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RynoA
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Location: Richland, WA
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PostSun Jul 07, 2019 4:09 pm 
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Goode & Storm King, 07/4-6/2019
Stats: 31 miles, 10,000' gain.
Trailhead: High Bridge (Stehekin).

Disclaimer: I am inordinately comfortable with exposure and climbing. I feel that I need to disclose this because I don't mention any roping up nor protection nor rappelling because there was none. Goode IS a climbing route with 5th class, technical climbing. Use your own judgment and comfort and skill level to decide what to do when climbing. My rope skills at this point in time are inadequate and would lead to more risk than not using a rope.

I used the longer weekend of Fourth of July as an excuse for my first visit to Stehekin. First impressions: there are a LOT of cars and I don't like being on the schedule of others (I'm a control freak).

Lady Express from Chelan to Stehekin. I arrived in Stehekin on the Fourth (Thursday) at 11 am. Once my pack was off loaded from the ferry I scurried to the Golden West Visitor's Center for a backcountry permit; I wasn't worried about availability in the Goode Cross Country Zone. I was, however, worried about my time. The shuttle to High Bridge left at 11:30, so I only had 30 minutes from the time the ferry arrived. My trip details relied somewhat heavily on getting to a certain point. In retrospect, I'll leave my pack and go straight to the visitor's center to retrieve my pack after I get a permit.

Through the power of foreshadowing, I didn't make the shuttle. Of course, the two groups getting permits ahead of me had wanted the same 3 or 5 camping sites as everyone else so they had to jockey with the ranger to get something that appeased them. Alas, I should've prepared better to not be late; my fault. Or I could've gone without a permit since no one in their right mind would be where I was, but I TRY to follow the rules... And free blue bags!!!

The next shuttle departed at 2 and all of my plans now had a 2.5 hour shift, critical for getting far enough. Instead, I ate a burger, and waited, waited, and waited, trying to nap to no avail in about 15 different locations (hyperbole).

I eventually made High Bridge at 3pm with about a bajillion SOBO PCTers; many are flipping this year because of so much snow in the Sierras... Pussies! Ahem, excuse me. I kid, that would suck.

I made quick time of the 7.5ish miles to the Park Creek Trail, averaging 3.3 mph. Decent for my short self (5'7.5"). The 0.5 inches is because it changes each time at the doc, not because I'm yearning for a little for height.. The old road bed makes for easy miles, but it's boring and without views.

Then the climb began. A brief addition of 850' in the first mile or so then a slight descent to cross raging Park Creek. On the other side was the turn off to Two Mile Camp (where I right this portion now). Then relatively easy, albeit overgrown in places, trail to the "turn off" for the Goode climber's trail.
Goode way above the massive wash gully just before the turnoff.

My plan was to get to 6,500' or 7,400' that night to camp for an easy start in the morning. My 2.5 hour delay nixed that though so I found a flat spot in the trail and bedded down.
Dinner

I figured no one would come past 8 PM and I'd be up and gone before 6 AM. No reasonable person would be in the trail at that time (I'm not reasonable). Bugs weren't too bad and sleep was good yet brief. I made breakfast and coffee and was off by 5:30 AM.
Climbing through burn area.

The trial begins in the brush but slowly gains some traction in the burn areas. I practically follows the ridge all the way up though it gets scarce and turns westward (climbers left) after the burn through some steep meadows with abundant revegtation. Then it divers rightward as the trail clamors through some rock outcroppings to shoot you out at the 7,400 bench below Goode. Damn what a beautiful view looking up, and all around.

I made the 3,200' gain in a smidge over 2 hours where I dropped my pack to allocate for my day pack. It was light since I'd return to this spot prior to heading over to Storm King later.

Snow began just below the 7,400' bench (~7,300') and continued to nearly the entrance of the SW Couloir around 8,400'. It was soft enough to kick and firm enough to hold steps. Perfect! The snow made travel easier in this case.

I made made my way up the Couloir on the lefthand side. There was running water (snowmelt) that I liberally use at 8,600' and the base of the Couloir proper. I had a liter in my pack, but wanted to save that for later if possible.

Looking up at the bottom half. Of the Couloir

Last portions up to the notch.
The slab crossing. People rope up here but I never felt overly exposed nor worried; I'm inordinately comfortable with exposure.

I continued up the mixed 3rd and 4th class terrain to eventually get to Black Tooth Notch. None was too bad. I used hands for about half. I traversed around to the north of Goode once at the Notch. The ledge was airy but not too bad. Not truly more technical than the Improbable Ledge traversing around Dumbell to Greenwood. More exposure here, but what's the difference between 50 feet and 5,000 feet? Both will kill you, so pay attention!
Looking forward to the traverse to the NEB.

Looking back at the bulk of the traverse. No go up-ish!

Once on the NE Buttress, the fun began. I clamored up the terrain without much pause. My crux was a Boulder move that force me to round over it and do a kind of pull up to gain it. I knew it'd be doable in reverse but my feet would dangle in the air before my arms lowered me down (FYI, I went fine :wink:).
My crux move; that Boulder poking out. Might've been able to take a different route, but this seemed easiest.

The remainder was simple (I had more issues on SK, though I picked a BAD route up SK and found a much easier descent there). I was on the 9,200' summit at 10:40, a bit over 5 hours from where I camped on the trail at 4,000'. Now to do it all again in reverse!
The seeming often used summit bivy site!

