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Trip Report    

South Early Winter Spire/Southwest Couloir

Climb date: May 3, 2015

Our party of seven left the Blue Lake Trailhead at 7:00 a.m.

At the entrance to the couloir we tied into two 60 m ropes. We used a running belay up the couloir, using 2 pickets, 2 cams, a hex, and several natural anchors. At the summit block the lead climbers anchored in and belayed the followers up the short rock pitch. There is a large cornice at the top of the couloir that we gave a wide berth.

We reached the summit at 10:30 a.m.

The weather was sunny and warm. The views were spectacular in every direction. The recent nighttime temperatures have been in the 20s but the warm days are rapidly melting out the snow in the couloir. The route snow coverage was adequate but several short stretches were turning to ice and some climbing on rock was needed. Unless there is new snow, this may have been the last weekend that this route is safe.

We descended the couloir using three single-rope rappels and down-climbed the remainder.