All Locations > Washington > Northwest Region > North Cascades > Washington Pass > North Early Winter Spire
The West Face
Avg: 3.7 from 122 votes
Routes in North Early Winter Spire
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Fred Becky and Dave Beckstad, 1965 FFA: Steve Risse and Dave Tower, 1985|
|Page Views:||13,038 total, 94/month|
|Shared By:||Ian Wolfe on Aug 3, 2006|
|Admins:||Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick|
DescriptionThis and the neighboring Northwest Corner Route are two of the finest alpine rock climbs I have had the pleasure to yet accomplish. Great movement, committing moves, huge exposure, beautiful position: some of the best climbs in the Washington Pass area.
The West Face shares its first pitch with the Northwest Corner, a somewhat dirty face up to a chimney with trees above (5.8). From here, move the belay up 3rd class terrain to a huge sandy ledge at the base of a large corner, the base of the second pitch. Climb this corner on the left side (5.8+) 50 feet to a good belay ledge. Continue up this corner (5.7), step left and and lieback up a 5" flake (5.8) until you can stand and put in some pro. Continue past a horn with lots of slings around it and undercling right, past a bolt, below the small roof (5.9). The crux pitch (5.11-) begins at the end of the undercling, so get psyched. Climb the thin (!) crack up and a little left until it eases up and you can step left into the next crack system. Build a belay here (~40 feet up) or continue up another thin finger crack (5.10c) until it opens up to 2" and eases off to 5.8. A few moves across the slab below a bolt bring you to an easier crack system. Finish up the cracks and then run across easy ground to the summit. Enjoy the views of North Early Winter Spire, Liberty Bell, and the Wine Spires!
The descent is down and (skier's) left of the summit and descends into the notch between North and South Early Winter Spire. Three single rope raps bring you down to the notch (often snow-covered), another gets you off the large chockstone (a fun, free-hanging rappel), and some scrambling and downclimbing (or a short 30 foot rap) get you back on the ground.