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Routes in South Early Winters Spire

Boving Roofs T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Direct East Buttress T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Hitchhiker, The T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Northwest Face (Boving-Pollock) T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Passenger, The T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
South Arete T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Southern Man T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Southwest Couloir
Southwest Rib T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c


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.

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Classic Climbing Routes at South Early Winters Spire

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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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. Jun 11, 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 Jun 7, 2016

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