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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - South Early Winter Spire/South Arête

Basic rock climb up the 5.5 south arete.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • No water available once off the Blue Lake trail.

The weather was fantastic. Clear skies. Warm but not hot temps. The approach was uneventful and we were the first group to the base of the climb. The first 2 pitches were pretty straight forward. We belayed the beginning of the 3rd pitch to the first sandy bench. On the large 2nd sandy bench we went about half way across it and, when we saw 3 cracks, scrambled the one on the right up to another bench. Easy scrambling at that point along the top of the arete to the whale's back. We set a handline across the whale's back and then scrambled along the top of the arete staying just left to cross the top of the couloir. 

On the descent, we downclimbed to our 3rd belay station where there is a rap station on a tree just skiers left of the ascent gully. 2 of our party chose to downclimb this section. The remainder of us rapped to the top of the chimney. Rappel 2 goes down the chimney to the top of pitch 1 where there are bolts to skiers right. A 70 meter rope is helpful here allowing you to rap all the way to the bolts, a 60 meter works but requires some careful scrambling to the bolts.

This was a mentored lead for Sonja Serwold. Primary leader Brian Starlin.