North America, United States, Goode Mountain, Megalodon (east) Ridge

Publication Year: 2008.

Goode Mountain, Megalodon (east) Ridge. After speaking with alpinists who had eyed or attempted Goode’s east ridge, and after finding recent bail slings on an attempt myself, I couldn’t get the climb out of my mind. I described the monster to Sol Wertkin, also from Bellingham, and we approached the peak from Rainy Pass on September 5. Sol dubbed the route “Megalodon Ridge,” paying homage to a long-extinct sea-monster with curving fins and sharp teeth. After hiking nine miles on the Pacific Crest Trail and two more up the North Fork of Bridge Creek, we left the trail at an obvious clearing before Grizzly Creek and climbed to the toe of a clean-looking arête that descends northeast from the main ridge. We scrambled up a pitch of 5th-class at dusk and settled down for an exposed bivy on a bench below the technical climbing.

The next morning we began simul-climbing the arête. After two hours we surmounted the 8,200' tower where the arête joins the southeast extension of the ridge (labeled Memaloose Ridge on the USGS topo). We made a 50m rappel from a nut we placed near the top. From there Sol and I swapped leads and did running belays along the crest, encountering climbing up to 5.8. As we neared the headwall of the Southeast Peak, the rock steepened abruptly. The direct line on the crest yielded two pitches of 5.10 crack climbing and an exciting bit of stemming on tenuous blocks. From the Southeast Peak we skirted the icy moat to the final gendarmes. The crux came when we attempted to descend into Black Tooth Notch, the last major gap before the summit. Sol down-led an overhanging pitch of 5.10 above the Goode Glacier, which I had dismissed as an option that “would not go.” Using beta that Sol shouted across, I reached his belay alcove, and after a few more pitches of easier climbing we reached the summit (IV+ 5.10). We bivied atop the peak that night and the next day descended to Park Creek and hiked back to our car, arriving thoroughly thrashed, yet satisfied.


Blake Herrington

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