descent. At the false summit the true summit looked pretty far and the ridge pretty crappy, but it was actually fun. A much shorter and dirtier sibling of the TFT, which it faces. I lounged on the summit for around 40 minutes. Didn’t notice any summit register entries since 2020, but it’s full. On the way down I collected many souvenirs. Didn’t bother with a knife, just grabbed the stuff that was lying around or loosely draped over rocks. Oh, the tales of epics this tat would tell, if only it could speak. Not much to say about the descent. The huckleberries and cascade glacier scene went a long way to dulling the pain of the traverse. Route finding is harder going down, so it was slower in spots, but the Mixup notch was much smoother the second go around. So it took about the same amount of time car to summit as summit to car. Just over 15 hours round trip. Gear Notes: Axe, crampons Approach Notes: Doug’s direct. The best way to get to the notch is skier’s left / climber’s right side of the dirty slabby ledges, where it meets heather
  8. Trip: Green creek - Circuit Trip Date: 07/01/2022 Trip Report: I first saw Darin’s TR quite a while ago and have been excited to check this out ever since. It did not disappoint. The weather throughout the day was photogenic, so I’m sharing a few photos and observations from my trip. The crossing of middle fork Nooksack a quarter mile west of the trailhead looked different from what I had seen in photos. Either I didn’t find the easiest one, or a giant boulder has washed away. It ended in a single slippery log, not very wide. A backwards butt scoot on the way in and inching forward in a spider man crouch on the way out got me through the first and last of many no fall zones for the day. The ancient trees on the other side are very cool. I was surprised to see a handful of old giants all the way up to tree line near the green creek crossing. At first I missed the climber’s trail. It starts just before a switchback that is about 1000 ft from Hildebrand creek. The path has evidently seen a lot of traffic because it’s very easy to follow. The blue diamonds nailed into trees, at times every 30 ft, are unnecessary and IMO not in great taste. I lost some time looking for an easier crossing up stream at green creek, eventually returning to where the path had led and crossing there. It was a bit above knee height. On the way back my shoes were wet from all the snow travel so I kept them on for the crossing. Much easier than barefoot. Beautiful turquoise waters and red-brown rocks here are slightly reminiscent of the southwest, like Havusupai, but flatter. The pines are another interesting surprise. Definitely seems like a different ecology dropped by mistake into the west cascades. I’m not certain I actually ascended green creek arete. I started on the right side of something, gradually crossing to the left side, running into sketchy garbage and backtracking a couple times, then returning to the middle. Whatever was to my left across the widening choss gully looked more like an arete. After topping out I kept traversing rocks until it seemed more efficient to switch to snow. I used crampons for the section leading to NE ride of S twin but went without for the rest of the day. The snow was soft enough that kicking steps was easy, while still being supportive. The down climb of south side of S twin was the first of 3 tedious careful choss descents. It’s not possible to see the bottom from the top, so I was just following my nose for the way that seemed the least messed up, keeping an eye out for the occasional goat path. The snow conditions also meant I had to be careful at every snow-rock interface to avoid hollowed out bridges. I reached jaws tooth and decided to keep my approach shoes on. I thought they would have better traction than my old rock shoes I had accidentally packed. After easy slabs I started up the splitter crack leading to the top. There was a fair bit of low 5th throughout the day, but this crack was the only part that felt like real climbing as opposed to blocky scrambling. It’s a cool feature. In the final 5 feet the angle increases and I suddenly became acutely aware that my feet no longer felt very secure. One shot of adrenaline, two moves, and it was over. I didn’t like my margin of safety there. Maybe rock shoes would have made it easier, or maybe it’s just not easy enough for my taste. Everyone’s skill and risk tolerance is different, but in retrospect I would say a rope makes a lot of sense for that pitch. Slightly rattled from the Jaws tooth finish, I felt a little intimidated by the sight of Skookum. But here I was. I rapped with my 30m and headed up the crest. It turns out to be comprised of easy