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Blake

first ascent [TR] Mt. Goode - Megalodon Ridge ( IV+ 5.10- )

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Trip: Mt. Goode - Megalodon Ridge ( IV+ 5.10- )

 

Date: 9/6/2007

 

Trip Report:

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.

 

4427s_Shadows.JPG

 

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.

 

Megladon_Ridge_002.jpg

 

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.

 

Megladon_Ridge_008.jpg

 

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.

 

Sol_s_ridge_pics_017.jpg

 

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.

 

Megladon_Ridge_014.jpg

 

Sol fired off the first headwall pitch, which ended up being a splitter 5.10- hand crack to a nice belay ledge.

 

Sol_s_ridge_pics_021.jpg

 

I got the next pitch which started up a perfect corner before stepping left and doing some delicate stemming to the top.

 

Sol_s_ridge_pics_027.jpg

 

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.

 

Megladon_Ridge_034.jpg

 

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.

 

Megladon_Ridge_041.jpg

 

Sol_s_ridge_pics_046.jpg

 

An amazing sunset and meteor shower had us in awe all night.

 

Megladon_Ridge_056.jpg

 

The next morning's chilly sunrise was a nice sight as well...

As Sol says "Livin' the dream, life is Good(e)"

life_is_gooder.jpg

 

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.

 

Sol_s_ridge_pics_059.jpg

 

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...

 

entire_thing.JPG

 

 

Gear Notes:

Standard climbing rack. Should have included goldfish crackers to complete the fish theme. :grin:

 

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.

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Very nice guys. Where you able to find water along the way in the form of snow or did you have to carry it all?

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What do you mean it's starting to feel like fall? It's been fall all summer long!

 

Creative climb, nice idea and nice lookin' fun! This is your summer brah

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Great TR Blake, thanks for the great adventure. Here's a few more shots from a highly scenic 3 days:

 

Nearing the headwall on the SE peak:

 

IMG_4334.JPG

 

 

Negotiating gendarmes on the improbable upper ridge:

 

IMG_4348.JPG

 

 

The man with the master plan:

 

IMG_4353.JPG

 

 

The Bivy:

 

Megladon_Ridge_0431.jpg

 

The View:

Megladon_Ridge_0361.jpg

 

 

Blake was a great partner and really knows this area with amazing detail. For 3 days he tour guided me through every single peak, trail, valley, and lake in the area. While on route he continued with interesting trivia about the many historic ascents taken place on Mt. Goode over the years.

 

On the drive in Blake seemed displeased when i came out of the Concrete grocery store with a 40 oz. of PBR to stash in Bridge Creek. Apparently PBR just doesn't measure up to his 21 yr old sensibilites. Well, 3 long days later, while changing into sandals back at the car I hear a tell-tale, "Psssttttt", and look around the car to see:

 

IMG_4377.JPG

 

WORD!!!!!!

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Sweet! I can assure everyone that the overall picture of the ridge doesn't do this thing justice. When we were up there last month we were thinking it would be an easy grade III, but once we got to the first tower and saw how much there was ahead of us we immediatly agreed that rapping 1000 feet down an unknown face (in order to end up in a place where we could go on with the traverse) would be a better option than trying to finish the ridge.

How was the rock overall? Was the ridge just past where we bailed as steep and loose as it looked? What was the deal with all those little towers (visible from the south) just before the summit, were you able to just go around them? Cool that you finally got to do a summit bivy.

 

Retire your ropes, G!

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Nice work, dudes! Did you guys have a cinnamon roll at the top?

 

I was checking that ridge out on our SEB trip this summer, and it looked sweet! Awesome!

 

Speaking of beer and Mt. Goode, on our trip to do the SEB this summer my partner Ben and I stashed SIX 11oz Sessions stubbies in various small creeks between Bridge Creek trailhead and the turnoff to NF Bridge Creek. They were supposed to be motivation for our hike out, but since we ended up coming out via Cascade Pass, they are probably still there for anyone heading in that way. They arent too hard to find, not more than 10 meters from where the stream crosses the trail. A little scavenger hunt for ya!

 

:brew:

Edited by therunningdog

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Sweet looking bivy site and that pic with Blake with beer is awesome. Great job guys, you did indeed crush this summer Blake! You gonna show us some slides at the rope up?

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How was the rock overall? Was the ridge just past where we bailed as steep and loose as it looked? What was the deal with all those little towers (visible from the south) just before the summit, were you able to just go around them? Cool that you finally got to do a summit bivy.

 

Retire your ropes, G!

 

Plexus: we each filled up a gallon of water at a stream right at the start of the technical climbing on the ridge. You could brew up at the snowfield just past the summit of the SE Peak if you felt the need.

 

Dan: You're right, the pictures just do not do justice to the terrain and length of that ridge. From our initial rap off of the main tower to the SE peak seemed like it took forever. We were rolling, simuling 5.8, downclimbing with bad ropedrag, I kept on looking back at that first tower, and it seemed like we were going nowhere.

 

Overall, the rock was pretty good. When it got bad it wasn't kitty litter bad, it was just dirty with loose stacked blocks everywhere. We negotiated that big tower just past your guys bail point with a 5.7+ traverse that was actually on some pretty good rock. The rock was good from there, with a bit of spice on the SE Peak Headwall.

 

The towers on the summit ridge were cool. It dropped off 3000 ft on the north side of the ridge, and every now and then you'd have to swing you body around the void on small footholds. The rock was good, and the penultimate crux came at the very end with an invigorating and overhanging, downclimb traverse. Complete with good gear, a key sharkfin flake, and 3000 ft. of exposure, the "tiger-shark traverse" was awesome.

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Thanks all, my ankles are finally healing up after I stupidly wore high-top boots and low-top socks on the climb. Someone ought to put a new summit register up there, and get after Tim's treasure trove of beers while they are at it!

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