Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - South Early Winter Spire/South Arête

Successful climb of SEWS S Arête in true alpine conditions.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Approach is almost entirely snow free, route is in fine condition.

Friday we woke up to clouds and mist and went for it early (515am from Blue Lake TH).  It was very misty, but not really rainy, enough though so the rock was wet.  All three intermediates, I think, learned something about alpine rock climbing on the first pitch.  Wet rock in boots is do-able, if not fun.  Everyone opted for boots because the weather was so foul no-one wanted to do all of the scrambling in shoes.  So this made it particularly challenging for the leaders (I was a follower due to a last-minute cancellation, i had the first RL bring me up with her Basic student).
 It sleeted for a couple of minutes even, but everyone got up.  On the summit, miraculously, the clouds parted and the sun started shining!  The rock dried out and we rapped in the sunshine.  We even top-roped the first pitch in shoes to give everyone who wanted it a chance to see how the pitch normally goes.
10.5 hours car-to-car set no speed record, strong group but because of the conditions the climbing was slow.