All Locations > Washington > Northwest Region > North Cascades > Washington Pass > South Early Winters Spire
Avg: 3.2 from 165 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 600 ft, 6 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Donald Anderson & Larry Scott, 1964|
|Page Views:||20,684 total · 193/month|
|Shared By:||BenCooper on Apr 27, 2009|
|Admins:||Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Nate Ball|
DescriptionThis a great route on very good rock, with good pro on the harder sections, and some easier and spicier slab runouts. Definitely a step up from the Beckey Route in length and commitment, but not as committing as say, the NW Face of Liberty Bell. Also, note that you can add a long pitch below what I call P1. We just traversed in, but it is possible to climb up directly to the left-leaning white crack.
References: Beckey Bible (Cascade Alpine Guide, Rainy Pass to Fraser River) has a good topo.
P1: Scramble up the easy ledge that starts in front of the Y-shaped Larch tree. Belay off of a sturdy tree and follow cracks straight up through an awkward bulge with great gear to an awesome ledge at the base of the Wavy Crack. 5.8+, ~160 feet.
P2: climb the nice, wide, 5.8 left-leaning crack. Belay at the top of this crack at a tree. 5.8, ~80 feet.
P3: Continue up and left to a tree, then up and right to a belay below the Boving Roof and the West Face route to the left. 5.6, ~60 ft.
P4: Step out right around the corner then go up to the base of the obvious dual offwidths, past some delicate, unprotected 5.6+ slab moves. ~100 ft. This can be linked with the next pitch.
P5: The bear hug pitch. Climb the very fun dual offwidth crack. From the top of the cracks, move up and right below a white wall into a corner and belay. 5.7+, ~80 ft.
P6: clip a bolt, then climb easy slab (5.5 or so) to the arete. Continue following the slabby arete with no pro, and belay at the 'Rabbit Ears,' two bouldery towers with rappel slings. Watch rope drag. ~165 ft.
P7: Either rappel or downclimb into the gully, then climb up from the gully on easy crack systems to the summit blocks. 5.5, ~80 ft. Watch your rope line here if you combine the downclimb with the cracks to the summit. I remember doing this as a short downclimb pitch, then a short pitch to the summit.
LocationThe route is located on the south/west side of the WA Pass group, on the west face of South Early Winter Spire. Hike from the Blue Lake TH for ~1.25 miles until you reach a clearing. From here, follow climber trails (step lightly and around the fragile alpine meadows) to the far right side of the face, underneath the SW Couloir.
From here, scramble up the couloir past the giant chockstone. Continue up about 50 feet until you can find a decent spot to traverse left across some ledges and through some trees on the face. I remember doing a short 20 foot rappel to get to the beginning of the 5.8 left-leaning crack.
Descend the South Arete route with some class 3/4 down climbing and a couple of rappels.