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Trip Report    

South Early Winter Spire/Southwest Couloir

Scrambled up the snow gully sans snow in our running gear. We had looked at the South Face first and decided not to try without climbing gear and rerouted to the couloir. Got the first snow flakes of the season on the way up. A great little scramble

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • A lot of the climbing trails on the approach are marked closed for restoration so choose your route with care. Lots of sensitive veg. No snow, not mud, a little ice. 

We were originally headed to Mount Bigelow but when we were driving past rainy pass it was too beautiful to not stop. The larches were golden and the first snow of the season was falling. We ran up to Liberty Bell in our  trail running gear. We didn't summit Liberty Bell but did end up at the top of some saddle/col/gully.  We came down and bopped over to Early Winter Spire. We looked at the south face which probably would have been doable but probably not safely with just running shoes so we looked for a different approach and found the southeast couloir. We of course had zero beta for any routes because this was not our planned trip. The scramble up was great, good solid stuff the whole way and minimal ice. Lots of climbing anchors and stuff all the way up the couloir. Made it to the top and beat the climbers coming up the south face. Took a pic and headed back down. Once back on the trail we ran out to the TH.  The number of hikers and larch viewers had double by this point. From there we headed over to Frisco/ maple pass which was also swarming.

Completed on 10/9/21 with Alex King (FKT holder on Mt Rainier and ultimate badass). Also the wise one who said no to the South Face (: rocls.jpg