Multiday trip with Jonah J-Y.
* I narrowly missed the Marblemount station closing the day prior, so I slept at Newhalem and drove back to Marblemount early in the morning with plenty of time so I was near the front of the line. Permits secured, I drove back to Newhalem to sort gear & take care of some work-related business at my last reception spot for the next few days.
* I started walking from Bridge Creek trailhead at 10:30 a.m. Few clouds in the sky and a nice breeze while on the PCT that counteracted the high temps. I encountered multiple smaller parties on the trail on the walk to North Fork campground, including a ranger who stopped me to check my permit. Also en route I passed 2 women who were also planning on climbing Goode with roughly the same itinerary as us. The ranger at Marblemount mentioned Goode is becoming increasingly popular; the weekend prior to our climb 4 different parties were on the mountain at once.
* I arrived at North Fork at 1:45, a bit later than intended to meet Jonah who was waiting patiently. Jonah had by far the more epic approach as he cycled from Holden to Lucerne; paddled from Lucerne to Stehekin; and then cycled from Stehekin to Bridge Creek campground. We took some time to sort our gear and I left a small cache in the bear bin for the return trip.
* We left North Fork at 1:45. Once up the Bridge Creek trail the breeze was no longer a comfort and we were pounding water in the heat. On my part I downed over 150 ounces on the day. We hit Grizzly Creek at 4:00. A cairn marks a nice thick tree trunk to cross about 100 yds upstream from the trail. It was here that we again encountered the team of 2 women; they'd earlier told me their intentions were to stay at Grizzly Creek for the night, which seemed to us to make for an unnecessarily long summit day.
* From Grizzly Creek the trail becomes quite overgrown most of the time, though it is never difficult to follow. For what it is worth we did find the directions on the Mountaineers site to be misleading, as they call to cross North Fork Bridge Creek 1/2-mile earlier. For this stream crossing we removed our boots and socks. The water was only knee-deep but quite swift. Once across the stream we noted the other team had strapped their packs back on and were on the other side looking to cross; however, they seemed to have changed their mind as we did not see them ascending behind us.
* From the stream we headed directly up the talus to a snowfield; the snow was just soft enough to kick in steps. We were able to head directly up the snowfield to the farthest waterfall climber's left. At the base of the waterfall we reached the apparent scrambling route to climber's right. The moat was not a problem, and the scramble was exposed at times but never too bad. The two rap stations we passed while ascending confirmed we were on route. Once in the dense alder we found it was not nearly so bad a bushwhack as it is pretty easy to follow where others have gone before. If you find yourself putting a great deal of effort into the bushwhack, you may be off-route, or at least you are likely working unnecessarily hard.
* We finally reached our bivy site before 8:00 p.m., where the flies and mosquitoes made their presence well known and where we were relatively close to fresh water.
* My notes for the actual climb are scant, because I never really stopped to take any until day's end. We shifted back to climber's left to transition onto the glacier. This required some more scrambling through some loose talus alongside some cascades, but the routefinding was never too difficult.
* We had ice axes & crampons for glacier travel. Crevasses were pretty obvious. We were able to find a snowbridge onto the rock fairly easily, though it is highly likely this has since collapsed. It was very narrow and we did downclimb it for about 20' into the moat before transitioning onto the rock. We made this transition at about 6600'.
* From here we hit the first class-5 section and then were able to simul-climb for the next 1000'. At about 7800-8000' we got a bit off-track, finding ourselves on some loose lichen-covered blocks. Our error was in trying to stick closely to the arête, and we were able to recover the route after some consideration. From there we no longer had any difficulty identifying the route, and the route to the amphitheater was pretty obvious.
* It was around this time, in the early afternoon, that we noted the other team of two crossing the glacier below us. Other than a couple shouts of "on belay," this was the only time we saw or heard from them all day, and the last time for the entire trip.
* We did stop to melt snow about halfway through the day. Large swaths of snow are near the summit, however, so it is likely possible until late season to find a spot up there to melt snow. We did not encounter snowmelt anywhere after the glacier.
* After another couple class-5 pitches, we simul-climbed again from the grassy ledge at about 8400' all the way to the summit. Some have reported easy scrambling from 8800' to the summit, though we did not find this to be the case. It may well have been we were just tired by this point.
* We played it pretty conservatively regarding the placement of pro which was more within my comfort zone. This also led to a 12-hour day for us to reach the summit.
* Although it had been a concern earlier on, it seemed obvious that the other team of 2 would not reach the summit on this day, given their late placement on the glacier and their pace. While they had planned on a summit bivy, same as us, it seemed highly unlikely they would make it up in the remaining daylight hours. Thus we set up our bivy at the summit, heated supper, and enjoyed the views in the waning sunset as a massive cloud front rolled in from the west. I awoke multiple times during the night to exceptional stars overhead. I cannot recommend the summit bivy highly enough.
* We awoke to a lovely sun rise but continued to rest as the previous day's efforts felt significant, and mosquitoes had prevented sound sleep the night prior. It was a leisurely morning, and we were not up and moving until almost 9:00. During that time whiteout overtook the summit. Just the same, it was relatively easy to identify the rap stations down toward the notch, and we had not problem locating them.
