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Ride the Lightning

Introduction By Marlene Ford and Jim Yoder

This seven pitch climb is one of the better routes on Goose Egg Mountain and is highly recommended for the adventure climber.  On pitch two you will find the most incredible dihedral that is solid and enjoyable climbing at a moderate rating. For your gear rack take a standard rack up to four inches with extras in the two inch range and quick draws enough for clipping ten bolts in addition to gear draws.  Also, make sure you include a half dozen long slings, as this is more of mountain route than a sport route so donít let the topo fool you.

How to get there  Follow Highway 12 west from Yakima.  Turn left (south) on the lower Tieton Road, between milepost 168 and 167.  After 2.0 miles, there is a natural spring and pullout on the right.  Look for a small fenced area.  Don't park here!  Continue .1 mile and park in the larger pullout on the left.  Walk back to the spring and follow a climber's trail up through the trees to the base of the cliff.

Pitch 1  Face climb straight up rounded slab to first bolt, fifty feet up, that was placed right of a short, shallow corner.  Optional start is to climb further to your right using the third class ramp system that will cross the pitch about 20 feet below the first bolt. Continue on less than vertical face protected with bolts when needed to hanging belay; ten clips.

Pitch 2  Continue up the face that approaches the large dihedral from its left side and about twenty feet up from its start.  When bolts end continue climbing up and to your right into the large dihedral.  Jam and layback up the incredible dihedral to the large roof and traverse left into the hanging belay; ten clips and gear to three inches.  Remember to take long slings!

Pitch 3  Climb over roof on its left edge to a short left facing corner.  Continue up corner system past rap station and onto easy ramp climbing to top of pillar-like feature.  Anchor consists of one bolt with a small horn that can accept a three inch cam; gear to three inches.

Pitch 4  Another short pitch that climbs straight up on a dirty face.  At fifth bolt move left crossing a shallow corner system (crux) and onto the face left of the corner with big positive holds.  Continue up easy ground with no pro to anchor; five clips.

Pitch 5  Long mixed pitch that begins on a scary, run out, flaky face to first bolt. Continue up and over a small, steep roof (crux) and into a slightly dirty offwidth with solid jams.  When crack ends, pitch continues up along side an enjoyable right facing corner system protected with bolts and ending at anchor with a small stance; seven clips and gear to four inches.

Pitch 6  If you are going to get lost it will be on this pitch, so read carefully! Begin by face climbing up and to your right on obvious ledges placing gear with long slings.  Then climb straight up through two bolts (third bolt has been removed after further reflection from first ascentionists) and into a nice finger crack that turns to a hairline crack way too soon.  At this point, and below small roof, exit crack system to your right onto a blank face.  Traverse right and slightly upward on face with no gear for about twenty-five feet, 5.7 climbing, to the edge of a major gully with a thin crack that leads straight up (5.6) to anchor.  (If you continue in hairline crack and do not traverse right, you will end on a ledge with large loose blocks with no place for a safe anchor.  Then you will have to climb over a steep section on really loose and large blocks - dangerous!)

Pitch 7  Climb up twenty feet from anchor, 5.6 climbing, at this point technical climbing turns to fourth class climbing on stacked blocks.  Set mountaineer anchor and bring your partner up. Unrope and hike up to large fir tree.

Descent  From fir tree, traverse to your left about 300 feet and look for a rock cairn marked with an orange flag.  At this location, walk down to cliff edge and the first of seven rappel stations.  Rappelling can be done with one 200 foot rope.  Instead of rappelling, one could continue traversing leftward above rock cairn, another 500 yards, to a forth class gully.  If descending via the gully, some climbers may wish to make a single rope rappel about halfway down at a large fir tree.  Descending the gully and walking back to base will take approximately 45 minutes.

First Ascent  October 13, 2001, Joseph Puryear & Stoney Richards

Speed Ascent  April 20, 2003, Joseph Puryear & Stoney Richards: 56 minutes; 1 hour 33 minutes round trip.

Goose Egg Mountain
Ride the Lightning
III 5.9

Topo ©2003 Joseph Puryear

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