Mt Goode - NE Buttress
Inspired by a recent trip report, Nick Strait, Stephanie Savage, and myself climbed the NE Buttress of Mt Goode. In my nearly 20 years of knocking around the Cascades this mountain stands out as requiring the largest effort to approach, climb and descend relative to the other peaks I have done in this range.
We left the Brige Creek trailhead at 9 AM. The first 10 miles went easily enough as it was mostly down hill. With a few breaks we made the turn off to North Fork Bridge Creek trail in 3 1/2 hours. The next five miles went a bit slower. We forded the river without too much trouble and by 3:30 we were at the opposite bank. We hiked up a talus slope to the base of the cliffs below Mt Goode then traversed climber's right to some rock benches.
These benches took us to a patch of slide alder before leading to a wooded ridge to the right of the furthest right waterfall. We followed the wooded rigde over cliffs until able to cut back left across a snow field to an excellent bivi on rock next to the creek.
In the middle of the night Nick faked a lung infection, complete with coughing and hacking to get out of climbing the next day, so Stephanie and I climbed without him. We left camp at 3:30 and made our way to the glacier.
At the glacier we strapped aluminum crampons onto our approach shoes. We hiked up the glacier, icy in spots, to the buttress toe and made a sketchy traverse across the moat on a snow bridge to the rock. We soloed up increasingly technical terrain until I cried uncle. Stephanie led a 5th class pitch to the buttress crest then we simu-climbed a lot of 4th class rock switching leads once. After pulling a solid 5th class pitch we started to belay pitches. I don't recall how many pitches we belayed, but it seemed like a lot. We arrived at the summit at 2 PM.
We found a gulley imediately to the south and west of the summit which we decided was the Bedayn couloir. We scrambled down to it and started down climbing the horrendously loose gulley. Down aways we found a rap station which we beefed up and made a rap and down climbed some more to a two nut station. We beefed up the slings and I cast off onto an over hanging rappel. The ropes ended in the middle of the cliff. I was able to travese to a tiny ledge and set two more nuts. Anther rappel brought us to more down climbing. This continued for 8 rappels and a lot of loose down climbing until we hit snow. I really had to dust off my anchor building kung fu- we rapped off on nuts, boulders, horns, and chockstones.
Once on the snow we hiked around to the Storm King-Goode col where I found a two piton anchor with a single, old sling. We had used every piece of tat we had, so I used a couple of sewn slings to beef it up. We rapped down to the glacier and proceeded to down climb the icy, broken glacier. In tennis shoes this was a bit more than exciting. At one point Stephanie punched through a hidden crevasse. I felt helpless, there wasn't much I could do but she managed to extracate herself.
Once past the difficulties we spied Nick who had hiked up to meet us. I was so happy to see him I started running down the glacier. We followed him back to camp and were making dinner by 9 PM.
The hike out was uneventful, but long and hot. I was chafed and blistered which made for slow going. We saw a bear next to the trail but it ran off when Nick yelled at it.
This was a very challenging and rewarding trip with two awesome partners! Thanks Nick and Stephanie.