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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - South Early Winter Spire/South Arête

Successful early season climb of SEWS. Winter approach with lots of melting snow and a sunny summit with lots of mountain goat viewing.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Snow all the way from the parking lot to the base of the rock. The snow is rapidly melting and there are several areas where the snow bridges running over the streams look precarious. Use caution on the approach and descent.  

Great day for a climb of SEWS. 

Left the parking lot at 615 and took the winter approach to the base of the climb. The entire approach was snow covered (~2-4 feet in parking lot) but the snow appeared to be rapidly melting and the streams were starting to poke through the snow cover on the slopes. Crampons were useful as we got up higher, though a few students and rope leads made due without. Arrived at the base of the rock at 830a. 

The rock route is in great shape - just a bit of snow left at the top of the 3rd pitch where you turn the corner. Our rope teams ended up pretty spread out on the climb, but we all gathered on top for a nice sunny summit and great views to the surrounding peaks. Rapping down was pretty quick - all rap stations have webbing and rings. 

Lots of goats hanging around the climb. 


Made it back to the cars at around 515pm - 11 hours RT.