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South Early Winters Spire

Select Route:
Boving Roofs T 
Direct East Buttress T 
Hitchhiker, The T 
Northwest Face (Boving-Pollock) T 
Passenger, The T 
South Arete T 
Southern Man T 
Southwest Couloir 
Southwest Rib T 

South Early Winters Spire Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,807'
Location: 48.51216, -120.65513 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 25,805
Administrators: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: blakeherrington on Sep 18, 2008
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Ridge Traverse to the Summit Pinnacle


South Early Winters Spire is the highest summit of the Liberty Bell Group. Just South of the 'North Spire', rock is excellent granite and there are routes on all sides. The South Arete, SW Couloir, and SW Rib are very popular. With an easy approach up the Blue Lake Trail, or from the hairpin turn on Hwy 20, SEWS features many very accessible routes.

FA via the Southwest Couloir on July 20, 1937. Kenneth Adam, Rafi Bedayn, and W. Kenneth Davis. The summit is at 7807'.

Getting There 

Blue Lake Trail - ~1 hour of hiking on the trail leads to a meadow and opening on the NW side of the spire. Leave the maintained trail here, and head up and left on obvious climber paths. The SEWS is the rightmost of the obvious peaks.

Getting to routes on the East side of the peak is best accomplished via parking at the hairpin turn on hwy 20, and following easy gullies, climber trails, and open alpine terrain to the obvious base of the spire.

Climbing Season

Weather station 12.6 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in South Early Winters Spire

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for South Early Winters Spire:
South Arete   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches   
Southwest Rib   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 600'   
Boving Roofs   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 220'   
Direct East Buttress   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches   
The Hitchhiker   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 900'   
Northwest Face (Boving-Pollock)   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches   
The Passenger   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 900'   
Southern Man   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 900'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in South Early Winters Spire

Featured Route For South Early Winters Spire
Rock Climbing Photo: p1

The Passenger 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a  WA : Northwest Region : ... : South Early Winters Spire
The Passenger is one of the best rock climbs in the Cascades.p1 -5.10DClimb toward a massive roof and go left under roof clipping one bolt. Belay is bolted.P2. 5.11bishRoof has bolt on it. Pull roof through to the right via strange flares and campus moves. The crack above the roof has some grass and flares. P3. 5.11- Amazing sustained finger crack to a roof/slot. P4. 5.11+ Move left and down slightly past two bolts, Another easier runout above the 3rd bolt takes you straight up past a few more...[more]   Browse More Classics in WA

Photos of South Early Winters Spire Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit View
Summit View
Rock Climbing Photo: Two buddies on summit of South Early Winter Spire
Two buddies on summit of South Early Winter Spire
Rock Climbing Photo: The summit of South Early Winter Spire.
The summit of South Early Winter Spire.
Rock Climbing Photo: Another party descending the South Arete.
Another party descending the South Arete.
Rock Climbing Photo: Phil Gleason approaching South Early Winter Spire ...
Phil Gleason approaching South Early Winter Spire ...
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the summit of SEWS
View from the summit of SEWS
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the South Arete
Climbing the South Arete
Rock Climbing Photo: North and South Early Winter Spires
BETA PHOTO: North and South Early Winter Spires

Comments on South Early Winters Spire Add Comment
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By Zacks
Jun 7, 2016
First time up here and we tried to hit up SW rib but there was snow down on the trail and the boot prints had often melted away, we followed the wrong set of prints and got lost in the woods for a good while. There where also a lot of trees down which took us off the trail again and wasted a lot of time. Then above treeline the path crossed a stream of snow melt on a snow bridge and we kept post holing through so we tried to stick to the rock talas but that proved slower going.

If we had gone 2 weeks earlier or 2 weeks later probably would have been fine lol

Basically we heard how easy the approach was and took it for granted. Now that I now whats up there I'm sure I'll have no trouble next time. But if you've never been up to this area and you happen to go at the wrong time... Also the ovious climbers trail from the clearing is very easy to find, but probably expect another hour to the base of the climbs. All the beta I read made it sound like it was way shorter. Don't get me wrong it shouldn't be a bad approach, just wanted other people to avoid the mistakes we made, the internet made it sound so easy I racked up at the car and shouldered the rope

Super beautiful area
By James Garrett
Jun 11, 2016
We are from out of State and it had been a long time since we had last climbed in the area, however, we found the approach quite enjoyable despite so much snow we could not even drive into the parking lot. We reluctantly took crampons, but we both wore them on the approach which made it a total breeze as the snow was pretty hard otherwise to kick steps into and more time consuming for others.

But of course, now all of these may be moot points....but what an absolutely awesome place! I had only been on Liberty Crack before so never been on that side of the mountain....early start on Early Winter is the way to go:) always.

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