North Buttress of Mt. Goode Trip Report 8/9/09
This TR is dedicated to dirtineye because I wish him well and he inspired this earlier trip report of this route..
Climb on Dirt!
We got up at 5:30 or so and brewed some coffee and I had my last meal of the day, walnut bread and cheese. Experience has shown that I will not be eating or drinking much at altitude. We started off up the Bishop Pass Trail at around 6:30.
Full Moon Over Parking Lot
It was a beautiful day all day long.
Hokusai Brennen’s Thirty Six Views Of Mt. Goode
We cruised up to Long Lake at a mellow pace. I hadn’t been above 9,000 feet this year and I figured I needed to “start slow and taper”. We took about an hour and a half until we went off trail. We strolled across Sierra meadows, where there are a lot of flowers who think it is still spring. As we started up the first big talus slope I started to feel the altitude, about 11,700 feet. So I slowed down. “Start slow and taper.” As I topped over the last moraine it was clear that this flower was in better shape than I was.
It took another 1:45 to get to below the snow field. We racked up and I ate a few Clif shot blocks. We stared up at the spectacular North Buttress.
We both grabbed a couple of sharp rocks as hand axes and I followed Bob up the snow field. As it got steeper it was a matter of slam in your two rocks, kick a couple of steps, and repeat. At the top when it steepened I started chopping the steps with my rock. My right hand rock was a lovely thing about 7 inches long with a wicked sharp point, a great tool. My left rock did the job but just wasn’t as fun, shorter and blunter. Bob threw down the rope for me for the last 20 feet, which I was happy about as it was steep and hard. I moved around the corner to the snow trough at the start of the route and put in a solid donini belay. It was now 10:30.
The Donini BD#3 belay™
We elected to do the start in the Supertopo and the Croft guidebooks because it is apparently the original way and because it was easier and therefore faster. I graciously offered Bob the odd pitches, which have all the cruxes, because it would be faster. He was soon moving upward. About thirty feet up I suddenly hear, “rock, rock.” I plastered my self onto the face and three fist size rocks ricocheted of my helmet. It got quiet and “Sorry, there is a lot of rock on all the ledges” comes down. I thought of Flouride taking the big hit, scary. This route has a lot of loose rock lieing around and requires careful rope management.
The second half of P1 has a great 5.8 thinish crack.
Looking up P2.
P2 starts with the super cool 5.8 hand/fist crack. It seems like almost every pitch had some super cool bit of climbing, whatever the grade. I do remember thinking as I finished this pitch that you better have the whole 5.8 technical repertoire down it you want to move quickly. After the crack I could not find any pro until the belay maybe 35 feet. I was unhappy at the time but the climbing is pretty reasonable. This climb has some mandatory runouts on easier terrain. This is some alpine climbing. We are definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
P3 traverse. A great pitch.
The chimney at the end is fun. P4 is kind of scrappy.
The crux kind of unfolds in an interesting and fun way. The pro is excellent.
P6 is where I had my little adventure. The Supertopo is just plain wrong. After you do the fun chimney you go straight up. You don’t go to the right at all. Of course I did. The topo shows you move up and right for half the remaining pitch and up and left for the second half. I moved up and right for forty feet and was soon looking over the arete to a large steep wall. This ain’t no 5.5. I down climb twenty feet and looking up a crack/gully see what appears to be a left trending ledge to the belay spot. I put in a piece of pro and move up the grainy, rounded double cracks for 35 feet of no pro until I get a good #3. I look around the corner...no ledge system. There is the belay ledge 20 blank feet away. Dang! I could tension traverse? Instead I put in a great #10 stopper and lower myself back down 50 feet, anchor myself, pull the rope down and tie back in. Meanwhile Bob is way out of sight wondering what is going on. The rope goes up, the rope goes down, the rope goes back up again.... Now on the 5.5, I scramble to the belay. Bob comes up with a big old grin and as I shake my head about my lead, he says, “Look where we are!” We both look around at the mountains all around us smiling like a couple of kids. Bob dashes around the corner on the reletively easy P6. Soon I’m moving up another cool chimney.
Twice I’ve not reached the summit on Humphreys East Arete Route. Beautiful peak.
I do the little “tunnel through”. Bob, with Croft’s blessing, skips the optional boulder problem and cranks on through short steep moves to the top. It was 4:30. Six hours on the climb.
Summit shot, Zander. Is it nap time?
Summit shot, Bob with the Palisades
By this time I was dead meat. I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything since P2. Meanwhile, Bob was just happy as a clam. Eating up a storm. He had gotten some kind of second wind for the last three pitches. We start the long trudge down the backside talus and scree to the trail. After a while Bob took most of my gear and we went a little faster. Thanks for that Bob. I finally stumbled to the car about 8:00. Feeling a lot better at the lower elevation but, man, was I hungry. Great climb y’all. Get on it.