Goode Mountain Southwest Couloir via Bridge Creek + PCT / 古德山

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Goode Mountain, or Mount Goode, towers over Bridge Creek as North Cascades National Park’s highest point. Mount Logan and Storm King are two of its famous neighbors. Of the standard routes, southwest couloir via Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is the least challenging.

Kodak moment on Goode Mountain
Kodak moment on Goode Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Goode Mountain (Mount Goode) at a Glance

Access: Bridge Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 3800′-9200′
Gear: helmet, crampons, ice ax, rock & rope
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no pets

September 26-29, 2019

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4

Day 1 – Saturday, September 26
Approach to Goode Glacier
Night 1 – Goode Glacier Camp

Day 2 – Sunday, September 27
Goode Glacier Westbound Traverse
Night 2 – West Tower west shoulder @ 8280′

Day 3 – Monday, September 28
Southwest Couloir
Night 3 – Goode Mountain summit

Day 4 – Tuesday, September 29
Exit


Day 1

Approach to Goode Glacier

Overview > Day 1 Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4

The Preface

It’s only been a year since I came into the area with friends. Back then, the plan was to climb both Goode Mountain and Storm King. But the weather ended up not working in our favor, so I could only climb the latter.

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Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Southbound

Due to Goode Fire, North Cascades National Park officials had closed off access to Park Creek Trail. All season I’ve been waiting to check the mountain off my list. So instead, I went in from the north via Bridge Creek.

By going this way, I was able to use the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). While hiking along the trail, I also chatted with thru-hikers. Their journeys continued to inspire me. The walking downhill had made this part a breeze.

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North Fork Bridge Creek to Goode Glacier Camp

Views in the Bridge Creek Valley went for miles. I reached the North Fork Bridge Creek Trail fork late morning and rested a bit before continuing. But the weather took a drastic turn soon as I entered the valley.

It took careful route-finding to reach the bottom of Goode Glacier. Then I found a decent bivvy spot before dark and turned in shortly. I occasionally awoke to the rumbling from the glacier on this moonlit night.

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Day 2

Goode Glacier Westbound Traverse

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4

A Change in Plans

In the morning, I scratched the idea of the buttress as the rumbling continued. So I scouted out routes by going to the west end of the glacier. Soon, I stopped short of the buttress extending from the west tower.

I slowly went up while hugging the east of the buttress. I later went into a broad, steep gully to be on more moderate terrain. Then the route took me above the cliffs, where I continued without a hitch.

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The Hidden Glacier

Atop the gully below 8000′, a notch had forced me to downclimb onto a small glacier. At the end of the season, the edges had receded largely. And the only snow bridge had barely touched the bottom of the headwall.

I went onto the rocks after a few tries and soon slowly climbed the physically taxing 300′. The headwall with largely terrible rocks was as steep as it looked from below. So I tested every hold as I intensely inched upward.

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A Night on the Ledge

At last, I made it onto the ridge at 8280′ as the sky dimmed. Thankfully, I didn’t need to deal with that crazy isht in the dark. Then I ate dinner and my second night on a narrow ledge below north of the crest.

The constant south wind gusts kept me awake at night. So a few times, I came off the platform and wedged between rocks to be out of the wind. But on the upside, the moon was out again tonight, and so were the stars.

See more trip photos here.


Day 3

Southwest Couloir

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4

Goode Mountain West Tower

I worked my way up the ridge shortly after breakfast on a gorgeous day three. But what I had thought was the summit above me was, in fact, the west tower. I only realized it after two hours of sketchy climbing.

Soon, my jaw dropped when I saw the tall, backlit tower above me. Goode Mountain’s actual summit was towering across the deep notch separating the two peaks. So I rappelled twice and downclimbed to continue.

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En Route to Southwest Couloir

Soon, I went into the steep gully between the two summits in massive loose rocks. It was still a long way to the couloir. After two more hours, I made it to the flat area south of the summit, where we camped last year.

I vividly remembered traversing the moraine up to the couloir. It had snowed the night before, so everything in the gully had a dusting of snow and ice. Because of poor weather and wet rocks, we turned around by the entrance.

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The North Face

I hugged the left of the gully as the dark rocks there were solid. Then I slowly moved across a narrow ledge below the cliffs and soon followed a gravel path around to the north. From there, I saw the northeast buttress, plss the crisscrossing fissures across Goode Glacier.

The summit was within reach, except that the recent temperature drop had turned rain into pockets of thin ice. So I avoided the solid granite steps, then it took much longer to finish. Otherwise, it would’ve been enjoyable.

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Goode Mountain Summit Joy

At last, I reached the top shy of sunset, with the moon rising behind the Gardner Mountains. I hadn’t eaten since this morning, so I needed food and water. But I was ready to crash now after circumnavigating the big mountain.

But the upside? I spent my third and final night on the highest point in the North Cascades National Park. It was another moonlit night with the stars strewing across the sky. But it was incredibly windy like last night.

See more trip photos here.


Day 4

Exit

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4

Leaving Goode Mountain

The final morning was glorious but warm for late September as the wind gusts continued. I would’ve liked to spend more time before leaving. But I needed enough time for the long trek back to Highway 20.

Soon, I rappelled off the north side, which looked much steeper from the top. But by the time I started moving, the sun had melted the ice from the evening before. So the descent back to the gravel ledge went by smoothly.

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The Low-Key Exit

The hike out on the PCT ended up taking longer than expected. Even after a good night’s rest, I needed more sleep. I also couldn’t move fast, going uphill. But someone, anyone, come and drag me up the trail!

Before long, the moon was out once again. Then I took several power naps along the way as the night deepened. Not sure where I got the energy to walk all night. But I made it back to the car at the first light.

A windy night on Goode Mountain
A windy night on Goode Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4

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