(SHORT REPORTS and LINKS TO SELECTED LONGER REPORTS)
2006 - 2017
WASHINGTON PASS climbs: LIBERTY BELL BECKEY ROUTE, LIBERTY BELL LIBERTY CRACK, LIBERTY BELL NW FACE, CONCORD TOWER N FACE, LEXINGTON TOWER E FACE, LEXINGTON TOWER N FACE, MINUTEMAN E FACE, NEWS W FACE, NEWS NW CORNER, SEWS DIRECT E BUTTRESS, SEWS THE HITCHHIKER, SEWS NW FACE, SEWS THE PASSENGER, SEWS THE SOUTHERN MAN, SEWS SW RIB

Category: Washington

Rock Type: Granite
Summit Elev: 7,000-7,800 ft

Washington Pass on Highway 20 is often regarded as the best alpine rock destination in the North Cascades, with the main rock climbing attraction being the tight-knit group of granite spires rising above the pass. Rising directly above the Pass are six named spires: Liberty Bell, Concord Tower, Lexington Tower, Minuteman Tower, North Early Winters Spire, and South Early Winters Spire. From all sides, the spires present a variety of high-quality multipitch climbs, from half-day 5.6ish excursions to Grade V big wall test pieces. Plus, the alpine setting and marvelous Cascade views are top notch. 

(The following page specifically refers to the group of spires rising directly above the Pass. There are other great climbing objectives in the Washington Pass vicinity such as the Wine Spires and Kangaroo Ridge. I have separate pages for trip reports for North Face of Burgundy Spire, Paisano-Burgundy link-up (West Ridge to North Face) Paisano-Burgundy link-up (Rampage to Action Potential), Rebel Yell on Chianti Spire, Silver StarClean Break on Juno Tower, Beckey-Tate on Big Kangaroo, and Ellen Pea on Supercave Wall.)

(View from near WA Pass, Aug 2009)         



(Aerial view from east, Feb 2012) 


(Aerial view from west, Feb 2013)


(Aerial view from northwest, Oct 2013)

The following page features some "short reports" from some climbs I've done on the granite spires at Washington Pass. I have climbed many (though not all) of the 5-star routes in the area, and I have summited all of the spires at least once. These reports do not give as much written detail as most of the trip reports on my website, but they do provide some great photos and a bit of route beta and usually a nice route overlay. I also have linked in a few longer reports for selected climbs, including Liberty Crack route on Liberty Bell, perhaps the most acclaimed route on the Pass's centerpiece spire. 

To date, my favorite climbs at WA Pass have been Liberty Crack (on Liberty Bell) and The Hitchhiker and The Passenger (both on South Early Winter Spire).



CLIMBS I'VE DONE AT WA PASS:
                                  

Liberty Bell (7720')
Route: BECKEY ROUTE (II, 5.6, 400', 4p)  Liberty Bell
Trip Report #19

Liberty Bell as seen from Concord Tower. The Beckey Route goes sort of the left side in the photo.
Date: May 13, 2006 
Partner: Jason Cullum
Brief trip report: I had heard of Liberty Bell and had always wanted to check it out, so my birthday weekend my friend and I headed south and drove 4 hours to Liberty Bell. The trailhead was covered in about 6 feet of snow, so we put on our boots and put our climbing gear in our packs and hiked up to the beginning of the route. My partner and I decided to swing leads, and I got the first pitch. It was cold in the shaded gully below the first pitch, and my fingers were too cold to feel the holds, but I made a bee-line for the sun where it was nice and warm. Overall the route was a lot of fun, although quite easy. The view of the snow-capped North Cascades was great. On the descent, we could not find the first rappel sling, so we downclimbed to the second rappel station. We had planned to perhaps climb a route on the nearby Concord Tower, but there was some snow still on the route and we were tired, so we decided instead to hike out and spend a relaxing afternoon driving the North Cascades loop to Leavenworth to climb Orbit the next day, since this was a route we had heard about when we did Outer Space a few weekends before.
Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)

Route: LIBERTY CRACK (V, 5.9-10d C2, 1200', 10-14p)  Liberty Bell
Trip Report #'s68 & 269

Photo overlay of Liberty Crack, created in 2009.


