Goode Mountain, a.k.a. Mount Goode
NE Buttress Route

As one person on this trip put it, "I don't know where to start." 

We, Sergio Verdina, Tom Sjolseth and myself, arrived at the Bridge Creek Trailhead (c.4500 Feet) a little before 10:00AM on the 4th of July where we began the long approach to the base of the NE Buttress of Mount Goode. We headed south on the PCT (FST 2000) for c.9.8 miles, arriving at the junction with the Walker Park Trail (North Fork Bridge Creek). We headed north arriving at Grizzly Creek Camp at 3.2 miles then continued nearly another mile until we located a faint climbers path leading right at a small stand of trees. The path was quickly lost where two large fir trees had fallen. Unfortunately, neither had fallen across the N. Fork of Bridge Creek so we made due with the a much smaller tree featuring a crack in the middle.

Sergio On the Log Crossing

Once across the stream we crashed through brush a short distance to reach snow which we followed to the base of the cliffs. We climbed a rocky rib just right of a water fall then continued up slabby rock (class 3 and 4) and brushy sections, eventually finding our way into a water course which allowed easier progress through the thick brush. We followed the water course until we were able to exit to a stream on our left. We crossed the stream and followed it for a few hundred feet then crossed back to its right side and continued up on the flowery bank. At about 5100 feet, we traversed right about 100 yards where we located the traditional bivy sight. From here we had a spectacular view of the NE Buttress of Mount Goode.

After 14 Miles of Trail, Let the Approach Begin


A Closer Look at the NE Buttress of Mount Goode

We all set our alarms for 3:30am... no one woke up. When we awoke, well after 3:30am, it was quite cloudy. A surprise since I had looked up at 2:00am to see nothing but a clear star filled night. Hmmm was the word of the morning. We headed out in off and on light drizzle around 8:30am...later than we had planned. From camp we traverse left below the glacier gaining it near is south margin. Sergio took the lead up the glacier, traversing farther left around a rocky outcrop then climbed up a gully to gain the large easier section higher on the glacier. We traversed, gaining some elevation and arrived just above the toe of the buttress (c.6600 feet). A snow bridge across the moat allowed access to the rock of the NE buttress. Without a snow bridge, the most difficult climbing on the route could be here. 

Getting on the Rock

A pitch of 4th and 5th class climbing reached the crest (we used a running belay here). Once on the crest we continued up for another 1-2 pitches of slabby 4th class climbing before we reached easier ground near 7000 feet. The next 700 or so feet was fairly easy class 3-4 scrambling on heathery and blocky terrain on the left side of the crest. At the top of the we veered right a bit to gain an arete (c.7800'). 

Climbing on the Easier Part of the Buttress


Sergio and Tom at a rest Break

By 7800 feet the climbing was becoming more difficult class 4 with occasional class 5 moves and we began belaying. Somewhere around 8000 feet we had a routefinding issue that would cost us more than an hour (stay on the arete until reacing a grassy ledge right of the crest, cross the ledge to  a corner, then climb this arete). Once back on the correct route we continued up the arete or just right of the arete on class 4/5 rock, reaching the ledge mentioned above.

Mount Logan from the NE Buttress


Sergio Leading at C. 8000 feet

It was becoming obvious that we were running out of time. We reached the grassy ledge around 6pm with some of the hardest climbing yet to come. My perfect record of reaching camp before it was too late was about to be shattered. We all knew before we left the trailhead, and certainly before leaving camp that morning, that a party of three would be pressed to complete the route in the 6-8 hours described in the CAG and a bivy might be necessary. We all had enough warm cloths to survive the night, but it wasn't altogether comfortable. We started the night spread out on the 30 by 6 foot ledge. By 9:30pm, one person asked if we minded if he slipped into the 8 foot spot between us. By 10:30pm someone asked if we wanted to huddle. 


The Bivy Ledge

Sunrise came none too soon.  By this time we were all occupying a 6 by 6 foot area...trying to stay warm. The night had been as kind as it could have been. There was little wind and the temperature didn't drop too low. We could see Sergio's yellow bivy bag at the 5100' bivy site below.. We had dubbed it "the beacon" the day before, now it had become annoying.

Black Peak Before Sunrise

We started up the arete on the climber's right side of the ledge around 6:20am. After leading two pitches of 4th and 5th class climbing on or just right of the arete, Sergio reached snow. 

Tom Starting Out High on the NE  Buttress

I led the next pitch on loose blocks, avoiding the steep snow to reach the snow free arete. Once on the arete I continued up to reach a rappel sling about 100 feet above the ledge leading to the Black Tooth Notch (low 5th to reach the sling , otherwise this pitch was class 3/4). I set up a belay and Tom headed up. He then belayed Sergio who once again took the lead. After about a half pitch Sergio reached the most difficult move and belayed Tom up (not that hard, work right then left for a move or two), then Tom belayed me. From here c.200 feet of class 3/4 climbing reached the airy summit.

The Summit Shot
This one was as good as any.  Sergio, smiling, sets the timer on his camera and dashes to get in position.

It was 10:00am when we reached the summit. For obvious reasons we didn't spend much time there. We down climbed to a rappel anchor at the top of the crux move. We rappelled to the second rappel anchor then made a second rappel down the the ledge leading to the Black Tooth Notch. This rappel was a bit scary, we hooked a horn  to prevent a pendulum and reached the ledge that crossed to the Black Tooth Notch. Tom got stuck retrieving the rope that had become stuck. 

We made two rappels down the loose rock of the SW couloir to reach 35-40 degree snow. After a few hundred feet of snow we exited the gully on the left and continued down to a snow filled basin. From here we continued descending and traversed north below a buttress on the west side of Goode. Once around the buttress we made a short snow traverse to gain a snow covered shelf. After a few hundred yards on the shelf we climbed a snow and heather gully, then snow to reach the Storm King-Goode col. One rappel reached the glacier below (partially overhanging near the bottom, and a moat). I led down the glacier, passing the bergschrund on the left then cutting back to the right side of the glacier to pass a steep, icy and broken section. Finally we reached rock and heather and descended and traversed rightward to camp. It was 4:20pm when we arrived.

By 5:00pm we were ready to head down. We made one rappel on the the most difficult section. It was nearly 6:00pm when we reached the trail...c.13.8 miles from the trailhead. I had endured the adventure the best and reached my car at 10:15pm. At 11:30pm, I was awakened by Tom and Sergio. I dropped off Sergio well after 3:00am and Tom around 3:30. I reached my apartment and got a meager 2 hours of sleep before I had to get up for work...

Cascade Alpine Guide, Volume 2, 2nd Edition; Fred Beckey; Pages 315-319
Selected Climbs in the Cascades, Volume 1, Jim Nelson and Peter Potterfield; Pages 121-124
Climbing Washington's Mountains; Jeff Smoot; Pages 89-93

Green Trails: Mount Logan, Washington Pass, McGregor Mountain, and Stehekin
USGS 7.5 Minute Quadrangle-Goode Mountain