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August 4th, 2020
NE Buttress Mt. Goode
The approach to the NE Buttress of Mt. Goode is in great shape. The trail is clear until the last mile of the North Fork trail, which has some areas of heavy brush. The North Fork Bridge Creek crossing is about mid calf deep and straightforward. The approach requires unprotected scrambling up 3rd and 4th class slabs to the “Alder Tunnel,” an easier-than-it-looks bushwhack up through an Alder grove.
The Goode Glacier is in good shape and currently fairly simple to enter and navigate. The moat between the glacier and the rock (near the “Red Ledges”) involves about 10’ of downclimbing into the moat. This feature will likely melt out soon and create a more challenging problem to negotiate.
The NE Buttress itself is in great shape. We found one snow patch on the route at around 8,500ft (near a small bivy site). We found no other snow on the route. The summit was snow free. Plan accordingly if you are planning to camp on the summit.
The rappells to the Black Tooth Notch and into the Southwest Couloir are in good shape, but please remember to FULLY inspect all rappel stations yourself before committing! There is a large snow patch in the SW couloir that provides some water.
A few reminders: This area is in the Goode Cross Country zone and a permit is required for overnight camping. If you plan to camp on the route or the summit, please use blue bags to pack out all solid human waste.
June 20, 2020
Colonial and Snowfield Area Climbing Conditions
The approach to the Colonial and Snowfield Cross Country Zones and the Colonial and Neve Glaciers are still in early season conditions. The climbers route begins by going around the west side of Pyramid Lake (no camping allowed at the lake!) before beginning to climb steeply up to the ridge separating Colonial and Pyramid Creeks. The trail is in standard condition and easy to follow up to the ridge. Expect to encounter snow soon after gaining the ridge (~4500ft), and becomes consistent after ascending the second of three steps up the ridge (~5000ft). The upper Colonial and Neve glaciers have ample snow coverage and currently present few navigational challenges.
Take caution that the North Cascades alpine is still undergoing a melt-freeze cycle during this time, and conditions have yet to stabilize, expect deep unconsolidated snow and challenging walking conditions until there is another hard freeze or the late-season snow melts out. Small wet slab avalanches and large cornice collapses were also noted throughout the area. Most common times for natural avalanches this time of year are during sunny afternoons/evenings or periods of warm rainy weather. The bivy sites on the Colonial Glacier moraine and the Colonial/Neve col have melted out. Please remember to bring enough blue bags to carry out solid human waste above tree line!
June 12, 2020
September 6, 2019
Conditions on the access trail are in standard conditions, with steep uphill hiking and many blowdowns across the approach trail. The approach trail is an un-maintained route that gains approximately 5000’ of elevation. Some bushwhacking and off trail navigation is required in order to locate the fisherman’s trail adjacent to Blum Creek. The trail is faint for the first ¼ to ½ mile, but once the trail starts climbing up the ridge it become more obvious with flagging marking the way in some places. At approximately 4500’ the trail becomes faint again and some navigation / bushwhacking is required in order to travel to the Blum Lakes area. Many blue berries and huckleberries are present along the approach route.
If camping at Blum Lakes please use a previously impacted site (do not camp on vegetation) and no fires please! A bear was sighted at the lower Blum Lake, so please use a bear canister or UR sack to store your food. Additionally, please pack out any TP, as some TP was located at the lower Blum Lake. The SW ridge of Mt. Blum was in a good shape, no snow travel was required. Some loose rock is encountered on the climb to the ridge and a short step of exposed 3 rd class climbing is required to access the ridge. This is a beautiful, seldom used area of North Cascades National Park, please help us protect and conserve this wild area.
September 1, 2019
The route up to Sahale peak from the camp requires glacier travel, there are currently several crevasses opening up and very little snow. Traveling on steep ice requires mountaineering equipment such as ice axes, crampons and ropes. Please do not attempt to summit unless you have experience with mountaineering.
July 24, 2019
Terror Basin Approach / Goodell Creek / Southern Pickets
Starting from Upper Goodell Group Camp the unmaintained old logging road / approach route is brushy and has a number of downed logs over the “trail”. The approach route up to Terror Basin is difficult to follow in a couple places due to braided footpaths. The approach to Terror Basin is snow free until just before the high col just before the drop down to the Terror Basin bivy sites. Coming down the col to the bivy sites involves some snow and some loose 3 rd class scrambling.
Water is plentiful in the basin. Please use blue bags and pack out human waste. Mice observed at bivy sites, please secure your food with a bear can or other Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee food storage device. There are a number of snow patches on the slabs on the approach to the West Ridge of W. McMillan.
About This Blog
Condition reports come from climbing rangers, wilderness rangers, and climbers visiting the park complex. To make a climbing report, please email the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount. Please include the route, snow level, any hazards encountered (or not), peak(s) attempted, and whether your party successfully summitted. Photos are especially great
All of the climbing routes in the park complex are located in wilderness, but some are wilder than others, and there may be limited or outdated information. Use these reports as a baseline, but plan for changing conditions and a true adventure. On many routes, the discovery, physical stress, and route-finding challenges are half the fun.
August 26, 2017
August 17, 2017
August 02, 2017
July 28, 2017
July 28, 2017
July 24, 2017
September 05, 2016
August 25, 2016
August 07, 2016
July 29, 2016
July 29, 2016
July 14, 2016
July 02, 2016
July 02, 2016
August 14, 2015
September 21, 2014
Last updated: August 6, 2020