North Buttress 5.9

  • Currently 3.0/5

Mt. Goode

High Sierra, California USA

Trip Report
Mt Goode! A family TR

by Buju
Sunday September 13, 2009 4:56pm
After a successful climb of Mt. Conness last year (Up the W. Ridge and down the N. Ridge) Team R^3 (Rick Batha, Robin Batha, and Roger Putnam) decided that we should step it up a notch. Rick had been having visions of Clyde Minaret for many years, so we went to the Mammoth permitting office to get a wilderness permit for Labor Day weekend! Apparently, everyone and their mother wants to go into the backcountry on this weekend (who would’ve guessed it???). A quick re-arrangement of our plans had us packing out of Bishop Creek the next day to climb another classic on our list. MT. Goode!! Here is the mountain:

Unfortunately, Robin left the packing up to us boys! Big mistake! We ended up bringing wine instead of helmets! Not a good idea on a route notorious for its loose rock! Thank goodness the Mammoth thrift store was open. For 3 dollars, we scored a construction helmet and a ski helmet (the latter a gift from a nice man who overheard our plight and had an extra in his car). A few decorations later, we were ready to go!

Unbeknownst to us, snowfields in September have a tendency to turn to ice. After crossing a bergshrund that had filled with water-ice, Roger embarked up the steep ice, John Muir ice tools (rocks) in hand. A terrified Robin rushed over to belay him from the bergshrund.

Robin and Rick followed, with a belay from Roger, thereby completing the crux of the route.

Apparently, North facing mountains in September are extremely cold. Desite wearing a ski helmet (which kept her head quite warm), after the ice crossing Robin’s feet were quite cold. What a great father Rick is!

Father and daughter loving it!

Rick following the unprotected 5.9 traverse on pitch 3. If YOU plan on doing this route, make sure you go up the face to the left of the chimney at the end of the traverse. It is MUCH easier and safer!

Roger leading the crux pitch. He linked it with the next one, allowing Robin to lead the rest of the climb in 3 pitches! GLORIOUS!

Robin looking stylish in the ski helmet!

Robin + Roger on the summit ridgeline.

Rick following up the summit ridge! Sierra GLORY!!

Just when you think the ride is over, there is a wild 5.7 chockstone tunnel through chimney!

Rick enjoying the final summit ridge with all of its exposure!

Daughter belaying father up to the summit!

Serious summit pose!

Ridiculous summit pose!

All in all, the N Buttress of Mt. Goode was an amazing adventure with a couple of amazing people. I highly recommend the route, despite the looseness of some of the rock. If there are people above you (which seems unlikely as only 5 parties had claimed an ascent of this route this summer in the summit register), you should go bouldering and make it back to whiskey creek in time for happy hour!


  Trip Report Views: 2,614
About the Author
Buju is a trad climber from the range of light.

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Chugach Man

Anchorage / Los Angeles
  Sep 13, 2009 - 05:15pm PT
Nice work! I love that route, and enjoyed the TR.
mark miller

Social climber
  Sep 13, 2009 - 05:48pm PT
Great Tr and pics thanx, I'll throw the route on to do list.

Social climber
mammoth lakes
  Sep 13, 2009 - 06:27pm PT
what a cool family!

  Sep 13, 2009 - 07:48pm PT
Wow ! Nice work !!
Captain...or Skully

Boise, ID
  Sep 13, 2009 - 07:53pm PT
Killer TR. Stole the show with your pics, especially your summit shots.
WooHoo! Looks frickin' awesome up there.
Chateau Rico

Sport climber
Davis, CA
  Sep 13, 2009 - 08:17pm PT
Hey Roger, GREAT TR!!!

Well, I guess I better post. I'm the "Rick" in the TR. I want to thank once again those two crankin maniacs for the adventure. I wrote in the register it was my proudest mountain yet, and I've climbed a few dozen. I mean: No permit, no helmets, frozen approach, loose rock, challenging route finding, (done pretty much perfectly), NO PROBLEM! Old carcass, mine that is, not much either!


  Sep 13, 2009 - 08:30pm PT
Oh Yeah!
Great TR.

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
  Sep 13, 2009 - 08:32pm PT
Huzzah to great photos and a nice TR!

Social climber
  Sep 13, 2009 - 08:38pm PT
Really swell post.
What fun!
Great pics too.

Trad climber
northern CA
  Sep 14, 2009 - 11:53am PT
Great TR & photos - looks like you all had an absolute blast!!

Sport climber
Vacaville, CA
  Sep 14, 2009 - 12:00pm PT
Wow that looked like an amazing time! Grats on keeping the family climbing!

Trad climber
  Sep 14, 2009 - 12:13pm PT
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California, now Ireland
  Sep 14, 2009 - 02:31pm PT
Jealousy, envy.

I have just succumbed to some of the original sins (or something like that). Great TR.
Alex Baker

  Sep 14, 2009 - 02:34pm PT
And a toast to A-Bomb for making it happen. I think he was the first to lead ice with rocks in hand.

Cheers Rog,Robin,and Chateau Rico


Social climber
Lida Junction
  Sep 14, 2009 - 02:56pm PT
I've heard good things about that route.
one day perhaps

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Sep 14, 2009 - 03:04pm PT
climbing content, me likey

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
  Sep 14, 2009 - 10:34pm PT
Really nice!!

I've got to do this one. Thanks for the post up.

Oh, and a partner to warm the feet... priceless...
David Wilson

  Sep 14, 2009 - 10:40pm PT
very nice job! nothing like climbing with your kid

Mammoth Lakes, CA
  Sep 14, 2009 - 11:24pm PT
Nice one Roger, you and Robin are gettin AFTER IT! Let's talk about a fall wall sometime at Sal's...
Ryan from the Hulk...

Social climber
Just who wants to know...
  Sep 14, 2009 - 11:39pm PT
Family fun in the sun (and the shade)! Nice TR. Thanks for sharing.

Trad climber
  Sep 14, 2009 - 11:52pm PT
"Goode" TR

Way to go with the family
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Oct 17, 2011 - 10:15pm PT
Alpine Bump
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Mt. Goode - North Buttress 5.9 - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The route as seen from the final approach to the snowfield.
Photo: Chris McNamara