Photo overlay of Liberty Crack on aerial photo taken in Feb 2012, created in 2017.
• First time I climbed Liberty Crack:
Date:
Aug 2-3, 2009
Partner: Clint Cummins
Trip report: I first climbed Liberty Crack in July 2009. I've written a full trip report with lots of photos on a separate page. Click here for the trip report for Liberty Crack.
Some photos: (in order of when they were taken) (see trip report for photo detail)


• Second time I climbed Liberty Crack:
Date:
 Sept 4, 2017
Partner: John Plotz
Trip report: I climbed Liberty Crack again 8 years later. We climbed it twice as fast as the first time. I've written a full trip report with lots of photos on a separate page. Click here for the trip report for Liberty Crack.
Some photos: (in order of when they were taken) (see trip report for photo detail)

Route: NORTHWEST FACE (II+, 5.9 (var. 10d), 600', 4p)  Liberty Bell
Trip Report #248

Photo overlay of the Northwest Face route on Liberty Bell.
Date: July 20, 2017
Partner: DR
Brief trip report: Due to rain-induced-last-minute-change-to-plans, DR and I met at the Blue Lake Trailhead at noon. The Northwest Face of Liberty Bell seemed like a good choice for a short day of climbing. We enjoyed just being out climbing (especially on dry rock), but our impression was that the route is a bit overrated. But worth doing if you've done the other classics at the Pass and are looking for something new, or looking for a route with an awesome position. The positive aspects of the route: off the beaten track (so probably will have it to yourselves), cool and windy (positive thing if it is a hot day), an awesome position and summit, and Pitch 4 is awesome 5.9 climbing. The negative aspects of the route: the first couple of pitches are grungy and unremarkable, cool and windy (negative for a cool day), and a somewhat difficult-to-find approach (although it is easy to find if you know where you are going, see my annotated photo below showing how to access the ledge below the route). We did the 5.10d Remsberg variation for Pitch 3, which was excellent; the last 40 feet of the pitch does not take gear, but there are 2 bolts which protect the 2 cruxes (when you are up there on the insecure move that ends the pitch, imagine Remsberg up there on the first ascent, 40 feet above his last piece...).
Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)

Concord Tower (7560')
Route: NORTH FACE (II, 5.7, 300', 3p)  Concord Tower
Trip Report #145

Photo overlay of north side routes on Concord Tower (SuperTopo website).
Date: July 9, 2013
Partner: Jenny Abegg
Brief trip report: I had climbed all of the spires at Washington Pass except Concord Tower and Lexington Tower, so after our climb of the West Face of NEWS, my sister and I decided to do a quick and easy link-up of Concord and Lexington. The link-up involved climbing the North Face (5.7) of Concord, rappelling into the notch between the two towers, and then climbing the North Face (5.7) of Lexington. The North Face of Concord Tower is a bit meandering with featured and somewhat loose (looking) rock, but it is a fun little adventure. The climb up took us just over an hour and the descent (2 rappels down the south side) to the Concord-Lexington notch took 10 minutes.
Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)

Lexington Tower (7560')
Route: EAST FACE (IV, 5.9+, 800', 9p)  Lexington Tower
Trip Report #: 187

Route overlay for East Face of Lexington Tower.
Date: June 20, 2015
Partners: Danh Ngo & Will Surber
Brief trip report: This route follows a crack and chimney system splitting the middle of the steep 800-ft tall east face of Lexington Tower. Depending on whether or not you like wide climbing, this route either intrigues you or scares you. I like how offwidths and chimneys can make even 5.8 have a burly "how do I get up that?!" feel (and it seemed that Will and Danh did too) so we all enjoyed this route. My favorite part of the route was the three pitches comprising the middle portion of the route: the 5.8+ cracks and corner leading up to the dead-end chimney, the foot traverse rightward from the dead-end chimney, and the chimney with the wedged chunk of 2x4 and extraneous bolt. 

