Early Morning Spire, Southwest Face variation. On July 4, Lowell Skoog, Gary Brill and I climbed the southwest face of Early Morning Spire. Where the face steepens two-thirds of the way up, we varied from the original line. Instead of climbing the chimney, we traversed a snowpatch right toward the south corner. From here, the corner was gained in one lead via a steep dihedral and an airy rightward finger traverse (F7 or F8) at the top of a large slab. The summit ridge was gained after four more pitches of moderate 5th class climbing on the steep ridgeline. The exposed climbing, consistently good rock, and majestic setting made this one of the most enjoyable alpine climbs any of us has done.
Mark Bebie, unaffiliated