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Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - North Early Winter Spire/Northwest Corner

Best 5.9 in the state

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Leaders: Justin BlackBurn (co-leader), Varun Ramesh (co-leader), Samantha Dae (co-leader)


5AM - Leave Blue lake parking lot

6:30AM - Arrive at Base of NEWS

11:00 AM- Summit

1:00 PM - Base

2:00 PM- Back to parking lot

Approach: There was a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon so we wanted to be off the peak by noon. We left the parking lot at 5 AM. There was a party of 2 getting on West Face, who reached the base of the route shortly after us, we let them go first because the leader was getting a little aggressive about climbing. 

Climb:  We climbed the route on Cows tail. Justin led Pitches 1-2, Varun led pitches 3,4,5,6. Pitch 4 was the crux with a short section of off-width. A #5 protects the offwidth section really well. We got to the summit exactly at 11:00 AM. If one hasn't climbed NEWS, the newer rappels can be a little hard to find because they are further down on the west face. Since Varun had just climbed the west face a few weeks back, we knew exactly where to find them and were able to get down without any major issues.   


Descent: The return was uneventful and we made it back ot the care by 2PM. We stepped on pedal on the return because we wanted to stop at 5B's bakery in concrete.

 Overall, NW corner of the NEWS was a very enjoyable route with spectacular climbing and great position.