Trip: South Early Wintet Spire - Southwest Coulior Trip Date: 04/24/2019 Trip Report:
I soloed the coulior on 4/24 this year. As mentioned in a response to @sredgar on this forum, snow cover is very thin already with a couple mandatory sections of choss. Probably three sections by now. Be careful if climbing below other parties.
After daycare dropoff in Seattle at 7:30, I drove straight to trailhead and started hiking around 11:00. It was a sunny day, and I hiked up on snow shoes in a thin long sleeve shirt, sweating profusely. Evidence of significant post holing from other parties the entire way up. Take snow shoes or skis.
I started up the coulior at 12:30 just as another pair was finishing. Snow was very firm in the shade still.
Climbing was straight forward until the first constriction which had no snow cover. Mandatory rock moves in crampons for about 10 feet. Some thin water ice in places that I didn't trust made it interesting. Another long section of firm, steep snow above that. Near the top the snow disappeared again. This time it was in the sun and loose. Lots of talus to navigate. I stuck to the left wall, which offered some decent hand holds and (more) stable rock. Finished the last 40 feet on rocky blocks to the summit.
The view was, incredible.
I downclimbed the summit blocks and upper section of choss, then rapelled the lower section of rock (Crux, at least of down climb) from fixed anchors on right hand wall. Lower section of route was very soft by the time I finished. Had to kick in steps to prevent sliding.
Overhaul a great solo on an incredible sunny spring day. Very surprised how little snow there was at the pass. Rock conditions are dry and warm for those looking for an early season climb.
Steel crampons, axe. Rope and gear for decent. Approach Notes:
Snow shoes or skis to avoid post holing