North Buttress 5.9
Trip ReportMt Goode! A family TR
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!
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