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North America, United States, Washington - Cascade Mountains, Little Mac Spire, Southwest Arete

Little Mac Spire, Southwest Arête. On our third day in the Southern Pickets, Art Huffman and I were looking for a route that did not involve scrambling up some rotten gully to get to solid rock. On August 15, after a two-hour approach from a camp east of Terror Basin, we stepped off a snowfield onto some very solid granite. This was the base of the southwest arête of the easternmost of the McMillan Spires, which was first climbed via its south face in 1969 and named Little Mac Spire (See A.A.J., 1970, 17:1, p.122). On the western side of the arête is the gully separating East McMillan and Little Mac Spires, while on the other side is the steep 500-foot south face. The rock on the crest remained solid, although not always granitic, for eight enjoyable leads of class four and five, and led directly to the summit. The average angle is perhaps 50° to 60°, broken by three nearly vertical steps along the way. Descent was by rappel down the upper arête and lower south face. NCCS II, F4.

Don Williamson, unaffiliated