We climbed this route as a group of three, splitting leads evenly. This slowed us down a bit, but also made it more of a fun social climb with more of a cheerleading squad for the offwidths.

Note on descent: Since we climbed on two ropes, we decided we would rappel the route. We made it to the ground in 7 double-rope rappels by linking together a series of slings with rap rings as well as a couple of bolted anchors for the next-door route Tooth and Claw. We felt pretty lucky that we never had a stuck rope during our rappels, as there seems to be a high potential for the ropes to get stuck. Indeed, the standard and less risky tact is to walk off the west side. But the benefit of rappelling the route is that you can leave approach shoes at the base and bring an ice axe and crampons to make the snowfield at the base cruiser.

Note on gear: This climb takes a lot of wide gear. In addition to a double rack to #3, we brought a #6, #5, and two #4's (we meant to bring only one #4, but we had a miscommunication and brought two). The rack was a little too heavy for climbing comfort, and I think that a single #6 (or #5, but the #6 was a bit more useful) and a single #4 and doubles to #3 would be sufficient; the wide crux sections are short. 

All in all, a fun and rewarding day in good company.

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)

Route: NORTH FACE (II, 5.7, 300', 3p)  Lexington Tower
Trip Report #146

Photo of Lexington Tower from the west. The North Face route is on the left side out of the Concord-Lexington notch.
Date: July 9, 2013
Partner: Jenny Abegg
Brief trip report: I had climbed all of the spires at Washington Pass except Concord Tower and Lexington Tower, so after our climb of the West Face of NEWS, my sister and I decided to do a quick and easy link-up of Concord and Lexington. The link-up involved climbing the North Face (5.7) of Concord, rappelling into the notch between the two towers, and then climbing the North Face (5.7) of Lexington. The North Face of Lexington Tower is a short and athletic low-fifth adventure finishing with a cool ridge scramble to the summit. The climb up took us 40 minutes and the descent (downclimbing the ridge and then making 2 rappels down the route) back to the Concord-Lexington notch took 20 minutes.
Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)

Minuteman Tower (~7000')
Route: EAST FACE (III, 5.10b, 600', 6p)  Minuteman Tower 
Trip Report #72

Photo overlay of the East Face route on Minuteman Tower.
Date: Aug 28, 2009
Partner: David Kiehl
Trip report: This was a fun route. I've written a full trip report with lots of photos on a separate page. Click here for the trip report for the East Face of Minuteman Tower.
Some photos: (in order of when they were taken) (see trip report for photo detail)

North Early Winter Spire (7760')
Route: NORTHWEST CORNER (III, 5.9+, 600', 4p)  North Early Winter Spire 
Trip Report #: 191258
Route overlay of Northwest Corner.
• First time I climbed the NW Corner:
Date: June 27, 2015
Partner: John Plotz
Brief trip report: It was 100° in the lowlands, so John and I decided to stick to north or northwest facing routes. We began the day with a lap on the Northwest Corner of NEWS. The highlight of this route is an obvious 3-4" corner crack that comprises a pitch and a half of the route. John had climbed this route a couple of times before, but I had not, so I got dibs on the corner pitch. What a fun lead! I found that the first 15 feet or so was the most challenging section of offwidth, and after this I could get pretty decent hand jams and also some face holds appeared. Erring on the safe side, we had brought two #4 and two #3 pieces. After the first 15 feet or so, smaller sizes fit back in the crack, so I ended up having an extra #4 when I finished the pitch. I felt no need for a #5.

