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North America, U.S., Washington, Cascades, Mt. Goode by Catamaran

Mt. Goode by Catamaran, Cascades. One of the important unclimbed faces among the large peaks in the Northern Cascades was the east face of Mt. Goode, rising in a long rock and ice precipice from the North Fork of Bridge Creek. To reach it one must voyage to the head of Lake Chelan, take a car up the road to Bridge Creek, then follow the trail to the head of the north fork.

My 18-foot sailing catamaran provided a unique and independent means of reaching the head of the lake; by noon July 18th John Parrott and I had motored and sailed the 40 miles from the state park to Stehekin. Later in the day we secured transportation and hiked seven miles up the trail. Darkness caught us crossing the torrent of a side stream; after a wetting we managed to find a dry spot in the snow-patched forest to build a fire and bivouac. Since we planned to descend by the west side, we did not take along sleeping bags and cooking utensils, but relied on the fire and extra clothing for warmth.

July 19th dawned clear. We began early and with difficulty wound our way for an hour through thick brush, then found a snow bridge across the main stream. In several more hours we climbed mixed snow slopes toward the great east face, constantly studying it for the best route. On the well-crevassed glacier at its foot we roped up. Soon the angle steepened. We climbed up a steep snow wall, crossed two narrow snow bridges, and then climbed a steep ice chimney between snow and rock. Rather than take to the rock, we climbed a very steep 1000-foot glacier apron in crampons. This section was quite exposed but provided good footing. Once on the rock at the top, we were at an elevation of over 8,000 feet, and in two hours of very interesting climbing on broken granite we reached the summit. We used pitons for safety twice; otherwise belays provided safe stances. The rock was steep but sufficiently broken to permit fast climbing along little minor arĂȘtes. Shortly after three in the afternoon we rejoiced on top, ate a snack, and prepared to descend to the road before darkness. The weather changed the next day, and with a strong down-lake wind we sailed the catamaran back in just over four hours.

Fred Beckey