South Early Winters Spire Rock Climbing
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'.
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.
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
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics 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'
The Hitchhiker 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 900'
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'
Featured Route For South Early Winters Spire
Direct East Buttress 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Washington
: Northwest Region
: ... : South Early Winters Spire
Pitch 1: Rambling 5.6 pitch, go as far as you can until you see a reasonable tree to anchor off of. It was the usual alpine first pitch, some moss, loose rock, and vegetation. Reasonable gear along the way.Pitch 2: 5.8 crack system with various ledges that brings you to the bottom of the large dihedral. Although the pitch is called 5.8, I had a hard time finding the 5.8 move where we went, it felt a lot like 5.6. The pitch definitely had some loose kitty litter rock on it, which made things ...[more] Browse More Classics in Washington
Two buddies on summit of South Early Winter Spire
The summit of South Early Winter Spire.
Another party descending the South Arete.
Phil Gleason approaching South Early Winter Spire ...
View from the summit of SEWS
BETA PHOTO: North and South Early Winter Spires
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:)...as always.