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KaskadskyjKozak

[TR] Goode - NE Buttress 07/22/2018

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Trip: Goode - NE Buttress

Trip Date: 07/22/2018

Trip Report:

 

I've had this route on the calendar every July since 2012 and every year something has thwarted me (partners dropping, rain or thunderstorms in the forecast, etc).  Last year was the only year I actually had boots on the trail and we ended up with a late start and making a route-finding mistake after crossing the N Fork of Bridge Creek that cost us the climb.  This year the stars finally fucking all aligned and it was glorious!

 

The view of the final approach after crossing the knee-deep N Fork of Bridge Creek.  Follow talus between the lower slide alder up to the waterfall on the left, climb slabs to its right, then ascend talus through "magic tunnels" and onto open terrain.  We bivied at 5600', just below the glacier.

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Last year we neglected to check out these slabs next to the left-most waterfall until it was too late.  This year we went right to them.  The slabs are exposed and a bit butt-puckering with full packs, but not enough to motivate us to get out a rope or give us pause about this endeavor.  Opportunities like this (4 days of clear weather, motivated partners, time off work) are not so easy to come by in mid-to-late July, and I am not getting any younger.

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Ascending the Goode Glacier in the morning.  It was broken up and we had to navigate crevasses and seracs.  Nothing too serious.  We all wore approach shoes, which worked well enough with crampons (I had my Grivel G1's that I got via a gift certificate from cc.com a few years ago, purchased at Jim Nelson's store).

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From TRs we knew that the higher up you gain the buttress, the less pitches of loose shittiness you must climb.  Lower down you might get up to three pitches and up high as few as one.  We opted to try for a snow bridge up high and found this one at about 6800'.  It involved one face in move with a low step to  block of ice.  It might not go now, but there appeared to be a few other place to gain the rock below this that might last longer.

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We did one pitch of low-mid-fifth class rock then simulclimbed until about 8000'.  I think we had a total of 3 simul-leads, with transitions only due to rope drag.   I did not place much pro on these. 

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When the buttress steepened we pitched 4 or so pitches and got to the bivy alcove at 8600'.  From there 3 pitches to the ridge crest.  It was lat-ish (6:30 pm) and 4 people were ahead of us and going for the summit.  Figuring they would all bivy on the limited space there and seeing a nice snow patch at 8900' right next to a small bivy site we stopped, made dinner, drank water, drank whisky, and enjoyed a spectacular sunset:

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In the morning we waited for one of the parties to rappel.  We saw them around 6 am.  They said the other party was still hanging out so we headed up.  After two  pitches we were on the summit.

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We stayed on the summit for well over an hour, savoring the views.  Having had been on the S side two years ago to climb Storm King, I knew we had a long day ahead.  We started down.  Truth be told the SW couloir and the trail down to the Park Creek trail was unsavory, and we got several blisters in our approach shoes.

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There is a nice spot to camp at about 7200'.  Having been here before, we headed for it and looked for a stream out of the snow pack.  We took a long break here to get water and savor views one last time.  The views of Sinister and Dome, the rest of the Ptarmigan Traverse and Buckner are spectacular.

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From here it took us 3 hours to get to the "nice" trail.  The length of the day and this trip with full packs was starting to take its toll.  A few hours on the 4 miles to the base of this trail, then a connector (2.5 miles?) to the PCT, and about 3 more to the N Fork Camp where we had stashed food and a fuel cannister.  We arrived at camp at 9:40 pm.  I have never enjoyed a Mountain House more.  Sadly, I had no whisky left.  In the morning of the fourth day, we hiked out the last 10 miles, where beer awaited in the truck.

Gear Notes:
Ice axe, crampons, appoach shoes, helmet, small alpine rack with several double slings

Approach Notes:
Long, brutal

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak
typos, augment report
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1 hour ago, JasonG said:

Yeah!  :rocken:

Wow, though, crowds on Goode??  That is pretty crazy.

There were 4 of us, and a party of two ahead.  Once on the Buttress us 4 operated as two parties since one guy had to be out in 3 days.

 

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak

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Sweet! We were camped at the N Fork campground on a fam backpacking trip on the 20th, so maybe you passed right by us.

It seems that timing is key on this route. Too early and you're in for a dangerous creek crossing. Too late and the glacier/moat issues are sketchy. And then there is the 8000 foot descent in the sun... Hopefully I'll get this done at some point. Thanks for the inspiration!

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2 hours ago, Rad said:

Sweet! We were camped at the N Fork campground on a fam backpacking trip on the 20th, so maybe you passed right by us.

It seems that timing is key on this route. Too early and you're in for a dangerous creek crossing. Too late and the glacier/moat issues are sketchy. And then there is the 8000 foot descent in the sun... Hopefully I'll get this done at some point. Thanks for the inspiration!

Rad, we did indeed stop at the N Fork camp on the 20th.  I think it was around 1 pm or so. We dropped down, hung a bag with our last day's food, and headed out in about 15 min.

you are spot on about the timing and this is why I have been thwarted.  I always tried for the 3rd weekend of July and often there are thunderstorms forecast about that time to add to the scheduling shenanigans.  It is a committing route and I would hate to be exposed on that ridge through a storm

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4 minutes ago, KaskadskyjKozak said:

Rad, we did indeed stop at the N Fork camp on the 20th.  I think it was around 1 pm or so. We dropped down, hung a bag with our last day's food, and headed out in about 15 min.

you are spot on about the timing and this is why I have been thwarted.  I always tried for the 3rd weekend of July and often there are thunderstorms forecast about that time to add to the scheduling shenanigans.  It is a committing route and I would hate to be exposed on that ridge through a storm

You were well ahead of us. We didn't start hiking from High Bridge until about 3:30, arrived at North Fork around 6. We both had absolutely perfect weather. Not a cloud in the sky for days on end, no smoke, not too hot. Truly magnificient. On our trip, I snapped photos of 31 different types of wildflowers in bloom. 

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That one is a feather in your cap.  Been on my list a long time - with two fails due to weather and needless wandering.  I'm racing the clock on this one - good job

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2 hours ago, Jim said:

That one is a feather in your cap.  Been on my list a long time - with two fails due to weather and needless wandering.  I'm racing the clock on this one - good job

Yes indeed.  this one made me feel old.  Carryovers are starting to hurt.

 

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Awesome! Congrats on it all working out this time and getting up there! That route is definitely in my top 3 of all time climbs I've done. So beautiful....

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