Trip Report    

Basic Rock Climb - South Early Winter Spire/South Arête

Early season conditions exists including unpacked snow (needs floatation), scattered snow on the climbing route (mostly after the top of the 3rd pitch) and continuous slide activity on the sunny day in the area (approach route was out of the way). Rock itself was in great shape and the climbing part was dry, sunny and fun.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The 3 pitches of climbing are as advertised, no surprises there. We snowshoed from the TH to the saddle at the base of the climb. Floatation would be necessary (saw a few ski parties along the route as well). Total 3 rappels using bolted anchors placed laterally next to the belay stations at the top of the 3 pitches. Second and third rappel length were comfortable with 70m ropes each, first rappel was comfortable with a 60m.

    Second Rappel

    We started the approach at 6:30am due to some random delays but would recommend starting at 5am sharp at this time of the year. If using snowshoes, expect the last steep section of the approach to be a slog if using non-technical snowshoes. We did not have any other parties ahead of us.

    We finished the 3 pitches around 2pm and were greeted with a snowy traverse to continue the remaining scramble up to the fin and then beyond to the summit. Group didn't feel comfortable traversing the snow scramble without protection and it seemed that to protect the remaining scramble to the summit would easily delay our return to the TH till after dark -- considering these factors we decided to turnaround at that point. The group felt accomplished having climbed the rock part of the climb even though the summit register remained untouched.  The snow should melt out soon and the conditions would be a little more favorable in another few days.

    Snow Scramble

    We descended in a combination of snowshoes/glissades/boots (did not use micros/crampons beyond what the snowshoes provided), asked a stranger to take a group pic and then drove back to the civilization.

    Apre Climb

Camped the night before at Lone Fir campground, didn't see fees sign posted, toilets were open, plenty of available sites with benches and fire rings, some heavy snow patches remained at the back of the campground loop so prefer to turn around and exit the way you came in when in doubt.

Northern Lights

TH had clean and clear parking lot open, NW pass required, toilets open, 2+ feet of snow to hike on right from the TH.