Monday, May 12, 2008

Early Winter Spires in Late "Winter"

With freezing levels dropping back down to 3,500 ft., Sunday promised to be the last day of the season with wintry conditions. So after some 3am antics due to a slept-through alarm clock, Mark Bunker, Dylan Johnson and I drove up to Washington Pass for the Early Winter Spires. From the hairpin turn we climbed the Early Winter Couloir, to the notch between North and South Spire, then up the ridge to the summit of the North Spire.


Mark on a short ice step in the Early Winter Couloir:



Wallowing was the norm for most of the couloir:



The cornice was big and overhanging. Since tunneling through snow seems to be my specialty these days, I started digging... Mark exiting the cornice tunnel:
video


The terrain from the notch to the summit had one spicy section of mixed slab climbing, but was otherwise pretty juggy. Dylan starting up above the notch:



Me, Mark, and Dylan on top of North Early Winter Spire.



After some down-climbing and a few rappels down to the west, the hour was still early, so we rambled up South Early Winter Spire via the SW Couloir: