Ascents of Striped Mountain (Northeast Slope, class 2) and Goodale Mountain (West Slope, class 2), July 21, 2019.


When René Renteria and I had planned our trip to climb peaks between Sawmill Pass and Taboose Pass, Striped Mountain and Goodale Mountain were to be part of the mix. But lacking time to climb these peaks, we had left them for a later date. Half in jest, I blurted out to René on the way down Taboose Pass that maybe I should try to dayhike them. This was a bit of a joke, because it would involve dayhiking Taboose Pass, an arduous way to access eastside peaks, and then climbing two major mountains and returning the same way. It would be a big day, involving almost 9,000 feet of elevation gain and over 20 miles of hiking and scrambling. I knew that Bob Burd and participants in the Sierra Challenge had done it, but I wasn't sure it was for me. Anyway the idea made its way in my mind in the ensuing days, and I resolved to give it a go. To get an early start, I drove to the trailhead the evening before, after dinner, and slept in the back of my 4Runner.

July 21, 2019. The alarm went off at 4:30 and I had a quick breakfast of granola and coffee. I set out at 5:16 as the early morning light was starting to show. There was one other car at the trailhead and its occupant was sleeping in the brush nearby. I must have woken him up while hiking by and he warned me about the stream crossing a few miles ahead – but I already knew about it. Since I had been there with René almost two weeks prior, someone had strung some cordelette across the span of the stream and my crossing was uneventful. I took my first short break at a campsite just after the stream crossing, two hours and about 3.25 miles into the hike. I continued on toward Taboose Pass, meeting a PCT hiker named Alpaca on his way out to resupply and 3 other hikers just below Taboose Pass. I was at the pass at 9:37 (4:21 from the start and about 20 minutes slower than I had anticipated) and took another break. I would feel slower than usual most of the day, because a) I did not get much sleep at the trailhead and b) as usual, I did not eat enough – these big days require big nutrition…

From Taboose Pass, I proceeded Southeast toward the lake basin that lies NW of Striped Mountain and Goodale Mountain. The plan was to climb Striped first, via its NE slope, and then traverse to the saddle between the two mountains for the short hop to the summit of Goodale along its South ridge / West slope. This turned out to be an excellent plan. I was on the summit of Striped at 12:24 (7:08 from the start) and enjoyed the unusual black and white striped rock that gives its name to the peak. I ate half of my lunch and departed the summit at 12:50, making my way down the East slope toward the saddle between Striped and Goodale. I was at the saddle at 13:47, and started up toward the summit of Goodale, picking a diagonal line up the West slope, directly from the saddle to the summit block. I was on the summit at 14:33 (9:17 from the trailhead) and enjoyed the outstanding views. The summit block is class 3, but quite easy and enjoyable to climb, and there are many fun variations if one is so inclined. The area was covered with Polemonium Eximium and Hulsea Algida.

From the summit I proceeded down to the saddle more or less the same way I came up, and then headed straight down to the main lake in the drainage (over much tedious and steep talus). I took a break there, ate the other half of my lunch and refilled my water bladder. I was back at Taboose Pass at 16:45, continued on without stopping, and took another break at the small wooded area about a mile below the pass. The rest of the descent was uneventful – although I was feeling huge pangs of hunger - and I was back at the trailhead at 20:27 as night was falling. I was back in Mammoth at 10:15 after a pit stop in Bishop. (A 15:11 hour day, 20 miles, 8,800 feet of elevation gain).


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