South Early Winter Spire

By:  Sam
September 20, 2011

It’s pretty safe to say that the route isn’t “the gnar” when there are goats on it, though this goat was particularly ballsy (he’s over a 200 foot drop).

I’m not sure what he was looking at, but he refused to turn around and work with me on this photo. Spiteful goat.

If you look closely, you can see another party on the South East buttress route. Allen and I returned three days later to climb that WA classic, but stupidly forgot the camera at the house.

It’s pretty hard to argue with a dry cool day of fun easy rock climbing up at Washington pass.

The last somewhat tricky part of the climb.

Getting set to go down.

.. but not before truly summiting.

We decided to go down the gully that splits the spire. It and the route we came up are the two normal descent routes, so we figured we’d get a little beta on both. What we learned is that the gully is a stupid way to go down when there isn’t snow. Lots of loose rock, and not many safe places to hide from it.

One last rap.

We got a little lost on the way back, but not enough to put a damper on the fun at all. With temperatures dropping around the nation and snow in the forecast in the high country, there is a chance I won’t be able to return for another 10 months or more, but it was sure worth heading up when we did.

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Read about the author:   Sam


  1. bushman
    wrote on September 20th, 2011 at 7:29 pm  

    nice read and views over a late dinner. thanks for great pics as usual.

  2. christian
    wrote on September 20th, 2011 at 8:04 pm  

    i think the goat was scoping the drop for winter…he knew there was an FIS camera pointed at him. that a bald eagle?!?

  3. met_how
    wrote on December 1st, 2011 at 5:40 pm  

    I believe that would be the South Arete…?

    • Sam
      wrote on December 2nd, 2011 at 11:17 am  

      Correct, though how that gully could be sanely considered an arete, i cannot say

    • met_how
      wrote on December 16th, 2011 at 6:16 pm  

      fair enough… Kitty litter gully;)

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