Another amazing day in the Easter Sierra with amazing friend(s). No wind, perfect temps, and no one on the mountain. Mt. Goode is above Bishop, about 4 miles from the South Lake Trailhead. I skied the south side this winter, and was amazed at the beautiful north side with it's North buttress dividing the mountain in half. Mentioning it to my friend and lifelong climber Todd O was the smartest accidental thing that has come out of my mouth in awhile. He was psyched to go do this climb with me.
The climb was fairly easy, reaching 5.9 for a few moments in spots. There was a lot of loose rock, and retreating would be difficult. There wasn't a cloud in the sky all day and we were the only ones on the mountain.
These pics are from some other interent posting folks showing the route. Mt. Goode is 13,085'.
This shot is taken along the Bishop Pass Trail, about an hour into the hike. We started walking around 6am. I'm guessing we started climbing between 9-10am, and got to the top at 4pm. No racing involved, but things went smoothly.
At the end of Long Lake, we started off-trail towards the mountain on easy terrain. Just head for the buttress.
I hadn't yet done an alpine climb where you show up in shoes on summer hard glacial snow. The slope wasn't steep enough here where you would go flying down and get hurt (I think, I didn't test that). I followed Todd's technique which was kind of what I thought; get out the nut tool and stick it in the snow for a little more balance. I had a small rock in my other hand, and at one point needed to stick in the snow to step on for traction.
The way this climb works out is the odd pitches have a little 5.9, and the even ones are 5.8 or under. The rock and our fingers were a little cold at the start, and we were concerened about finding the neccessary traverse, so it made sense that Todd lead the first few pitches. We also didn't really know how long the climb would take. He's climbed around the world and put up a lot of first ascents as well. It didn't make much sense putting me in front. (but I made it happen a little later!)
pic on left is pitch 1. A few places to start, it all looked about 5.8 or less. Pic on right is pitch 2, a fun 5.8 crack.
The pic on the left is Todd doing the traverse. You downclimb on belay 15 feet and carefully pull up around loose flakes to put a nut in above them. This is called runout, but the nut seemed good. Neither person should fall going sideways on any climb obviously, or you're gonna be dealing with some problem or two. Then Todd stepped around some more on face moves and clipped an old Piton. The pic on the right is his belay. This isn't a real long stretch, and we could hear each other. No wind today helped too on communication.
Todd led pitch 4, which was the steepest part of the climb. This was really fun stemming with gear in 2 cracks.
After that Todd let in to me wanting to lead. I said dude, come on...it's only 5.4. He had no problem with it, we climbed the day before together. But It was a great nervous face I should have taken a picture of. Lots of rock fall potential still, this was careful climbing like all of it. You have to be careful what to grab and step on, and watch the rope too.
Then I got to lead the 5.8 chimney, which was pretty easy and really fun.
Todd took the pitch above that, which was low angle with one short harder crack he found maybe 5.9, and possibly avoidable.
I led the 5.7 short chimney near the top and found this chockstone really interesting. It was just barely wedged, so don't hang out there too long.
Todd did the last pitch, which had a tricky 5.9 start. The top pitches are awsome, as you swap sides of the arete twice. At the top he yells down to me "we have one more pitch" seeing if it gets to me. A common funny climber trick to play on your fiends I assume. At that moment I thought SWEET! This would have been welcome based on how the day was going.
But then you look at where you started, beyond all those lakes, and it's time to get outta there. We hung out on top for awhile in no hurry, and then walked for 2-3 hours to get back.
Looking south from the summit of Mt. Goode. The high peak in the foreground is Mt. Aggasiz. Behind that to the right is Thunderbolt, the most northern peak of the Palisades Crest. Above those lakes to the right is Bishop Pass, where the trail goes.
Make sure to attend Todd's Annual Lake Tahoe Film Fest in South Shore. This event sells out in advance, and is one of a kind. Like Todd. I'm going for sure.
Some of the route is visable here, looking back at the north buttress of Mt. Goode.
It's a great walk back!
Here are some pics from my ski tour in there during the spring of this year.