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Bluebird
suffering optional



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Bluebird
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suffering optional
PostTue Jul 21, 2020 11:08 pm 
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The right weather window hit so Nancy and I made the decision to give the NE Buttress of Goode a try. We hoped we'd hit the sweet spot where the glacier wasn't in terrible condition but the upper buttress would be (mostly) snow free, although with some snow for water. And hopefully the descent gully would be snow filled.

Nancy arrived at the ranger station the previous evening and got a number. We were lucky and it ended up being #2 Friday morning when the station opened. It was gray, drizzly and I had driven through an hour of rain, but the weather forecast was promising. We got our permit, some hot beverages at the coffee stand nearby and set off to the Bridge Creek TH, where we snagged the last parking spot.

We took the standard approach, hiking a depressing amount of downhill before reaching the North Fork Trail. Along the way we met a few PCT section and one through hiker, and a ranger who checked our permit and gave a warning about the brush and caterpillars on the North Fork trail. He also told us that the area around Goode was amazing. 8 miles from the TH is a stream (not on gaia) that is the best water source along that trail. The North Fork trail had plenty of delicious blueberries and was not brushy, so I suspected the worst would come after crossing Grizzly Creek. We found two footlog options, and the ford looked to be thigh deep on me, which matched the ranger's warning about it. We took the logs across, and then filtered water in a cloud of biting black flies.
starting off
starting off
bridge across the good water source
bridge across the good water source
Nancy's first alpine blueberries
Nancy's first alpine blueberries
Grizzly Creek
Grizzly Creek

Soon after Grizzly Creek the brush started. It was often taller than me and as warned, covered in caterpillars and caterpillar nests. Hundreds of caterpillars were injured or killed in the climbing of Goode Mountain. At times I had 50 of them on me, and they weren't too keen to take the easy way off on the leaves I offered, so we had to flick them off or use hiking poles. My arms were covered in caterpillar blood and I found tiny ones in the tongue of my shoe.

We left the trail where Jake's GPS track indicated he crossed North Fork Bridge Creek and found a faint trail to the creek. We were disappointed to see even more caterpillars here, some drowned in the creek and others all over the shore. We took off our shoes and forded the swift cold water, the rocks on the bottom were very slippery. Water above knee deep on us.

brushy
brushy

On the other side, all the rocks I needed to climb out of the creek with were also covered in caterpillars, which I regretfully had to step on with my numb cold feet. After drying off and putting on approach shoes, we continued up with a brief alder bash before open talus and snow beneath the waterfalls. We stayed right of the leftmost waterfall and scrambled up the rock, finishing on some slabby terrain that Nancy found a nice, although small, handhold that allowed us to mantle up with relative safety and reach the shrub with an orange sling around it.

leftmost waterfall
leftmost waterfall
up the slabs
up the slabs

We found the alder tunnel and continued up until reaching open terrain and then left at a cliffy section just above 5000 elevation. We trended left, crossed a stream gully and found another party settled in a marginal site around 5300: a guide and his charge. They had "saved us the best site", which was about 300 feet above. We continued up slabby rock until about 5700 and found a nice bivy site with water nearby and set up to eat dinner in our bivies. I had decided to bring a container of potato chips and we happily ate all of them before getting ready to sleep. As we were enjoying the fading light over the nearby peaks, a loud crash above caught our attention and we looked up to the glacier to see snow falling and some truly enormous rocks falling right into the gully system we had crossed earlier. Sparks flew and we could smell the singed air. I somehow managed to get a video of it.

in the alder tunnel
in the alder tunnel
home for the night
home for the night

Soon afterwards a party of two women camped up near the glacier came to talk to us about what we'd seen. I showed them my video and we chatted about how scary it had been. We discussed the summit and how we'd all need to share the summit bivy in the morning and offered them space near us tonight if they decided they felt unsafe near the glacier.

We woke with the light in the morning, packed up and set off behind the other two parties, first across a snowfield and then a weaving route around some crevasses on the glacier. We were able to get directly onto rock from the snow and waited for the other two parties to belay up a short bit of class 5. After climbing up this section, we found easy terrain and unroped. I was the unfortunate recipient of some rockfall, which scratched up my helmet (one rock was hand sized) and sliced up a finger that I couldn't afford to move out of the way without taking a fall. I left blood on a lot of holds, thinking that the bleeding would clean out the wound.  I'd lost over half of my water in a bottle failure while crossing the glacier so I didn't want to sacrifice any.


