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Trip Report    

Basic Rock Climb - South Early Winter Spire/South Arête

Gorgeous day for climbing...sunny, not too hot and no bugs. We climbed at a easy pace and enjoyed the process. First ones on the route but a lot of people (from other routes) crowded the return to the bottom.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  •  This trip was scheduled for Sunday the 22nd however the rain was supposed to be 70% chance that day so we decided to reschedule for the day before, which was forecasted to be clear. We lost a couple of participants do to the change and the result was 2 rope teams instead of 3.  The alteration of the date paid off because it was a beautiful day.  We spent the night at the trail head and donned headlamps for a 5:45 am start. This is a very busy location for climbers because there are many routes and of course the SEWS is very early start is must. The trail crew had done significant recent work to the trail (they were working when I was there in August), especially through the was like taking stairs.  They also put many post with pictures of carabiners to mark the way. 

    The hike to the base of the South Arete was about an hour and fourty five minutes.  We  had the the route to ourselves but people started to trickle in behind us. We did two pitches and set hand lines for the scrambles  and the whale back. We summited before noon, had lunch and headed down.  At this point there was a lot of competition for the rappels.  A lot of routes converge and we had multiple party's from these routes decide to funnel down the South Arete.  Because of this people were pushing through, even using our lines to rappel from.  We finished the climb at around 5 or so and back at the cars by 7 before dark. It was a fairly easy and enjoyable day and the larches changing colors was very spectacular.