moves despite the exposure, felt like a return to (4th- low 5th) scrambling. I skipped Hayden because I’d like to climb the NE pillar Darin posted about, some other time, with a rope For little sister, the safest exit from snow took me to the left side. I ascended this for 100-200 ft to a prominent ledge that I took to the right rib. Moving up this rib the rock quality was good but gradually became slightly suspect, and blocky but overhanging features kept forcing me to the right. There were short steps here of probably up to 5.6. Just when I was getting nervous about the route I found a chimney I could wedge into and reach out left onto a narrow ledge to escape the rightward trend and return to easier ground on the left side of the rib. This was the last crux (besides returning across the middle fork). I continued to the top of little Sister and continued on to tag Cinderella too, from the west. Then I began the descent of green creek glacier, generally staying to the right, occasionally glissading, keeping an eye out for cracks. There are definitely some around by now. They can be tricky to spot from above, so the lower angle the path, the better. At the bottom of the glacier I crossed to the N side of the creek on snow. This meant I had to ford the creek once more on the way out, but travel looks much simpler on the N side coming down. After the log crossing at middle fork Nooksack I took a ritual dip in a shallow side channel and was pleased to find that my car wasn’t broken into, which meant I could ski Ruth the next day. Thanks to Darin and others for all the beta and stoke. I look forward to going back there. Gear Notes: Axe, crampons, 30m. YMMV Approach Notes: Logs 1/4 mi W of elbow lake TH
  9. Nice photos! I’ve been meaning to do basically that same itinerary, but as you saw, early season is the way to go for the north side. After weighing too many options for too long, I think I’d bivy somewhere in the basin, past the chopping block notch, maybe near the start of the terror-rake couloir. And do both N butt and the rake-Otto traverse as day climbs, to keep it light. I use approach shoes + light crampons for almost all glacier travel but have seen reports of that snow on N side being bulletproof, so that would be sketchy. I might pack boots for Stoddard. I really like the idea of doing both the traverse and Stoddard in one trip but the logistics are not awesome.
  10. [TR] Johannesburg - DD x2 08/21/2022

    Thanks! Yep, road is open to the trailhead
  11. [TR] Johannesburg - DD x2 08/21/2022

    Ha I saw that when I was reading up on the route. Couldn’t have put it better myself
  12. Trip: Cruiser - Standard Trip Date: 08/05/2022 Trip Report: I rarely consider the Olympics but on Friday I was unable to find a partner and didn’t want to waste the good weather. I saw something about a “5.3” route on Cruiser so I decided it was time to check out some pillow basalt. The miles flew by to this aptly named peak (21 miles round trip with a few side missions, more like 20 without). The trail is never steep. I jogged a few portions. At the basin the steep snow finger was bulletproof and I didn’t want to put my light axe and strap on crampons to the test. I was afraid I might have to hang out until it softened but then I noticed I could skirt around the snow on the left along class 3 slabs all the way to the notch, bypassing all the snow. In my brief research of the route I came across a TR that mentioned scratching up the dirt gully when the snow melted out. This is completely unnecessary. Maybe in early season the snow could force you into a couple of tricky spots higher up on the slab, but I found easy and secure travel at the lower end up the slab, near the moat. Continued N from the notch up and over beta. There was only really one steep loose gully to descend to reach Cruiser. A few awkward exposed 4th moves above a cave led to a higher notch. I ascended right on the face to reach the base of the face/spine leading to the summit. A couple reachy moves off the deck led to some fun stemming then easier moves to the anchor. A narrow ledge scramble leads to the summit. Upon returning to the anchor I decided to do one rap (hard to read the route from above) back to the bottom of the face. I descended the other way here, going through a narrow class 2 chimney for variety and less exposure. I spiced it up on the way back up the steep loose gully when I noticed a 12 foot tall splitter fist/lie back just off the trail (5.7?). I couldn’t resist the spire just S of the notch above the snow because it tapers to a summit just a few square feet wide. Looked like a fun perch. Lichen crinkled underneath me, but I didn’t come across anything too dubious. The