Mount Goodsir 3562 m
Southern Rockies, Canada
Near the summit of South Goodsir
Mount Goodsir near Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rockies actually has two separate peaks. North peak is 3525 m; South peak is 3562 m. From Ice River just outside Yoho National Park, it is a tough day bushwhacking up an overgrown trail to Zinc Creek. This is the normal camping place on the south side of the massif. These two big peaks are generally done as separate climbs, not as a traverse. Either one can be done comfortably in 3 days round trip from the car if the logging road in Beaverfoot Valley is passable. When the mountains are dry, expect minimal roped climbing if you're on route. This is not as easy as it sounds.
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South Goodsir peak telephoto from logging clearcut at trail head by Ice River. Best ascent route follows around to the right of the right skyline ridge.
The first time I went in, (July 1985) we set up camp on old avalanche debris, the only flat area around. We are below South Goodsir here, but looking up more towards middle peak. (which is actually a ridge)
Typical terrain getting up South Goodsir, steep, but still feasible without a rope. The rock was crappy though. Note the person sitting on a ledge. Hey, I think I know that guy...
This was just below our high point, a foreshortened view of the summit block and a narrow ridge leading over to it. Nice hot day, and I think we'd been at it for about 7 hours at this point.
Descending South Goodsir after an unsuccessful attempt. A cornice blocked the final ridge and besides, we were not on the best ascent line either. It had taken us many hours going up, and we felt demoralized. The limestone rock was horrendously loose and required intense concentration to descend safely. We were glad to finally reach camp, (before dark) and I vowed I would never come back to this ugly mountain. For a better route up, we should have been much further up Zinc gulch around to the southeast side of the peak where the terrain is less technical.
Believe it or not, I noticed the better route from the air, after making numerous air flights from Calgary-Vancouver and looking out the window on the right side of the airplane. Air Canada's flight path goes just south of these peaks. Nothing like doing a reconnaissance from 28,000 ft to help the ground troops find the way.
Camp below south peak taken on our successful climb. We went straight up the gully above camp, heading right higher up.
It took a few years for recollections to fade sufficiently and then I went back. It was second time lucky, because I had the heavy artillery along: My friend Wayne! As shown here, a narrow ridge leads to the final summit mass on South Goodsir. This had been corniced on our previous try. Even without a cornice it looked so intimidating that I got so gripped that I left my pack here, carrying only a chocolate bar and a summit register to the top. I should have taken my camera instead: The summit already had a register.
A few years later, three of us went in and climbed North Goodsir. Not many folks have done that one either.
To North Goodsir
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