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North America, United States, Washington—Cascade Mountains, Early Winter Spires

Early Winter Spires. A new route was established in August of 1964 on the South Spire westside by Larry Scott and Don Anderson, and follows the rib crest just left of the "route 1" couloir. Some pleasant scrambling was involved, along with some medium fifth class, and a few bongs were used for aid. A first ascent of the South Spire Southeast Face was done in June, 1965 by Jim Richardson, Margaret Young, Paul Myhre, and Don Anderson, starting up the right corner for some 500 feet and then traversing and penduluming left to beyond the overhangs at midface to where a steep gully eventually gave access to the summit ridge. About 50 pitons were placed during the two-day meandering. The South Spire Northeast Corner route was established in 1965 by Steve Marts, Jock McPherson and Fred Stanley. At about 300 feet up the right corner of the southeast face, a short traverse right followed by a rappel gave access to the cave on the northeast corner of this thin buttress. From here, a loose and poorly protected pitch, an easy ledge system, a difficult aid and free climbing crack system, and a series of easier cracks, ledges, and grooves led to the top of the buttress. The apparently smooth North Spire West Face was first climbed in mid-June by Dave Beckstead and Fred Beckey via a thin crack line that hardly appears to exist, just left of center face. The main feature of the climb is a long rightward-slanting crack which is mixed free and aid climbing, from which one is finally forced around a blind corner on aid and then up a solitary crack for 1½ pitches. Three bolts were used on the climb, the last one being necessary to make a long pendulum to the right, whence some tricky free climbing ended the difficulties. A slight variation of this route was done in August by Bruck Schuler, Fred Stanley, Don Cramer, and Don Anderson, when they started at the lowest corner of the face and climbed directly up to the large flat-bottomed cave.