The standard descent has always been to rappel to the notch between NEWS and SEWS and scramble down the gully and then rappel over a chockstone, but instead we decided to descent by the recently-established rap route down the right side of the west face of NEWS. This is 6 bolted rap stations. Our 60m rope was sufficient, but just barely, as there is one rappel—the third I think—where we had to reach down to clip our daisies to the anchor and then let the rope slide through the belay device - knots are a good idea! Overall this new rappel line is a nice alternative to the somewhat chossy and sometimes snow-filled gully.

It had taken us an hour and a half to climb the route and about 35 minutes to rappel back to the base. It was still only mid-morning, so we moved onto the next northwest-facing climb of the day: the Northwest Face of SEWS.

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)


 Second time I climbed the NW Corner:
Date: Aug 11, 2017 
Partner: Cindy Beavon
Brief trip report: Cindy had never climbed any routes on North Early Winter Spire, so we decided to do a link-up of NW Corner followed by the West Face. We swung leads on NW Corner, with me leading the even pitches (conveniently, the ones I had not led when climbing the route with John a couple of years previous) and Cindy leading the odd pitches (which gave her the awesome 5.9+ corner pitch). It was one of those perfect summer days, pleasant temperatures in the morning shade and 70° by afternoon with a light breeze. 

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)

Route: WEST FACE (III, 5.11a, 600', 6-7p)  North Early Winter Spire
Trip Report #: 29144259

Overlay of West Face route on NEWS.

• First time I climbed the West Face:
Date: July 16, 2006
Partner: Clint Cummins
Brief trip report: After climbing the East Buttress of South Early Winter Spire, we had one more day of climbing before Clint had to fly back to California, so after the we decided our final route would be the West face of North Early Winter Spire, a classic climb known for its exposure and long right-slanting 5.10a-d crack at the top. The approach to the climb was pretty easy (just over 1 hour via the Blue Lake Trail). We climbed the route in 7 pitches, although the route can easily be climbed in five pitches by linking Pitches 1&2 and 5&6. A pitch-by-pitch route description for our 2006 climb is as follows:

PITCH 1/2 - 5.7/5.8 grove to a 5.6 chimney and past some rope-drag-generating blocks and trees. Led by Steph, who doesn't like chimneys, but found this to be a friendly chimney with lots of good protection. We linked these two pitches into one.

PITCH 3 - A fun 5.9 corner and cracks. Led by Clint.

PITCH 4 - An airy 5.8 lieback on an unprotectable 5-inch flake to an airy 5.9 undercling where you have to trust your shoes' friction. Led by Clint.

PITCH 5 - This is where the real crack climbing starts. It begins with a 5.11a finger crack (surprisingly good finger locks) and ends with a short airy traverse to a 5.8 crack section. The protection is good. I felt surprisingly solid for this being my first 5.11a crack. Led by Clint.

PITCH 6 - The crack continues, this time as a 5.10b finger crack which becomes easier and wider (eventually 5.9 hands). Led by Clint.

PITCH 7 - Starts with an airy 5.7 traverse across the face to a 5.6 crack up to the top. Led by Steph.

We had started the route late (11:15am) so we could climb in the sun, and had to wait an hour at the first belay for a slower party ahead of us (one of the guys in this party we had seen at the base of the Great Gendarme on Mt. Stuart the weekend before!), but we topped out at 4pm. It was pretty cool to find Clint's entry in the summit register from his climb of the SW couloir with his dad in 1974 (this had only been the 27th ascent of North Early Winter Spire at the time). We wrote our summit register entries on a page that someone had torn out from Clint's Index guidebook.

The descent involved making 3 single-rope rappels into the notch between NEWS and SEWS, then a few minutes of class 3 scrambling, then a free-hanging rappel off a chockstone, a few more minutes of class 3 scrambling, and finally a short rappel to the base of the spire. In all, the descent took us 45 minutes. We saw some gear about a pitch high on the north side of South Early Winter Spire.....looks like the climbing gets pretty difficult after that but someone appears to be trying....

