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Trip Report    

South Early Winter Spire/South Arête

This climb took place on Sunday, July 13th.

The group met at camp the night before so we were able to leave an hour earlier than our originally planned departure of 7am. The Blue Lake trail is entirely free of snow as is much of the climbers trail. What remains on the climbers trail is patchy, wet, soft snow and crampons were not required. The snow was easily bypassed or not. We left our ice axes and crampons in the car and were glad we did.

We encountered the requisite goat plus baby goat at the pass. The parent didn't appear aggressive and for the most part kept their distance.

We were first on the route which is always great news on this very popular weekend climb. We quickly roped up and climbed the route with no issues. The climbing was quick and efficient and we were the first on the summit. We were quickly followed by a number of climbers including what might have been a guided group of four, a young couple from Seattle and another couple we encountered on the descent who were still heading up.

Encountered (surprised?) a goat on the summit who made a hasty retreat when it saw us... taking some impossible route to who knows where.

The descent went well. The group of four passed us just after the whale back. They downlclimed P3 and rappelled P2 and P1. We waited for them to get clear of P3 and rigged or rappel lines. The young couple appeared just after we had rigged our ropes. We offered to let them rappel on our ropes which they thankfully agreed.

While rappelling a goat appeared out of thin air on a perch above the P2 belay. It could have been the same goat as from the summit. It seemed agitated, as if cornered and began a series of impossible moves to get off the rocks it was standing on. It's first attempt led to an uncontrolled slide which it arrested now far below it's original position. It then tried a seemingly impossible traverse on lichen covered rocks... which it amazingly completed before barreling down some unseen path. Seconds later one could hear the shouts of the climbers below who at first thought the rumbling sound was rockfall only to discover a goat running for the base of the climb.

We saw something I have never seen before... a two people with parasails preparing to launch from the basin below the base of the climb.

After everyone rappelled we organized our gear and headed to the cars. As we were doing this the two people with parasails launched, soaring high above us. It was a truly amazing sight. They eventually flew out of view not to be seen again.

Once gain we encountered a goat and baby on the trail. The return to the cars was uneventful but quite hot. Great day!

RT = 9 hours

  • Red Marker
    48.519088, -120.674300
    48.5190882301 -120.674300194
  • Red Marker
    48.512256, -120.655246
    48.5122556811 -120.655245781

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