We reached class 5 terrain around 8150 and roped up again. Nancy's goal was to lead the whole buttress, and indeed she did. There was additional rockfall to the side of the buttress where the easier climbing was, so we stayed on it. There was some annoying rope drag and at times I had to climb up by coiling the rope and clipping it to my harness as we went along so I could unstick the rope. We reached the bivy ledge and I was very thirsty, grateful to find water around the corner beyond the right arete. We climbed the right arete.  We passed the guided party and they gave us each a half liter of water from their snowy bivy site and we chatted briefly.  With ore rope drag and trying to pull the rope, we managed to get a small cam extremely stuck and losing more time as I tried in vain to pry it out.I eventually gave up and we climbed the rest of the way to the summit, taking some more moves I'd rate as up to 5.7 or so.


At the summit we found that the party of women had set up a THREE MAN TENT on the entire summit. They were unwilling to share any of that space, although they kept talking about how they realized they would have to "share" the summit, graciously offering to move their blue bags so I could sleep on the ground next to their tent door. We were not pleased by this, suggested that there would be space for everyone without a tent, but no luck. They slid the tent forward enough to give me a 4' long space. It was Nancy's first summit bivy and she had led the whole thing so I wanted her to enjoy the good bivy spot that was left. Sunset was beautiful but I hardly slept because I was so uncomfortable in the tiny rocky space the other women had begrudgingly given up. It reminded me of why I often avoid parties with many women :/ which is unfortunate.


The other party left very early and we moved out to enjoy the open summit finally. Around 8am another party reached the summit and we decided to rappel and downclimb together as it would be more efficient than two parties waiting for each other. Benton and John were a father/son climbing duo and a delight to spend time with. They had also retrieved Nancy's cam and returned it to her. We were able to set up efficient raps and a slick handline on the route to the black tooth notch, which had one 5.4 ish overhanging move. Three more raps put us onto the snow and we downclimbed about 300 feet of 40 degree steep snow, which was in good condition for steps and did not require crampons.

black tooth notch
black tooth notch

After a short loose traverse left and a nice long glissade, we reached the camp site area, which was melted out and had running water. After a lunch break the parties separated. We traversed, found some cairns, descended on some trail, then the trail disappeared into meadows. I searched and eventually found a faint very dusty bootpath on the far left when a more obvious ridge formed. It was slippery and annoying, but worked. At the base of the ridge, at a cairn, the trail disappears. I lead us on an unpleasant bushwhack. I stepped on a pile of sticks, which snapped, launched me forward and I hit my face on a blowdown, the branch nub stabbing into my face. I could feel blood dripping all over my face but told Nancy we'd keep going to the stream and take a break there. After a few unpleasant minutes we popped out onto the Park Creek trail and hiked for a couple minutes to the stream, where she dunked in and I cleaned off my face. Flies were bad here.

our descent and glissade
our descent and glissade
descent up close
descent up close
happy me
happy me
storm king-ish
storm king-ish
looking back at where we came from
looking back at where we came from
after washing my face it didn't look quite as bad but it sure hurt
after washing my face it didn't look quite as bad but it sure hurt
Nancy dips in the stream
Nancy dips in the stream

From here we had an 18 mile hike out and it was 5pm. Neither of us worked the next day, and I had brought more food than I had eaten so we decided to hike partway out, sleep and finish on Monday. The hike out was on good trail and we enjoyed a lot of huge and delicious blueberries on the Stehekin Road en route to High Bridge. It was getting dark-ish when we stepped onto the PCT with 3 miles until our desired camp area, which I resolved to reach in 1 hour and succeeded. The campsites were full, and a kayaker offered to share his campsite with us as they had a large site, only 4 men in bivies and a nice campfire. I decided I was too tired and smelly to make new friends so we set up in a side trail on a bluff. I had wisely chosen to carry an 8oz salami and a wedge of Beecher's Flagship cheese on a trip where weight was critical-- .. so we shared what was left of those for dinner along with the many blueberries eaten along the way.

high bridge
high bridge

Hike out the next day was all uphill, but easy and we enjoyed chatting with everyone we passed.

Quite a trip, worth the time and big kudos to Nancy for her first major alpine lead biggrin.gif

RIP to my trail runners
RIP to my trail runners
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rstoddard24
BBQWingz



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PostWed Jul 22, 2020 12:08 am 
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Congrats, and thanks for the write up. That is a bummer about the route and summit bivy crowding. High bivies in good weather are best enjoyed under the stars with no tarp, tent, or bivy sack.

