Photos from this trip can be found here.
This area between Goodell and Bacon Creek drainages I’d not explored yet driven past numerous times on Highway 20. With the exception of Mount Triumph and peaks on the southern horizon, most of the nearby high points didn’t look at all familiar.
Turnoff at the inconspicuous decommissioned road (Road 3745) started at 2245′. Pups and I took the road to its end, and negotiated most brush, slide alder, down trees, and mud puddles on hikers left. Snow appeared around mile 1.5, firm enough to walk in boots and only punched through a few times. I put on snowshoes before tributary of Damnation Creek and found a log to cross the raging water. Real climbing started at 3,400 where I ditched the snowshoes.
South ridge was steepest from 3,600′ to 4,600′, snow free until around 4,000′. Too steep to walk in snowshoes, I waited until terrain finally tapered off at 4,600′ to put them on. At 5,000′ a wide and steep gully (perfect setup for avalanches) forced us to get around the steep slopes on climbers right.
From 5,200′ to the top was the most enjoyable and scenic part of the climb, where every high point around us had finally taken shape. About 150 horizontal feet down from the top, we transitioned from snow onto a group of large boulders. I left snow gear at the bottom thinking we were on the summit, but quickly went back down and grabbed everything to finish the last bit.
Mount Triumph and Mount Despair alone could make me stare for hours. OMG, Mount Baker, Mount Blum, Bacon, Canadian Bacon, and the tip of Mount Shuksan! There were also the Snowfield group, some of Icecap group, Big Devils, Snowking, Razorback, and the top of Glacier Peak! Mount Triumph was in the way of Picket Range of most eastern peaks, but I managed to catch a glimpse of Mount Fury.
On the way down I ditched the snowshoes at 4,600′ before it got steep again, plunge stepped our way back down to 4,000′ and re-entered the old growth forest.
Gear: snowshoes, ice axe