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Trip Report    

South Early Winter Spire/South Arête

Sat, Jun 6, 2015

Left Blue Lake TH at a little past 7am. A little snow on the trail that dispersed after about 1/4 mile from the TH. Snow picked up again at the turnoff to the climbers trail. Spotty snow for a while then snow to the base of the climb. The climb itself was clean except for the sandy bench at the top of the 3rd pitch. The bench has a large block of snow that was easily bypassed with a little caution. At the summit around noon and first on the rappel route, however other climbers that came up after us decided to rap around us from the top of the first pitch. Their rope managed to get them into the gully and they pulled their rope and down climbed to the chains, blocking us from throwing down our ropes from the second belay station. Lost a lot of time waiting for them, during which time even more groups decided to down climb (unroped) around us. Eventually the route cleared and we were able to safely rappel out.

There are a pair of goats hanging out on the ridge with what are clearly two brand new babies. So cute! They didn't seem to care about us but got quite close.

Took but did not use crampons, but had it been colder we certainly might have needed them. The snow was in perfect step kicking (plunge stepping) condition all day. Took and used our ice axes.

Everyone in the team was strong and competent. Great attitudes all around despite the challenge the other climbers on there route presented. Great day!