Cool that Nancy got her cam back, sounds like the father/son team was pretty nice. I sacrificed a blue nut, one of the first pieces I placed getting onto the Butt from the glacier. much cheaper than a cam tho. My Altras blew out in the same spot last weekend too :,(
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ozzy
The hard way



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ozzy
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The hard way
PostWed Jul 22, 2020 5:44 am 
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rocker.gif I've been wanting to give Goode a try since I saw Jake's report, looks fun as hell minus the approach and brush lol! So jealous of yall's summit bivy, no matter how much room you had! Freakin badass! Keep on killin it and sweet tr!!

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Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer. -Arnold
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Brushbuffalo
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PostWed Jul 22, 2020 6:39 am 
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Excellent to do that classic and in fine style.
We old-timers would never have imagined crowding on that tiny summit bivy.
A three-man tent? There's barely room for a two-man, and as was said, why bother with a tent anyway?
That was awfully thoughtless of those two people.

You can get 500 more miles in those shoes. They're just getting broken in!

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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silence
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PostWed Jul 22, 2020 8:11 am 
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ozzy wrote:
Freakin badass! Keep on killin it and sweet tr!!

Ditto!!! You guys rock!  Congrats up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

So sorry about the summit incident. When you work so hard to get there, as did others, you'd expect more camaraderie.

Scary video.

I became enthralled with Goode, though way above my skill level, when Kyle Miller, Jason Hummel and Scott McAllister (nwhiker ale_capone) climbed it in the snow with plans to ski it (I believe it was the same approach and route). We included that footage in our film Freerider. It's a beautiful peak.

--------------
PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. Bob Dylan
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Stefan
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PostWed Jul 22, 2020 8:44 am 
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rockfall.  an exposed fun climbing ridge. rappelling.

and then an injury is from a branch!  How ironic!

Good documentation on your adventure!

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Art is an adventure.
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Alden Ryno
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PostWed Jul 22, 2020 9:28 am 
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An awesome trip!

While tried to "quote" it, I failed. The image (#15/55) of you looking down in the Alpine with mountain behind you is a GREAT shot!

That summit certainly shouldn't have a tent (though it's their loss to be covered), it is for too grandiose for such obstructions.
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timberghost
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PostWed Jul 22, 2020 9:41 am 
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Nice write up
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geyer
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PostWed Jul 22, 2020 12:44 pm 
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That's really frustrating about the summit! I guess Goode is too busy for weekends now?

Your weekend and mine had something in common - we both blew out our trail runners! bawl.gif
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Bronco
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PostWed Jul 22, 2020 2:12 pm 
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We encountered a gauntlet of stinging nettles on the Grizzly Creek trail that my legs felt for 3 days afterwards but no caterpillars.  I think I'd take the nettles over the caterpillars, that's pretty gross.

The hike out to Bridge Creek trailhead is legendary in the soul sucking demoralizing category.
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pula58
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PostThu Jul 23, 2020 10:42 am 
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Awesome in every way!
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Bluebird
suffering optional



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suffering optional
PostThu Jul 23, 2020 2:21 pm 
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I appreciate all the kind comments, thank you! It's nice to hear that we aren't alone in thinking those ladies were total Karens up there. Geez. I agree, who wants a tent when you're on the summit with all the glory of the NCNP in every direction.

Also agree that I'd rather walk through miles of nettles than the caterpillars. Having done both, it's an educated opinion now.  embarassedlaugh.gif I will never look at caterpillars the same again. I wonder if this area is butterfly heaven some other time of year?

Amusing that Ryan, Brad and I all lost a pair of trail runners last weekend  bawl.gif  bawl.gif  bawl.gif This pair was on the out for a while, thought that the T200 trip Fletcher posted the TR for would do them in, but they survived for one more week. Haha. Luckily I have 5 more pairs of trail runners. I'll see what I can do to the next pair on vacation next week... biggrin.gif
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RAW-dad
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PostThu Jul 23, 2020 4:48 pm 
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Gnarly! up.gif  up.gif  up.gif
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Jeff
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PostThu Jul 23, 2020 5:52 pm 
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Crowds on Goode, I never thought that would be a common occurrence.

That video is impressive and I am glad you were able to capture it. Rockfall like that is not as rare as you might think.
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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PostThu Jul 23, 2020 10:57 pm 
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Thanks for having the presence of mind to video that rock fall. I can imagine the tension when it was far above and unclear where it might bounce. The rest of the TR is great too. I don't remember anyone ever telling a story about a caterpillar infestation like that before.

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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