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mtnovak

the couloir off of early winter spire?

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wondering if any of you know of the route I am talking about, any info on it and the current conditions?

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Do you mean the East facing couloir that separates North and South Early Winter Spires? I climbed it a number of years ago in April. It was 5 60 meter pitches of mixed snow and ice with rock steps over large chockstones. Most of it was 55 degrees, but kicked back to 75 right under the cornice. The cornice was the crux. I aided the rock wall on the left (A2) using cams and KBs until cracks ran out. I then aided the over hanging cornice on pickets to the top. From the col climb gulleys to the summit of North Early. Take 6 medium nuts, KBs, angles, 4 cams to 2", pickets, ice tools and ice screws.

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Or do you mean the skiable couloir on the south side of EWS?

A classic part of the birthday tour...the cornice in the bowl above is a great drop.

My buddy Elan did about a 60 footer over the rocks on the skier's left.

I remember that's where I first saw climbers...

We watched Armond and Tim Wilson solo the south spire, then ski a sick line thru the cliffs skiers left of the mentioned couloir.

Armond slid all the snow off part of the chute and had to ski it out , sans snow!

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If you mean the Southwest Coulior on SEWS, it is skiable in good coditions, though even then the top 1/3rd would be tough given that there is no room for turns. The middle 1/3rd is pretty narrow and steep, but doable if you're used to that kind of skiing. That section would still be pretty unforgiving if you screwed up. The bottom 1/3rd is fairly easy ski, steep in sections but enogh room to turn and negotiate rocks.

 

The conditions right now make it unskiable (top to bottom anyway), at least the top 1/3rd. Rock is all over the place and the middle 1/3rd seemed to be melting out pretty fast.

 

If just want to climb the coulior, it is doable right now, but the melted out section in the top 1/3rd makes it less enjoyable, wear a bucket. Watch the cornice at the top. Don't walk out on it, though it may have calfed off by now.

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thanks for the info guys. i apologize for not clarifying the exact route, it is the southwest couloir of south early winter spires. danielpatricksmith: is that the route you were talking about? any recomendations on gear for the southwest couloir? thanks

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any recomendations on gear for the southwest couloir? thanks

 

Ice axe and crampons is all you need.

 

DPS was refering to the Early Winters Couloir on the east side between NEWS and SEWS, which is much harder. Here is a photo of it.

 

44084.jpg

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I climbed up and down the SW couloir by myself on Sunday. I'm not a very bold person and I didn't think it was a bad solo trip at all. Crampons and an axe are all that you really need. I used a second tool a bit on the down climb. Beware of other parties above as there is a bit of loose rock high up the gully. Have fun, it is short (<2hrs car to summit) but good!

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TR] South Early Winter Spire- Southwest Couloir 4/24/2004 This is the newest trip report for Early Winter Spire, we climbed it last Saturday.

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What Sabertooth said. I was referring to the Early Winter Couloir. The SW Couloir is far easier, I found it a very tame solo route.

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