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Ascent of South Early Winter Spire on 2019-04-21

Climber: Karen Wallace

Date:Sunday, April 21, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:South Early Winter Spire
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:7807 ft / 2379 m

Ascent Trip Report

Beautiful clear day. Highway dry and clear but lots of snow still piled on sides of road. About 6 cars could wedge into parking at entrance to Blue Lake Trail head. A few other spots a few yards down road. We left shortly after 6am and opted to immediately wear crampons vs. taking snowshoes. Worked great all the way up until we got into the rock near the summit of SEWS. Snow was firm and/or hard. Also utilized poles up the snow but then left them at the base of SEWS where we switched to short curved ice axes to ascend the snow covered Southwest Couloir. A few exposed, loose rocks and a little ice along the route. The top had a mixture of snow, some ice, and exposed rock so still important to watch the foot placement. Down climbed and rappelled the rock. Again, some spots with a little snow and ice. Once off SEWS mid-afternoon, descending the snow in just boots became challenging due to lots and lots of post-holing in the softer snow conditions. The skiers and snowboarders were having a good time!
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Group summit shot! (2019-04-21). Photo by Karen Wallace.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Aid Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles



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