* The traverse over to Black Tooth Notch has been called easy class 4, but we disagreed with this assessment. It is class 4 insofar as the placement of pro is not possible, and most of it is an easy ledge walk, but there are a couple of highly exposed class 5 moves with no margin for error.
* Once at the cairn we descended into the SW Couloir, bypassing the first rap station as we were able to downclimb comfortably. At the next rap station we did rappel -- only 30 feet or so -- onto the snow as this section was exposed and overhung above the moat.
* The section of snow was for us only 200 feet, but the snow was quite hard and steep. We donned crampons and ice axes to downclimb the snow, but after 100 feet of this I found it to be a waste of time and effort for us to get the crampons and ice axes out; a scramble route adjacent to the snow was readily apparent. Jonah was more comfortable downclimbing the snow, but I elected to transition back onto the rock and kick off the crampons.
* Once at the base of the snow we had a bit of a miscommunication as Jonah had ventured off to relieve his lower GI system of excess weight. Thus both of us sat waiting at different points for an extended period of time. It was a small frustration but from the base of the snow, and at the mouth of the Couloir, we traversed left to descend toward the small saddle. This was all very loose scree and talus, but at least it was relatively brief.
* From this saddle at about 8100' we descended to the east onto the snow to go around the short butte there. Others have descended the other side, so it is dealer's choice. It was not long before we were off the snow and able to get some snowmelt for water.
* At about 7500' we headed WNW around the west side of another short butte, where we'd expected to link up with the trail. This led to a steep and very loose gully, and I believe we either descended down this too far before heading under the butte, or we may have been better off traversing it around its east side. In any case we were able to bail out of the gully a couple hundred feet before we would have gotten cliffed out. Once onto the steep and grassy slopes in the old forest burn, multiple climbers' trails present themselves. We just kept a general southern bearing on the ridgeline. Only the last few hundred yards were a bushwhack, which was over thick grass that had taken over the deadfall, so keeping the feet was the greater struggle.
* Once back at the trail, it was only 200 yards or so to the stream, where we replenished water. Then it was a relatively easy 7-mile walk to Bridge Creek campground, where we parted ways. Although our final night for the permit was for North Fork, Jonah did not care to walk the 3 miles out of his way, and I did not blame him. We chose to roll the dice when it came to any ranger encounters, and it ended up working out for us fine.
* Nearly all day I had had a mind to walk the remaining distance out to my vehicle after our descent. However, walking from Bridge Creek to North Fork, it was apparent my feet were suffering from the previous 48 hours. Also I'd managed to plunge my feet into the stream as I filtered water when we hit the trail, so I had the beginnings of trenchfoot. So I stumbled into North Fork resigned to spending another night out here before heading back the next morning. I took some respite in the fact that no one else was there when I arrived.
* However, when I opened the bear bin to grab my cache, I made a vexing discovery. Someone had pilfered the food from my cache -- well, most of it. I'd had a couple sandwiches and a couple fig bars in there, in addition to a dehydrated meal. Also I'd left my classic iPod (do not judge me) and some extra 'biners and cordelette I'd decided I did not need. The sandwiches, fig bars, and instant coffee were all taken, but everything else remained. (And yes, I had labeled the Ziploc bag that contained my cache.) The dehydrated meal was useless to me, because Jonah had his JetBoil with him back at Bridge Creek. All I had for nutrition was a couple handfuls of gummy bears. I filtered some water and, as the sun was going down, strapped on my headlamp for the walk back to my vehicle. No point in staying out all night with no food. I got back to the trailhead a little after 1 a.m., with painful trenchfoot that left me shoeless for the next few days.
Started at trailhead 1.5 miles down the road from Rainy Pass, hiked in to bivy below the glacier. Climbed the route to the summit and descended to Park Creek on day 2. Hiked back to car on day 3. Great route! lot's of fun, lots of work.
Josh, Etai and I ended up soloing the entire route and summitted well before noon from camp just below the glacier. Crossing the moat was a little dicey. Went on to climb Storm King that same afternoon.
A hard 15h05 car-to-car in a mixture of rain and clouds. I got lost on the way down and ended up coming out Park Creek, but that only added a few miles. Mostly class 3-4 as Beckey says, and because it has so many sharp edges, the rock isn't that much harder to climb when wet. Finding the way down the south side with 100 yards or less of visibility was not fun. Trip report.
We attempted Storm King the day before but we were stormed off and we even got hailed on. Seriously. The "black stairs" in the couloir are an interesting formation. We brought double 60 meter ropes for long raps. The ropes got stuck on the first rappel and Greg had to climb back up to fix it.
Climbed the NE Buttress during a week of rainy weather with Sierra Mountaineering Group. This route has it all; thousands of feet of rock, a long approach, glaciers, and amazing scenery.
Done during the hottest weekend of the year. Put off doing it for years because stories of the approach scared me. Glad I don't have to do it again.
A fairly straight-forward scramble to the summit. Easy to get Storm King the same day.