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)


• Second time I climbed West Face:
Date: July 9, 2013
Partner: Jenny Abegg
Brief trip report: Seven years since my first climb up this stellar Washington Pass classic, and just as fun the second time. 

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)


• Third time I climbed the West Face: 
Date: Aug 11, 2017 
Partner: Cindy Beavon
Brief trip report: Cindy had never climbed any routes on North Early Winter Spire, so we decided to do a link-up of NW Corner followed by the West Face. We block led on the West Face, with me leading the route up to the upper shield and Cindy finishing off the route with the splitter 5.9-5.11a fingers money pitches up the upper shield. It was one of those perfect summer days, pleasant temperatures in the morning shade and 70° by afternoon with a light breeze. 

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)


South Early Winter Spire (7807')
Route: DIRECT EAST BUTTRESS (IV, 5.11a or 5.10a C0, 1100', 10p)  South Early Winter Spire
Trip Report #28

Route overlay of the East Buttress. Photo from the hairpin turn. (2006 version)


Route overlay of the East Buttress. Photo from the hairpin turn. (2015 version)
Date: July 15, 2006
Partner: Clint Cummins
Brief trip report: After two stellar alpine climbs near Leavenworth - the North Ridge of Mt. Stuart and the South Face of Prusik Peak, Clint and I headed north to Washington Pass to cooler weather to finish off our 9-day climbing trip. The East Buttress of South Early Winter Spire sounded fun, being the classic route on the South Spire, first done by Beckey as a 2.5 day ascent.

We hiked the Blue Lake Trail on the west side and stashed our boots and extra stuff at the base of the South Arete descent route (took us just under 2 hours to get to base of South Arete). We had worried about the traverse to the base of the East Buttress from here, but we were happy to find it snow-free and relatively friendly, and 1.5 hours later we were beginning the climb. **For more detail about the approach/deapproach options, see my note below in my brief trip report for The Southern Man.**

Two easy pitches led to a tricky 5.9+ roof, followed by a short 5.8 crack and roof to the bolt ladders of the 5th and 6th pitches (5.11 without aid). Here the route traversed around the buttress crest giving some great exposure. I managed to free the first 5.11 section and Clint freed the second. The final three pitches of the climb were easier, but gave great exposure. From the summit of the spire, the 360° view of the surrounding North Cascades was great.

The climb took us just over 5 hours of climbing, and the downclimb+2 rappels descent down the South Arete took an hour.

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)
Route: THE HITCHHIKER (IV, 5.11-, 900', 8p)  South Early Winter Spire 
Trip Report #: 189
Route overlay for The Hitchhiker. Also shows The Passenger.
Date: June 24, 2015
Partner: Janet Arendall
Brief trip report: The Hitchhiker is a phenomenal route on the near-vertical walls on the south side of South Early Winter Spire. It is located about 100 feet to the right of The Passenger, another phenomenal route on the wall.  I climbed these two routes on back-to-back days (Passenger the day after Hitchhiker), and could not decide which route I liked better. Either way both of these routes are tied as my favorite route at WA Pass. The two routes are quite different in character. The Hitchhiker is mostly steep, technical face climbing with lots of lead bolts and only occasional sections of crack climbing. The Passenger has lots of steep crack climbing with a powerful crux and only small, short sections of face climbing with very few lead bolts. Both routes are definitely worth doing. I felt like The Hitchhiker was a fun cruise, while The Passenger was a bit more at the edge of my leading comfort zone. Some day I want to do a "Passhiker" or "Hitchenger" link-up. That would a be a great day of climbing indeed.

Thanks Janet for driving 5.5 hours (both ways) for a day on Hitchhiker. You cruised the cruxes!

On the descent of the South Arete, we came across a mountain goat half-way to the summit. I think the easiest way up is 5.6.