The downclimb was just as simple. I tried to maintain my same route since I remembered any sticking points and didn't want to wander into unknown terrain. All went well and I might've lost more elevation between 9,200 and 8,700' facing the rocks than facing out. Back on the snow at the base of the Couloir/Ridge, I made great time down on the splendid snow; not a single post hole!!

Partway down the snow.

Once back at my pack, I drank some water and ate some snacks before setting off for the traverse to Storm King. A little bit of elevation gain revealed the traverse... I thought I got pictures of this, but I guess not... Sorry!

Snow covered and a steep 100 yards to start. I kicked steps slowly across the bowl before getting to flatter land and made my way across the basin. At the point between the two basins the snow was cornices, thankfully a simple scramble to my right (uphill) led way to a rock traverse to flatter snow that soon became steep, about 30-40 degrees.

The view back at the second half of the traverse. I clamored left of the lower cornice then dropped onto the snow.
Some of the stuff I crossed to bypass the cornice.

I rounded the bend out of the basin and onto rock, then very steeps snow for a short segment (~50' elevation gain) before gaining the easternmost ridge of Storm King.
Summit ock and steep snow I ascended on the right. I could've just stayed on the rock below the snow and ended up at the same place the snow out me (just a bit longer distance moved).

Summit block looking happy to see me?

I traversed around the back and stopped too early when I began to climb up sketchy and loose 5th class terrain. I could see an easier route a bit farther down and north that I could return on, so that gave me some extra gumption on what I was looking to climb above me. I continued to traverse westward before the proper 4th class route to the summit,which I reached at 3:45 PM. It took me about 2 hours from my temporary camp (pack cache) to the summit. I sat for about  15 minutes and watched the clouds swirl around me, obscuring many of the classic North Cascades peaks, before clamoring down to proper 4th class route and reversing the traverse.

Goode Lord.

Sir Logan.

Who doesn't bring their own Sharpie? These pencils always suck!

Nature called somewhere in the descent and I had to take an emergency restroom break... While squatting, I dropped my wet wipes over a cliff about 20 feet. With wet wipes being a prized possession, I wasn't able to tidying up before retrieving them...

The route back to the shelf below Goode was faster than I anticipated and went well! I left the bench at 6:45 PM.
Buckner on the descent...

The descent back to the proper trail was uneventful and quite ash producing. I met the trail slightly after 8:30 PM and continued for ablut 2.5 miles to Two Mile Camp where I called home for the night (arrived around 9:15 pm).

I NEVER camp in designated sites (dispersed camping in wilderness areas) so having a fire ring and some wooden bench was a treat! I didn't use the fire ring though. The benches were great for keeping my gear from the critters at night... Lil' mice were a camping about all night and I think that one even ran across my face at some point. Dinner of mashed potatoes and ramen with a protein bar was had (not together, you sicko). I began typing up this report and called it a night at 11 PM.

Awake by 4:20 AM for some activities (cooking breakfast, duh) and hiking at 5:40 AM, I wanted to make the 9. 5 miles of trail by 9 AM to make the shuttle to Stehekin to attempt to grab the Lady Express at 12 for an early ride home. I began walking down the steep portion that's the start of the Park Creek Trail and made Park Creek Camp (2.25 miles down) by 6:30 AM. The debris in my shoes was bothersome and was thus discarded.

I walked the next mile or so before jogging up a small incline... And I didn't stop running for the next 6 miles. The trail goes off and on the old Stehekin Valley Road in the 7.25 miles from Park Creek, it also comingles with the PCT several times in this stretch. I encountered the road for the last time (1.5 miles from the shuttle pickup) at 7:45 AM and walked the remainder. Iade it to the pickup with more than an hour to spare! I was surprised by how "not bad" I felt while running with my pack so I just kept going. Seems to be a recurring theme to my outings. A little more can be extracted from me each time.

In the end, I made the Lady Express to Chelan early where I write this! I also got numerous goodies from the Stehekin Pastry Company which may require a report all itself if it's anything like the cinnamon roll I packed out with me the first night.

As a friendly reminder to those who visit Stehekin... It won me over a bit. Though I still hate being in other's schedule. Please, pack out any trash and such with you. That place is isolated and a barge has to take their trash away, all loaded and off-loaded (in Chelan) by hand. So, a little bit of trash by you ends up adding up with the thousands of tourists that visit each year.

I am MORE than happy to answer questions, give photos, and help in any other way possible.  smile.gif
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Jeff
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PostSun Jul 07, 2019 4:24 pm 
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Face mice are the worst!
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Stuke Sowle
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PostSun Jul 07, 2019 6:07 pm 
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Ahhh so you are one of the folks bedded down on the trail that I have to move around so often!  I'm sure many of them have wondered what the heck just went trotting by them at 3 in the morning.  smile.gif

Really awesome stuff dude!  Would love to attempt these but I'm just not quite comfortable enough with exposure.  Yet. 

Congrats on your successful summits!

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Michael Lewis
Taking a nap



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PostTue Jul 09, 2019 10:29 am 
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I was thinking about heading back there for Bonanza but might tack on more after seeing this report. Would you say Dumbell is a good warm-up traverse?
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Mosquito Food
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PostTue Jul 09, 2019 4:31 pm 
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up.gif Good call on the cinnamon roll.

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Fueled by cornbread
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RynoA
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PostTue Jul 09, 2019 4:57 pm 
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Michael Lewis wrote:
Would you say Dumbell is a good warm-up traverse?

Yes! While I didn't think nor expect it, I'd say that it certainly emulated the experience in a "less" exposure manner on Dumbell/Greenwood.
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