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SmilingWhiteKnuckles

[TR] Mt. Goode - NE Buttress 7/20/2012

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Trip: Mt. Goode - NE Buttress

 

Date: 7/20/2012

 

Trip Report:

7/20-22/2012

 

More photos:

 

The plan was preposterous, but with the half workday cleared Friday and the desire to climb this striking line on Mt. Goode pecking at us for about a decade, it was on! The forecast wasn't exactly stellar, but it looked like the worst of it would blow through Friday.

 

We stopped in Arlington at Tacos Los Jarritos for burritos-to-go, then obtained permits at the Marblemount Ranger Station. Grizzly Camp in the NF of Bridge Creek was our goal that night (a mere 13.5 mile hike).

 

Driving the N Cascades highway, the amount of snow in the high country glimpsed through windows in the cloud cover produced a little panic about footwear (approach shoes) and axe choice (all aluminum) for the climb...I pushed these useless thoughts from my mind. The other options were all at home.

 

We left the car about 5:15pm and started down the Bridge Creek trail in occasional rain. It wasn't but a few miles in that my feet were soaked and I felt some bunching in the sock of my left foot. Eventually, too late of course, I stopped to tape up my pinky toe which had already blistered. No pain no gain.

 

At Maple Creek, we crossed a terrific small cable bridge bolted into huge boulders on either side of the creek. The trail after that was stunningly beautiful, traversing steep ground high above Bridge Creek. The evening sky began to open a bit and the sound of the river and birdsong filled the air with music and voices.

 

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Darkness fell shortly after we turned onto the NF Bridge Creek trail. In the dark, we came upon the Walker Park Camps where a group of SEA students had been camped for 2 of 3 weeks. A pleasant young man told us their next task was to rebuild the washed out Grizzly Camp. He said we should be able to find one tent pad on this side of the river.

 

Eventually we reached Grizzly Creek and after some searching, we found this site and the rough layout of the new campground. It was about 10:30pm. A couple hours later (after burritos!) we were in our bivies for the night, but while G$ snored, sleep eluded me as adrenalin-filled thoughts of the of the next day poured through my mind.

 

We were up about 3:45am and off from camp around 5:15 only to ford two separate braids of Grizzly Creek in the gravel wash. We picked up the trail on the other side and forged our way up the valley through lush, wet greenery. The trail was there if you moved the leaves back. At times water flowed ankle deep down the trail and we schwacked alongside it as best we could to avoid a soaking.

 

7644048668_aceacc7ce0_z.jpg

 

When we came out of the timber below Goode, the trail led toward the river and we found an easy crossing on a log just downstream. A brief alder thrash brought us to snow and we followed the first (easternmost) stream course up slabs to more snow and eventually the glacier (online beta helpful).

 

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We gained the glacier above the ice cliff by going way left and up an easy ice ramp. A traverse right brought us toward the buttress. The moat took a bit of time to navigate, but we gained the rock over some broken ice blocks.

 

G$ gave me the rack and I headed up weaving my way somewhat treacherous and exposed terrain above. Zig-zagged up ramp systems, I brought G$ up to a belay on a sloping ledge in an alcove. G$ insisted I go left, I voted for right, hollering and bickering ensued (like brothers we are). Finally, I went left just to appease G4, but came quickly back down not liking what I saw above.

 

Heading off in my intended direction, I thought that if we could just gain the trees, we'd be out of difficulties and close to the buttress proper. There was a corner to round though, and upon closer inspection, rounding this meant weaseling my way up behind a huge flake/block which looked to be balancing on rubble on a small ledge. No thank you.

 

Looking up, a wide chimney with big table-sized blocks in the back corner presented itself. I got excited: no problem if I just stay on the outside. And this is how it went, stemming up way on the outside on excellent footholds. The exposure was thrilling and with the wind blowing cool air up the chimney, i felt wild and free thinking: now this is adventure!