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)

Route: NORTHWEST FACE (III, 5.11a, 800', 10p)  South Early Winter Spire 
Trip Report #: 192
Route overlay of Northwest Face route.
Date: June 27, 2015
Partner: John Plotz
Brief trip report: It was 100° in the lowlands, so John and I decided to stick to north or northwest facing routes. After a lap on the Northwest Corner of NEWS, we headed for the Northwest Face of SEWS. This route features some good challenging climbing: a couple of committing 5.10c-ish layback sections on the first pitch, a sustained and techy 5.11a arching corner layback thing on the second pitch, and the famous Boving Roofs (our third pitch) involving steep, pumpy, mostly hand-sized jamming horizontally for more than 25 feet. Above the Boving Roofs, the route intersects the SW Rib route, which we simulclimbed to the summit. My favorite part of the route was leading the Boving Roofs, since this double roof system has always intrigued me every time I'd walked by the west side of SEWS. 

By the time we finished the Northwest Corner, the whole west side of the spires was baking in the sun, so that was it for the day. We headed back down to the mosquito-infested parking lot. What a fun day.

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)

Route: THE PASSENGER (IV, 5.11+, 800', 7p)  South Early Winter Spire 
Trip Report #: 190250
Route overlay for The Passenger. Also shows The Hitchhiker.
• First time I climbed The Passenger:
Date:
 June 25, 2015
Partner: Jordan Deam
Brief trip report: The Passenger is a phenomenal route on the near-vertical walls on the south side of South Early Winter Spire. It is located about 100 feet to the left of The Hitchhiker, another phenomenal route on the wall. I climbed these two routes on back-to-back days (Passenger the day after Hitchhiker), and could not decide which route I liked better. Either way both of these routes are tied as my favorite route at WA Pass. The two routes are quite different in character. The Passenger has lots of steep crack climbing with a powerful crux and only small, short sections of face climbing with very few lead bolts. The Hitchhiker is mostly steep, technical face climbing with lots of lead bolts and only occasional sections of crack climbing. Both routes are definitely worth doing. I felt like The Hitchhiker was a fun cruise, while The Passenger was a bit more at the edge of my leading comfort zone (in a very rewarding sort of way). Some day I want to do a "Passhiker" or "Hitchenger" link-up. That would a be a great day of climbing indeed.

Thanks Jordan for joining me on this climb. It was great fun to push our selves on a route like this. Great work on that 12a crux!

The goat we had spotted on the South Arete the previous day was still there, probably waiting for the weekend hoard of salty candy-bar-carrying climbers.

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)


• Second time I climbed The Passenger:
Date:
 July 23, 2017
Partner: DR
Brief trip report: I haven't climbed too many harder routes in Washington, but this one has to be one of the best. I think I enjoyed it even more the second time. DR and I swung leads, with me taking the odd pitches and DR taking the even (the even pitches are in general a bit harder and have more of the cruxy sections and face climbing, while the odds are mostly 5.10 crack climbing). For me, Pitches 1 and 4 are the hardest pitches on the route: Pitch 1 is an awkward and strenuous way to start the day, and Pitch 4 contains the psychological as well as physical crux and an awkward chimney thing at the end. After Pitch 4, it's mostly awesome 5.10- climbing to the top!

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)
Route: THE SOUTHERN MAN (IV, 5.12a or 5.11 C1, 1000', 9p)  South Early Winter Spire 
Trip Report #: 188

Route overlay of Southern Man as well as the East Buttress route. Photo from the hairpin turn. 


Another route overlay for Southern Man. Photo from south.
Date: June 21, 2015
Partner: Wayne Wallace
Brief trip report: This route was first climbed in 2008. Named after a Neil Young song, The Southern Man splits off from the East Buttress route about halfway up and climbs the south-facing headwall on the upper south side for 5 pitches to the summit. The headwall pitches are steep and sustained 5.10 to 5.11 crack climbing, mostly fingers, with excellent finger locks. The 5.12a crux on the second headwall pitch is a short bulgy section with bad feet. Overall the rock is clean and solid for being a relatively new route on the wall. 

