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North America, United States, Washington, Cascade Mountains, Liberty Bell and South Early Winter Spire

Liberty Bell and South Early Winter Spire. On August 16 and 17, Keith Hertel and I completed the first free ascent of the Independence Route. During the summer of 1990, with Bruce Anderson we had climbed the first six pitches, which were enjoyable climbing up to 5.11c. Unfortunately the next two pitches, originally A4 and A2, have several sections of decomposing granite cracks and seams, which required some yo-yoing but were done at 5.12a (V, 5.12a). Over Labor Day, Brooke Sandahl, Kurt Schmier and Adam Grosowski freed Liberty Crack with the crux at the Lithuanian Lip (V, 5.13a). Passenger route on South Early Winter Spire follows a line directly up the center of the southeast face. It was completed in August by Brian Burdo, Pete Doorish and Greg White. It features eight pitches, all but one of which are 5. 10d or harder (V, 5.12a).

Steven Risse