North Buttress 5.9

 
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Mt. Goode


High Sierra, California USA


Trip Report
North Buttress of Goode day-hike (Photo TR)
Wednesday June 27, 2012 1:52am
June 16, 2012

2012-06-16 - Nic starting the P3 lead (5.9 face traverse). Thi...
2012-06-16 - Nic starting the P3 lead (5.9 face traverse). This pitch was pretty wild.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Nic Risser and I climbed the N Buttress of Mt Goode (III, 5.9+) car-to-car. We drove through the night and immediately left the trailhead at 3:30 am, reaching the base of the route at 5:30 am. We ate breakfast and enjoyed the alpenglow as the sun rose and warmed the rock. We started P1 at 7:30 and topped out about 3pm. The route was great! While there was some loose rock, it was no worse than Temple Crag. The route gave us everything from face climbing to wild mantels & stems, finger to fist cracks, OW & chimneys. The 5.9 pitches were stout, and the traversing pitch was runout. There was a fast team from Bishop that was also on the route behind us. It was a busy day on Goode!

2012-06-16 - North Buttress of Goode as we reached the permanent snowf...
2012-06-16 - North Buttress of Goode as we reached the permanent snowfield. Pitches are as we climbed with a 70m rope (should work with 60m). Optional belays are the other SuperTopo belays.
Credit: PellucidWombat

2012-06-16 - North Buttress of Goode just before sunrise.Pitches are a...
2012-06-16 - North Buttress of Goode just before sunrise.Pitches are as we climbed with a 70m rope (should work with 60m). Optional belays are the other SuperTopo belays.
Credit: PellucidWombat

2012-06-16 - Mt Goode on the descent.Pitches are as we climbed with a ...
2012-06-16 - Mt Goode on the descent.Pitches are as we climbed with a 70m rope (should work with 60m). Optional belays are the other SuperTopo belays.
Credit: PellucidWombat

Note: MountainProject has an excellent annotated photo of the route. It shows pitches that more closely match what we climbed. I recommend looking at it in addition to the SuperTopo topo.

Approach


Hurd Pk at sunrise.

The approach was very easy and straightforward. The trail was over before we knew it, and even in the dark the cross country section fell together very well. Even the talus section was short and the rocks stacked fairly solidly. After 2 hours of moderate effort we were at the base.


North Buttress of Goode under alpenglow.

We ate a leisurely breakfast as we enjoyed the morning light show on Mt Goode, racked up, and studied the route.


Upper section of the North Buttress of Goode under alpenglow. You can clearly see the crux 5.9 finger crack and 5.8 chimney of pitches 5 & 6!


North Buttress of Goode at sunrise.


North Buttress of Goode at sunrise.


Approaching the North Buttress of Goode. We headed up and right and traversed back left on some slabs (cl. 2), right along the shadow line.

The snow was hard packed, but just the right consistency to need nothing more than approach shoes. We made short work hiking up the snow and traversing a cl. 2 ledge on the cl. 4 slab (perhaps the snow height determines the difficulty?). By 7:30 we were starting the first pitch.

(Pitches are according to the SuperTopo Topos. I linked pitches 1 & 2, 5 & 6)
Pitch 1-2


Hurd Pk


Starting mixed face & crack climbing on Pitch 1 (5.8 hands & fingers) linked with P2 (5.8 hands to wide hands).

The first pitch started out thin, and more face climbing with the occasional crack move. It was cold in the shade, so it was nice to delay the jamming a bit.


Looking down P1. Cold rock - brr!


Last bit of Pitch 1 (5.8 hands & fingers) linked with P2 (5.8 hands to wide hands).


P2 (5.8 hands to wide hands) ascends that nice corner!

I continued past rapp slings at the P1 anchor and up the P2 corner. This pitch was great! Solid Type I fun for sure.


P2 (5.8)(linked with P1). A #4 Camalot was nice to get started. Higher up a #3 worked well.

You could put smaller pro pieces in the little crack to the right, but if you're linking this with P1, as I was, you'll have used your smaller gear on P1 and have your larger gear left over. Also, the crack was easy enough to leapfrog pieces if you didn't want to run it out. I only used 2 pieces in the crack but never felt insecure moving the cams between jams.