summit horn is slung, but it seemed like exposed class 4, maybe 5.0 on the way up, so I just downclimbed. A few hours had passed but the snow hadn’t seen much sun. I didn’t even bother trying it and descended the slab bypass, but when I stepped on flat snow at the bottom it was soft. So I probably could have saved some time taking the snow down. Back at the lake I went for an icy swim and re-enacted King Kong with countless big obnoxious biting flies. The trail isn’t too exciting below flap jack but gets fun again when it reaches N Fork Skokomish. Beautiful river and lots of huge old trees. Gear Notes: Approach shoes, 60m for rap Axe and crampons not used Approach Notes: Mellow trail from Staircase to the basin west of sawtooth ridge
  13. Ulrich’s couloir

    Anyone else think Ulrich’s is a less shitty descent of Stuart than Cascadian? I climbed the W ridge 5 years ago solo. I accidentally started down Ulrich and was several hundred feet down when I realized what happened. By that time I didn’t want to climb back up. I never cliffed out, but did find the nice steep 4th class slabs eventually gave way to slightly sketchy plunging in gravel that sent some large blocks tumbling. It took about 4 hours to get from summit to trailhead. On Tuesday I climbed the N ridge with a partner c2c. It took 6 hours from summit to trailhead via the cascadian. Part of that was was fatigue from the long day and my partner’s microspikes not handling the snow well. But still, as the monotonous trudging went on and on I found myself questioning how the Cascadian became the standard descent. I suppose it’s simpler than Ulrich’s, and overall less exposed (though the steep snow we found at the start was comparable risk to the steep slabs in Ulrich’s, especially if you have the wrong gear for the conditions). But Ulrich’s is a more direct descent, probably snow free earlier than cascadian, and unless my memory deceives me, not that bad. Having gone both ways, I’d be inclined to try Ulrich’s again before Cascadian, especially if solo (smaller consequence to kicking rocks). Curious what other people have experienced going that way.
  14. [TR] Cruiser - Standard 08/05/2022

    Yeah, longer but very mellow Strange rock abounds
  15. Trip: Logan and Goode - Douglas and NEB Trip Date: 07/29/2022 Trip Report: I wrapped up my 37th orbit with a loop from Easy Pass to Bridge Creek trailheads, climbing Logan via the Douglas and Goode’s NEB. Storm King was a low priority option going into the trip and didn’t make the cut. I had the pleasure of excellent conditions interspersed with horrible shwacking and a death march to conclude it. In many ways the timing couldn’t have been better for me. I sprained my ankle less than two weeks prior on the way to Fury. In the first hour afterward I was worried that most of my summer masochism would need to be cancelled, but hobbling back towards Luna camp, with vitamin I kicking in, I started to suspect the injury was not that bad. It swelled more like an orange than a grapefruit. I was game for Jacobs Ladder on Prophet the next day, which was welcome consolation for missing out on what I’m guessing was an awesome day for the NE Buttress of East Fury. Fast forward to a few days ago, I haven’t tried foot jams yet, and would like to avoid them, but walking feels fine. So a route with endless blocks and ledges sounds like just the ticket. Just needed to not twist it again in the many miles of trail-less travel. Besides my ankle I was also concerned about the heat. On the one hand I got away with not taking a sleeping bag. I always travel with a puffy and wool hat. I supplemented this with long johns and was just barely warm enough at night on a mat in a bivy sack. On the other hand, the heat obviously made things kinda brutal. For beta and inspiration for this loop I used Hiking down easy pass to Fisher was pure joy. This was the location of one of my first hikes in the N cascades, probably 12-13 years ago, getting my denim soaked in the brush. It’s actually more breathtaking than I remembered, was great to be back. The fisher creek crossing was briefly disorientating because there’s more water than land in the zone, with pools and twisty side channels everywhere. I gradually found my way moving south along the east side of the creek feeding into Fisher (presumably Douglas creek? I don’t see a name on the map). The ground was dry and relatively open and easy. There’s lots of huge erratics in this area. As I approached the the “pill box” from the summitpost description I chanced upon dry stream beds that I followed upwards. The maple+alder made for good hand holds without getting in the way of my feet. I thought this might have been a shortcut vs the