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Dan_Cauthorn

[TR] Liberty Bell & South Early Winter Spire- Liberty Crack / Direct East Buttress Link-Up 9/7/2005

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Climb: Liberty Bell & South Early Winter Spire-Liberty Crack / Direct East Buttress Link-Up

 

Date of Climb: 9/7/2005

 

Trip Report:

2005 appears to be a busy season for traverses and link-ups in the Washington Pass area. Here's another: Yesterday, Greg Foweraker and I climbed Liberty Crack on Liberty Bell and the Direct East Buttress of South Early Winter Spire in a 14 hour day. We started up Liberty Crack around 6:30 am and topped out a bit after 1 pm. After descending the regular route on Liberty Bell, we hiked around and up the Blue Lake basin to the saddle next to South Early Winter Spire. Leaving our approach shoes at the base of the South Arete, a descending traverse below the south face of the spire allowed us to access the Direct East Buttress route. We started up the first pitch around 3 pm. The climb took a little over 3 hours. We descended the South Arete in the evening light and hiked out the Blue Lake trail, arriving at the highway at 8 pm, just as darkness fell. A recommended, full value day at the Washington Pass crags!

 

Gear Notes:

Cams to 3.5. RP's for the Lip. Many draws for the fixed gear and bolts. Light aidders. No jugs. 1 70M rope.

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We didn't free climb anything harder than 5.9+ or 5.10- on either route. The aiders were used by both leader and follower on the Lithuanian Lip pitch and on the next pitch (pitch 3), clipping the scary rotten tat until the crack opens up. All the rest of the climbing on both routes is either moderate free climbing or pulling on fixed gear. The bolt ladders on the Direct East Buttress are pretty easy to climb w/o aiders, just yarding off of quick draws. It's kind of fun. And just to set the record straight, I've never been one to "cruise 5.11". But thanks anyway.

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Is that like a grade VIII? Dan, maybe you can share some memories from the first free ascent of the DEB of SEWS. Were you on the first free ascent? Must have been exciting back before the anchors were up-graded.

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Grade VIII! Wow! When the NW face of NEWS is tacked on, will that make a grade XI?

Seriously, I think it was Wayne Kamara that did the FFA of DEB. Not me. The holds are too small.

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