Looking up at Peter Croft's new route "North Buttress Deluxe" (5.11) I took these photos as the cracks caught my eye, but I had no idea a recent FA had been done on them!


Looking up at Peter Croft's new route "North Buttress Deluxe" (5.11)

The pitch ends on sloping slabs with very few opportunities for pro. I climbed up and right, and then back down and left on a higher ledge before belaying Nic up.

Pitch 3

Nic passed below me and traversed over to a very hollow looking flake. This may have been a better belay spot, but I didn't like the idea of building an anchor in that flake!


Nic starting the P3 lead (5.9 face traverse). This pitch was pretty wild.


Nic starting the P3 lead (5.9 face traverse). This pitch was pretty wild.


Nic starting the P3 lead (5.9 face traverse). This pitch was pretty wild.

Nic spent a lonnnng time leading this pitch. Since he regularly leads 5.10 face climbs, this did not bode well for me having a nice time following the traverse. Eventually rope drag stopped him short, at the regular belay (we had hoped to link the next 2 pitches), and after an hour of effort, it was my turn to get scared.


Following the P3 5.9 face traverse. Those flakes and the one I am grabbing are a little hollow!


Knifeblade at the crux on the P3 5.9 face traverse. This protects the leader, but not the follower! Nic should have clipped the horizontal eyelet for a more secure placement as this would torque the blade into the crack, increasing the friction against pullout.


Exposure at the P3 face traverse crux.

At first the face climbing was just exposed, but not too bad. Then I got to the knifeblade piton and couldn't find enough features to use to get to the second corner. I hesitated to unclip the piton, as I was worried about taking a swing into the unknown around the corner, but I wasn't sure if I could reach back to unclip it. I climbed up, climbed down, and eventually decided I could backclean. A few delicate smears and I grabbed the edge, reached back and unclipped the piton, then swing back around the corner and onto a narrow ledge.

It was good I did the crux this way! I had to climb another 15 ft or so on a narrow ledge and down into the chimmney, where the next piece of pro was - a slung chockstone. If the follower unclips the piton and falls, they would take about a 15-20 ft blind pendulum around the corner and splatter into the 5.9 face climb to the left of the chimney. This face had sparse pro (Nic made good use of the C3 cams), and was only slightly easier than the crux. Nic had to wander all over the face to find pro and find his way through, as the two didn't really coincide. After an hour of nervous following, I finally made it up to the belay ledge.


Looking down the chimney (left) or 5.9 with poor pro (right) variations of P3.


Pitch 4


Nic leading P4 (5.5). This was one of the loosest pitches, but still not too bad.

Since Nic hadn't linked the next pitch, he set off again. He is new to alpine climbing, so even though this pitch was easy, he climbed slowly and carefully as it had loose rock and I would be in the fall line of anything he knocked off.


Reaching the notch on P4. P5 is above.



Pitch 5-6


P5 thin cracks.

I reached the notch and we had a leisurely lunch in the sunshine as we pondered the next pitch. I was a bit confused as to where I should go, as I saw three options for climbing through the roof. A direct attack looked best at first, since it was short and the angle eased off right after the roof.


P5 5.9 crux follows the thin crack on the right using a combination of jams, sidepulls, and stems.

I stemmed up below the roof and saw the center option to be more of a flaring, insecure crack, sort of OW-ish and probably not 5.9. The crack to the right was looking more appealing, although it was steep, often too thin to jam or often flaring, and leaned at a funny angle. However, it was barely close enough to do a wide and delicate stem from crack to corner, and it took small pro in sections where you couldn't jam anyways.


Approaching the crux 5.9 crack on P5.


P5 roof crux. I wasn't sure which of my 3 options was the correct one, and in the end decided on the thin crack to my right.

After the thin crack is a nice ledge that is a belay in the SuperTopo guide. I knew I could link the next pitch, so I kept on climbing up easy terrain and into a bizarre hanging chimney.


Looking up the P6 chimney (5.8) which I linked with P5.


Looking up the P6 chimney (5.8) which I linked with P5.

The chimney wasn't too hard and barely required any chimneying technique. There are plenty of face features to use throughout. Leading with a pack, however, required some lack of shame in awkwardly grinding my way up the slot.