Wayne and I soloed the first couple of pitches of the East Buttress, swung leads for the next few pitches of the lower East Buttress, then Wayne led the first four headwall pitches, and I led the final headwall pitch to the top of the spire. On the second headwall pitch, which had the crux of the route, Wayne stepped in an aider on the crux 5.12a section and a couple of the steeper 11b sections, while I attempted to completely free this pitch and resorted to pulling on a piece of gear for two moves; we both freed all of the other portions of the route cleanly. Wayne strung together the third and fourth headwall pitches into a single 185-ft lead, which was a pretty impressive bit of climbing given the strenuous and sustained 5.11 nature of the third pitch. The headwall pitches had some great climbing. Wayne and I both enjoyed the route, with our main complaint being that we wished the route had more pitches of headwall and less of East Buttress. The climb from the base of the East Buttress to the top took us 5 hours. The scramble down the South Arete took us just under 30 minutes.

Note on approach/deapproach logistics: There are two options: (1) Park at the hairpin turn, clip all your gear on your harnesses and backpack the rope, scramble up gullies directly to the East Buttress, climb the route with everything you brought with you, descend the South Arete, hike out the Blue Lake Trail with your gear clanking on your harnesses, and hitch-hike/walk/pick-up your car at the hairpin turn; or (2) Park at the Blue Lake Trailhead, put your gear in comfortable backpacks, hike up the Blue Lake Trail to the notch below the South Arete (took us 60-70 min), drop your heavier backpacks and approach shoes here, scramble around the south face to the base of the East Buttress 
(took us 30-35 min), climb the route, descend the South Arete, hike out the Blue Lake trail with your gear in a backpack, and arrive back at your car that is already at the parking lot.

We chose Option 2. I think it takes perhaps an hour longer to get to the route via this option, but we were not pressed for time on this climb, so overall we were glad for expending an extra hour for comfort. However, the 30 minute scramble along the south side in climbing shoes is not exactly a walk in the park. On the south side of SEWS, we came across some mountain goats with some very young babies; at first I thought "oh, cute, let me get some photos!" but it quickly became apparent that the mother goats were particularly anxious and threatened by our presence, and having a 200-lb beast topped with a pair of sharp horns slowly approaching you with a somewhat menacing glare in her eyes on terrain that she can bound across at about 10x the speed you can is a bit nerve-racking....but in the end we made it to the base of the East Buttress without a goring incident....

All in all, a great day at WA Pass. I really enjoy climbing with Wayne. With Wayne, I always feel we can get up just about anything. And quickly too.

Wayne's brief report: https://waynewallace.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/southern-man-sews/

This route inspired an obsession with the south side of SEWS, and a couple of days later was back to climb The Hitchhiker and The Passenger, which many consider to be a couple of the best routes at WA Pass.

Some photos: (in order of when they were taken, with any photos with me in them taken by Wayne):

Route: SOUTHWEST RIB (III, 5.8, 900', 9-10p)  South Early Winter Spire 
Trip Report #143

Photo overlay of Southwest Rib South Early Winter Spire.
Date: July 8, 2013
Partner: Jenny Abegg
Brief trip report: The SuperTopo guide notes that the Southwest Rib of SEWS is "possibly the best 5.8 rock route in the state". The route is indeed a fun one (but the "best," that's a tough decision!), with a variety of climbing on solid rock. The only variation we took was on Pitches 4 and 5, when the topo ambiguously led us to continue along the exposed 5.0 ledge a bit too far, but we were able to link back into the route by climbing a fun 5.6 corner. From ground to summit took us just over three hours, and from summit to ground (via downclimbing and making 2 rappels on the South Arete route) took us about 40 minutes. What a great way to spend a summer day!
Some photos: (in order of when they were taken)
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