Basic Alpine Climb - South Early Winter Spire/Southwest Couloir


Basic Alpine Climb - South Early Winter Spire/Southwest Couloir

An early-season alpine climb in the beautiful Washington Pass area.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019
  • Seattle Climbing
  • Climbing
  • Basic Alpine
  • Adults
  • Basic Alpine Climb
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 3.7 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,600 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 7,807 ft

We'll meet at the Blue Lake Trailhead at 6:30 a.m. It's a long drive so I recommend driving up the day before. The parking lot will be snowed in so we'll need to park on the side of the road.

The approach will likely require snowshoes. Climbers must be comfortable climbing and rappeling on steep snow in crampons. Basic students should have completed their SIG rock field trip, SIG snow field trip, field trip #3 (climb, belay, rappel), and field trip #4 (snow travel), or at least be confident that they are competent in those skills. Basic graduates are welcome.

WSDOT has started work to clear and reopen the North Cascades Highway (SR20). The climb date is based on an estimate that it will take four weeks to complete. If it takes longer (or the weather forecast is poor) the climb  may be rescheduled.


South Early Winter Spire/Southwest Couloir

Required Equipment

Required Equipment


  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • Crampons
  • Ice axe
  • Belay device
  • Slings and carabiners
  • Snowshoes
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