TR I referenced, but after topping out on the other side I found very thick and young evergreens and chest high brush. Progress was slow here but at it was another beautiful scene down near the creek. It’s hard to say whether or not I found the path of least resistance. Finally free of the brush, I headed up snow and rock, trending right. I came across bear tracks in the snow and filled up at the last spot for flowing water that I could see. I arrived at the bivy col at about 6pm, which was later than I liked. But it was a good thing because it meant shadows were now extending down the Douglas, cooling it down. Some of the crevasses are quite large. But there was a fairly direct path through them and I felt good about the firming snow conditions and the gentle angle (<30 degrees?). The swale at the top of the glacier is a really cool feature. Looks insurmountable at first, but I found an easy way on the right side. I then cut back left above one more crevasse to gain the ridge (a little steep here, don’t fall in). The scramble to the summit is pretty fun, good rock for a Cascade scramble. The views speak for themselves. I slowed significantly near the summit both ways due to some really stubborn cramps. I carefully followed my ascent path on the way back down to the col, getting there just before headlamp time, with incredible purple views of Goode. It was a 12 hour day. Two pairs of eyes were reflected in my headlamp as I got ready for sleep, but they were far enough away that I couldn’t tell what they were. I left the col a little after 6am the next morning. The TR I linked earlier had me expecting smoother sailing than the day before. That turned out to not be the case. Descending the basin above North Fork wasn’t too bad, though I don’t know if I was always on the easiest path. I wonder if the ‘magic staircase’ was flowing instead of dry, because I don’t think I found it. The worst part was lower in the valley. I could find bits and pieces of a trail, but it’s very faint and overgrown. Occasionally I’d lose it and end up in the worst shwacking I’ve ever encountered. Walls of alder with a foot of water underneath. Feeling actually stuck. The other TR doesn’t mention this at all, so maybe better route finding makes this avoidable. I don’t think I lost more than an hour here but it was certainly terrible. The north fork ford was only knee high but very swift, wasn’t easy. The route up to Goode glacier looks improbable from below. Pretty cool how it comes together. The snow-rock junction is in good shape at the start of the NEB. It’s exposed and dirty getting up to the notch (took me a while to find a safe way) and the stone was burning my hands. But from the notch to the summit is awesome, and pretty well shaded. There’s a super knobby slab at the start. Unfortunately it doesn’t last long but what comes afterward on the ridge proper is solid, blocky steps as far as the eye can see. I was reminded of a slightly less steep version of the upper half of the NW face of Forbidden. As I climbed I couldn’t help thinking how surreal it is to be in the exact moment that you’ve thought about for years. The ridge steepens at 8400’ and I hit one dead end, with about 10 feet of rock that was too steep and featureless for me to solo safely. I backtracked down the steep face to the left and found a bypass that allowed me to regain the ridge. As is so often the case with ridge climbs, there are occasional dirty ledges that can make sections easier, but the best climbing is on the ridge crest itself. Aside from this one bypass, I stayed true to the ridge the entire way to the summit. I passed a party of two maybe ½ way up the ridge and other party of 2 just before the summit. I got there a little before 5, for a 10.5 hour day. The next party arrived shortly after and later in the evening the lower party arrived. Everyone was nice, we chatted about climbing and spent the time pointing at and naming all the crazy stuff you can see from Goode. We squeezed all 5 on the summit that night (one of the spots looked pretty gnarly, 5 is a tight fit). I heard there was a guided party that day too, so 7 people in all on the route that day. I started to feel sick when I arrived at the summit. I think it was mainly due to the heat. This was a bummer but I gradually improved and took in the sunset, then the new moonset, headlamps down in the valley SW of Goode (night hiking?) and a couple of fuzzy shooting stars. The notions of up and down that climbers obsess over started to lose meaning while staring into space with hypnogogic mind setting in. The next morning we all got a leisurely start. I started my day popping my head up for a view every few minutes in between a few last