 

To avoid the loose blocks and dirt at the top of the chimney, I stepped to the left wall, cresting the steep part with a move or two on flakes and fins. Now the sunshine again and looking up was easy third class ground for a long way. I only hoped G$ would choose the same path.

 

As G$ came up, I heard the sound of a huge rock falling and crashing below. No fall on the rope though and soon G$ was up looking a bit pale saying a huge block had slipped down on his arm and he was just able to quick sidestep and let it fall past him.

 

A great relief was upon us then and we jetted up the third class terrain, gaining ground steadily, eventually joining the buttress proper as the rock steepened. From hereon, the climbing was fantastic. Long, exposed, 5.fun on solid rock.

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The route finding was pretty straightforward and reading about "the Black Amphitheater" and going into the depression someplace seemed to overthink it a bit. We just climbed on the ridge until the 'big grassy ledge". We traversed right there and gaining the arrete again, went up for another several hundred feet of excellent ridgecrest climbing.

 

After a little self-inflicted snafu just below the summit, we gained the top at 8:15pm and a few minutes of sun on our faces.

 

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What a spot! The steady cooling breeze was enough to coax us quickly into our sacks. We didn't have enough water to cook (glad we packed so much up!), so we just ate cheese, salami, jerky, and more bars while taking in stupendous views. So much snow! An after-dinner cocktail eased us into pretty solid sleep as the stars came out.

 

We awoke a little after five. The summit was clear but the clouds, both low and hig were gathering in the west. By the time we packed and suited up, clouds were forming as they do on the north side of the peak. Clouds like steam jetting upward wherever the wind channelled up the south face. Very atmospheric. I could hear my brother-in-law making his mountain gale sounds…

 

The route down was pretty straightforward. We added a new rap sling to the initial rap from the Black Notch down the SW couloir. Eventually we reached the snow line and brewed up last nights dinner there in the sunshine.

 

We followed the least steep line south from the (7300'?) plateau first through huge larch trees then through lush, green Sound of Music meadows, eventually picking up a good trail down the moraine crest toward the Park Creek Valley.

 

After more foot repair on the way down, we reached the Park Creek Valley trail withouth much difficulty and begain the long walk back. We arrived back at the car in a land well-beyond knackered just after midnight. What a trip!

 

Gear Notes:

Approach shoes, aluminum crampons, toy axe (might want more later in the season), 60m 8.1mm rope, light alpine rack. We carried a lot of water on the climb and were glad for it with the summit bivy (no snow near the summit).

 

Approach Notes:

Saying something is long and experiencing long are two very different things.

photo 3

foot1

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nice trip report. I followed your footsteps a few days later, but exited thru Stehekin. Thanks for the newer rap slings. We left a few also. I saw one purple rope with a rappel ring pinched over it (but rope not through it). Confused me. I wrote up my climb on Wenatchee Outdoors and it reads just about like yours even with some of the same pics :)

 

We got on the rock at the exact same spot (same photo too) and had the same experience with loose rock between the snow and the ridge. We decided that lower might have been better.

 

http://www.wenatcheeoutdoorsforum.org/showthread.php?164-Mt-Goode-NE-Buttress-7-26-2012

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Approach Notes:

Saying something is long and experiencing long are two very different things.

photo 3

foot1

NE Buttress of Goode took more effort to approach, climb, descend and hike out than any peak in the Cascades I can recall.

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Nice report oldmantex! Thanks for the link and the photos. And good work on the climb.

 

Someday, I'll make that Chelan boat trip...And my goodness, a bakery at the end of this trip would have been many many slices of heaven...

 

p.s. Tell your adappen buddy that Jim Nelson still has the lightweight goods -- tents and tarps both.

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I don't suppose any of you left a headlamp on the summit? We carried one down this weekend. Describe it and it's yours.

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Must have been the party behind mine (Friday afternoon) because my pard and I still have ours and we found a clean summit when we arrived.

 

 

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