Gendarme near the P6 belay.


Nic coming up P6.



Pitch 7


Looking up P7 (5.6).

Nic set off intending to link pitches 6 & 7, but the terrain was block enough that rope drag stopped him short again.


Following cl. 4 terrain on P7 (5.6).



Pitch 8 & 9


Looking down P8 just before the tunnel through (5.7).

I continued on and got roughly to the corner I thought I should climb up. It wasn't that obvious where to go, but I settled on a nice OW-ish 5.7 corner that led up to a chockstone spanning two gendarmes that I thought was the tunnel-through.


Nic following tunnel-through at the end of P8 (5.7).

I'm not sure if this is the 'correct' tunnel-through, as there was a tighter one to my left from this shot, and I believe the SuperTopo tunnel-through is tight?


P9 SuperTopo 5.7 variation. I found a better variation straight up the crest on the right.

Nic was nice enough to let me grab the last pitch as well. The 5.7 corner was obvious, but so was a nice crack that went directly up the center of the crest. It was steep, but it didn't look too hard and obviously met up with the standard finish.


P9 direct variation. Starts as a fist crack and quickly turns into an OW. Bring that #4 Camalot!


Looking down the direct variation to P9.

This variation was really fun! The upper OW is easier than it looks due to face features around and inside. It starts out wide and tapers to a #4 Camalot size near the top.


P9 zig-zag cracks on the ridge crest.


P9 nice hand crack right on the crest. Almost at the summit!


End of P9. The 5.8-5.9 boulder problem ascends the pinch between rocks on the left. It was a fun move to make, and the last one of the climb.



Summit Views

We had rough plans to meet some friends at the summit, whom we had left sleeping in the car at the TH. So we took our time and enjoyed the views and chatted with the climbers in the party behind us.


Summit log. We just missed Peter Croft! I had been wondering about that variation and just happened to photograph it.


Isosceles Pk


Devils Crag


Picture Puzzle and Aperture Pk.


Mt Agassiz.


The 2,000 ft scarp of the Palisades rising above Dusy Basin.


Palisades summits - The Lightning Rod (left), Thunderbolt Pk summit, The Milkbottle (Starlight Pk, center), and North Palisade (highest).


Descent

We hung around an hour or so before heading down one of the nicest descends in the Sierra - a little bit of cl. 3 boulder downclimbing, and then sandy slopes galore straight down to the trail! Another highlight is that you are rewarded with some nice views of the ridge you had just climbed as you hike out.


Mt Goode on the descent.


Mt Goode and Long Lake.

As we hiked out, our sleep deprivation kicked in, hitting us like a wall. We wandered down in a surreal dizzying daze. Our three friends were already back at the car, so we hopped in and headed to the Mammoth hot springs for a perfect ending of a perfect day. Tomorrow we would all climb the NE Gully of Laurel Mountain together to round off the weekend.

  Trip Report Views: 2,287
PellucidWombat
About the Author
PellucidWombat is a mountain climber from Berkeley, CA.

Comments
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Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Jun 27, 2012 - 01:59am PT
good envy and admiration. Looks like a nice route!
bergbryce

climber
East Bay, CA
  Jun 27, 2012 - 02:07am PT
Nice TR.
I climbed with Nic one weekend a few years ago. He climbed hard off the couch. Spent lots of summers in the Valley as a kid as I recall.

Nice pics.
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 27, 2012 - 02:58am PT
Yep, Nic's been a great partner. He has been the rope gun on the face cruxes, while I have had some fun introducing him to the wyde. We should have some fun together on some Valley obscurities this winter!
Ascanio Pignatelli

Mountain climber
CA
  Jun 27, 2012 - 02:53pm PT
Climbing with Nic is always a blast. We have not tied in since 2003/4? Way too long!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jun 27, 2012 - 03:04pm PT
Thanks!

Day "hike" being used in a rather flexible manner, though.
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 27, 2012 - 03:30pm PT
There was only a very short section of the topographic map where we were not hiking :-)
rfshore

Trad climber
Santa Barbara, CA
  Jun 27, 2012 - 04:47pm PT
Very cool! Did this one last year. I distinctly remember looking up at those thin cracks above P2 and thinking "that looks like it will go". Little did I know I nobody had climbed them yet!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jun 27, 2012 - 05:14pm PT
Very nice! Excellent pictures and TR. I've always been interested in this climb. Now I'm really interested.