sips of sleep. I left the summit at 7am, just after one party started rapping. I downclimbed (5.4?) to the highest snow patch (plenty of snow on the route right now BTW) as I had run out of water. I melted some for a freeze dried breakfast then made my way skier’s right up a ramp leading to the notch. It was here that I got to really test out my lightweight rappel system that I assembled after some online research (I did a short sanity check in town earlier). This was <$100 and shaved 3 lbs and I didn’t die. The second rap got me a ways into the firm snow finger on SW side of Goode. I used my light axe with a good bite (found on Quien Sabe some years ago), crampons strapped on to approach shoes, and my pole in the other hand. It was face-in downclimbing to some gross dirt-choss, then more face in walking backwards down steep snow. I paused to look at Storm King and estimate time. I guessed that going for it would mean getting back to the trailhead around midnight. Realistically, if I wanted to climb it, I would have had to do the Goode descent the day before. But it was more important to me to enjoy the summit of Goode than to tag another choss pile, so I was happy with my decision to skip SK. Maybe I was jaded from the shwacking the previous two days, but the way down the burn wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I had downloaded somebody’s GPX and it was pretty helpful. I think this is another section that’s only semi-intuitive. I thought I would find running water on the other side of Goode, but didn’t. I descended the burn around noon with temperatures soaring and my water run out. Probably downed a liter in couple minutes at the first stream back on trail. I didn’t keep track but I’m guessing I drank about 2 gallons of water throughout the day. I also had less than 1000 calories because my body wouldn’t tolerate the bars I had remaining (again, likely due to the heat). At the end of the day I think I counted 4000 uneaten calories in my pack (that should have been eaten). I guess I need to revise my nutrition strategy for trips like these. The hike out is a blur given my nausea and the heat. Dipped at park creek (delightful!). The bridge at Bridge creek is another fantastic scene. One of many in this loop that I wish I had more time to savor (honestly, 4 days would have been more fun, though any exit from Goode seems inherently awkward logistically). I also remember one giant cedar on the trail, some cool bluffy terrain, and the suspension bridges were a fun surprise too. On the rare occasion of a cool breeze, I felt like I was drinking water through my skin. I filled up one more time at the last major creek >8 miles from the road and met up with one of the parties I shared the summit with. Together we blasted out the next 5 miles, took a short break, then made one more push for the car. Even in my approach shoes my feet were just starting to get medium rare by the time the hike was finally over. I had a bike at Bridge Creek TH and a bike light, but since it was getting late (finished at 9pm for a 14 hour day) and I was depleted, I happily accepted their offer to drive me back to Easy pass. Thanks Hank and Steve! Gear Notes: Approach shoes, crampons, one axe, one pole, and a rappel setup worked for me, but this means unroped glacier travel and low 5th soloing. Approach Notes: Hard to say
  16. [TR] Logan and Goode - Douglas and NEB 07/29/2022

    Yeah the step on east side at the base getting to the notch is unsavory though not terrible (I had one puckery move). Quality dramatically improves at the notch. You have to pay attention but I found generally quite solid rock all along the ridge from the first notch to the summit. I recall it being best near the summit, trusted it enough to downclimb to ledge leading to black tooth rather than rap.
  17. [TR] Logan and Goode - Douglas and NEB 07/29/2022

    Jason, Jacobs Ladder is fun, great position. I do wish the rock were just a little cleaner but it’s not bad (until near the summit). I wouldn’t have sought it out on its own, think it makes more sense as a side trip in a longer foray, worthwhile if you’re in the neighborhood. Great views from the summit and it’s clearly the best way to get there. Since I wasn’t planning on it I had no beta other than “class 3”. Didn’t know where to start, and the bushwhacking was tough for about 500’ vert but we found a better way on the way back with minimal thrashing. Thanks for sharing it, without that in my back pocket I would have had to sadhike back to the dock a day early.
  18. [TR] Forbidden Peak - NW Face 07/17/2022

    Awesome! Getting onto the rock from Forbidden glacier is no joke.
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