Thanks for your always excellent TR's.

John
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
  Jun 27, 2012 - 07:33pm PT
Nice "day-hike" report and such goode pics - nay, great pics!

Added the route to my must do before I get old tick list.

Thanks for posting!
Zander

climber
  Jun 27, 2012 - 07:38pm PT
Nice!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
  Jun 27, 2012 - 07:56pm PT
Mr. Wombat your offerings are superb!
This makes a nice pairing with your recent South Face of Clyde Minaret TR.

Wasn't your initial splash into the forum made with that tongue-in-cheek aid traverse on some pedestrian wall in Berkeley?

I've been away from the forum in the interim: looks like I best be checking out your TR chain in total.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 27, 2012 - 09:36pm PT
Nice job mark, er wombad,

Typical stellar quality TR.

What kinda camera are you shooting with????
Thanks!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jun 27, 2012 - 10:04pm PT
Pretty pretty good, Mark. Loved it.

Can't imagine driving through the night from Oakland and then firing off from the trailhead... Such disrespect for circadian rhythm, ha ha.
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 27, 2012 - 11:21pm PT
Wasn't your initial splash into the forum made with that tongue-in-cheek aid traverse on some pedestrian wall in Berkeley?
That was my second splash. My first jump in was two Mt Rainier Trip reports of some back-to-back weekends on Liberty Ridge and Ptarmigan Ridge. I do go back and forth between the serious trip reports and the silly ones though. Ice climbing Tenaya Lake has got to be my best outing since that hooking traverse ;-) That traverse did prep me well for leading the LAS Tip that Fall, so it was only half in jest.

What kinda camera are you shooting with????

Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS point and shoot. I was going to lug up a Nikon D40 DSLR in hopes of getting some night shots, but sadly we got in too late.

Can't imagine driving through the night from Oakland and then firing off from the trailhead... Such disrespect for circadian rhythm, ha ha.

That's been my regular Friday night for alpine trad climbs this summer. Done it 5 times so far this season, and doing it again this weekend! Baaaarf :-) Although there is something nice about firing off the approach when you're antsy from the car ride, warm & warmed up. Also nice to do it in that bubble of light with the I-Pod playing to psych up for the climb - somehow the approach seems shorter this way. However, it seems that about 3pm without fail you really hit the sleep wall and stumble down in a daze . . .
mwatsonphoto

Trad climber
Culver City, CA
  Jun 28, 2012 - 12:07am PT
Very cool! I was just up there last weekend to climb this route. Left my camera in the car by mistake. What a fun climb!!
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 9, 2012 - 04:31pm PT
Writing finished.

Fun climb indeed! I'd say this is one of the good and easy car-to-car trad climbs in the Sierra. Sort of like Bear Creek Spire and a good 'first' one to do if you're a trad climber looking to get into alpine climbing and do not have a peakbagging background.
spyork

Trad climber
Tunneling out of prison
  Jul 9, 2012 - 04:45pm PT
Cool TR. That climb sounds kinda scarey!

I saw your signature in the Eichorn Pinnacle register from Mid January this year. We were the next ones to sign it in late May.

Steve
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 10, 2012 - 09:30pm PT
Time for me to go back and do the direct variation of the W Pillar, lightning permitting this weekend :-) The regular variation of the W Pillar in January was good too, with some interesting wide stuff, which made it a bit more tolerable climbing in the cold! I think Tioga Pass closed for the winter the day after we climbed Eichorn.
msiddens

Trad climber
  Jul 10, 2012 - 11:42pm PT
Great read thanks. Chased off this last year, now is the time for round two!
T H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Jul 11, 2012 - 01:50am PT
Goode god man!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Jul 11, 2012 - 02:03am PT
Saweet job on a stellar climb!
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jul 20, 2012 - 09:06pm PT
Goode TR!
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
  Jul 20, 2012 - 10:59pm PT
Nice early start you guys.
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
  Sep 19, 2012 - 12:15am PT
Climbed this thing in '03 or '04. one of my favorites. Great photos and report. Proud.
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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