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512dude

[TR] Washington Pass - N.&S. Early Winter Spires - NW Corner & SW Rib 7/10/2007

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Trip: Washington Pass - N.&S. Early Winter Spires - NW Corner & SW Rib

 

Date: 7/10/2007

 

Trip Report:

I hooked up with Kevin and we decided to give the following routes a go:

 

North Early Winter Spire - NorthWest Corner 5.9

South Early Winter Spire - SouthWest Rib 5.8

 

The approach took about ~1.5 hours and needs simple approach shoes nothing else at this time. With a lunch at noon the routes themselves both went in 2.5-3 hours each moving at a moderate pace.

 

Coming off North we rapped the gully and used 2x60m. South Spire descent we used the South Arete and down climbed to the last 200' which we descended in one rap.

 

The bugs were thick but the temps were nice and comfy at around 70's for the day.

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Take two or three 4" cams (3.5 and 4 Camalots) for the off-wdith crux on NW Corner and one 4" for the SW Rib route. Otherwise a medium rack with mostly cams and a few nuts.

 

Approach Notes:

Trail is clear and snow is almost all gone. Should be with hot temps in the valley.

 

WA_Pass_Stitch.jpg

WA Pass View - Panaroma

 

Wash_Pass0075001.jpg

 

North Early Winter Spire - NW Corner Route

 

Wash_Pass0029.JPG

 

Wash_Pass0032.JPG

 

Wash_Pass0035.JPG

 

Wash_Pass0074005.jpg

South Early Winter Spire - SW Rib Route

 

Wash_Pass0049.JPG

 

Wash_Pass0052.JPG

 

Wash_Pass0062.JPG

 

Wash_Pass0065.JPG

Edited by 512dude

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I thought that the Zig-Zag flakes pitch was more strenuous than the offwidth pitch, which really isn't >3.5" for very far.

 

Also, there's a sweet 5.9 fingercrack on SEWS SW Rib, above and right of your third dot from the ground, just to the left of some roofs. Dumps you out onto the 5.6 slab. Very fun.

 

 

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Yeah, that "crux corner" is only 5.9 for about 15 feet then 5.7 for the rest of the pitch. The flakes pitch below it is the highlight of the route and felt harder to me too.

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Nice! Thnks for shoring the pics. I've been thinking abput the NW Corner Of NEWS. How strenuous was the off-width?

 

It was nice temps the day we did the route but realize that the valley was seeing 90+ degrees!

 

The off-width is an off-width and once the arm and leg are in there one just has to relax with enough body tension to readjust. Like the other dudes said, it is relatively short and then face holds appear and options show up. It is similar to the OW on Backbone Ridge on Dragon Tail. If you want to shore up on OW go to Leavenworth and do a few and then go do it but it is well protected with 4" cams so no worries.

 

This is further up the corner when it eases...

 

Wash_Pass0034.JPG

 

Enjoy!

Edited by 512dude

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Also, there's a sweet 5.9 fingercrack on SEWS SW Rib, above and right of your third dot from the ground, just to the left of some roofs. Dumps you out onto the 5.6 slab. Very fun.

 

 

Actually it's more like 10.a to 10.b. It is a sweet fingercrack though! Even more fun when you're carrying the group pack!

 

 

Here's a picture of it! The flake below me to the left is pitch 2.

SEWS_7.JPG

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Hell yeah, I love both of those routes, looked like a great day out 512.

 

Mythos and Gary, thanks for the info on that variation, I will have to check that out sometime. Hell maybe this fall.

 

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Regarding the NW corner:

 

You can string that crux pitch out to a 60 meter rope stretcher and belay above that last little corner way up there, just a short scramble below the summit.

 

I also think someone should take a knife up and cut all that tat off the block at the base of the offwidth. I think the block is a little dodgy, there's great gear for a belay, and it's the only "fixed" anchor on the route. If there's still a bail off sling on the little tree towards the bottom of the flake pitch, someone oughta take that out too.

 

It's a pretty skinny offwidth, and I have biggish hands, I might have done one arm bar, but I think it was really nothing wider than fist.

 

I think I gotta go do that SW rib, looks swell.

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Yesterday Otto and I did the SW Rib to that finger crack presented by Mythosgirl then to the Boving Roofs of the NW Face Route (SEWS). Highly recommended!

 

3747-SEWSwestface.jpg

The purple is what we did. Have to do a bit of a backtrack/downclimb to link the finger crack pitch with the roofs pitch, but it was well worth it.

 

One exceptionally nice feature for yesterday was that all the belays were in shady alcoves.

3747-SEWSwestface.jpg.d4353abb1b687ba4ca838052ce41b644.jpg

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So how much 5.9 climbing is there on the NWC route?

 

Just 15' of OW and a few moves above the big roof?

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There is a reasonable amount of 5.8-5.9 climbing. The undercling pitch has a one move crux, but is fairly sustained 5.8 up to the crux. The offwidth is 5.9 for about 15', then it starts to ease. I think there is also on more short 5.9 bit after the OW pitch, but I remember this being pretty straightforward.

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Trog,

 

I found the pitch before the off-width more of the crux. Looking down from the belay at the 5.9 off-width that prior pitch looks like this and the traverse undercling out to the edge of the flake is the fun bit!

 

Wash_Pass0033.JPG

 

 

There is a reasonable amount of 5.8-5.9 climbing. The undercling pitch has a one move crux, but is fairly sustained 5.8 up to the crux. The offwidth is 5.9 for about 15', then it starts to ease. I think there is also on more short 5.9 bit after the OW pitch, but I remember this being pretty straightforward.
Edited by 512dude

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How are the rests on the flake pitch? Can you power up to rests to place pro w/o a lot of run-out, or do you need to place under the flake with one hand while underclinging with the other?

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That sounds like an awesome linkup, Chuck. Upchuck, heh heh. That double roof pitch is killer.

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The flake pitch on NW Corner is much harder than the dreaded offwidth corner above, which has LOTS of face features, rests, and is super well protected.

 

The off width on NW Corner is considerably easier and less strenuous, in my opinion, than that on Backbone Ridge, which is very sustained, steep, wide, and otherwise featureless...

 

The NW Corner is one of my favorite routes at WA Pass.

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The flake pitch on NW Corner is much harder than the dreaded offwidth corner above, which has LOTS of face features, rests, and is super well protected.

 

The off width on NW Corner is considerably easier and less strenuous, in my opinion, than that on Backbone Ridge, which is very sustained, steep, wide, and otherwise featureless...

 

The NW Corner is one of my favorite routes at WA Pass.

 

Perhaps I can infer, but what makes the flake pitch so strenuous in your opinion??? I think it's technically rated 5.8, correct?

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The flake pitch is mostly 5.8 or easier, but onthe crux you move out over thinner feet and have to reach high around a corner to lock in a good hold (5.9-5.9+). Technically harder, but not as strenuous as the OW IMO.

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imho, y'all are kind of analyzing a pretty straighforward pitch to death here. it protects - its 5.8 to 5.9 - and its fun as hell.

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imho, y'all are kind of analyzing a pretty straighforward pitch to death here. it protects - its 5.8 to 5.9 - and its fun as hell.

 

Fair enough, but I was a new trad leader last year, and worked up to comfortably leading 5.8 by J-tree in November and following 5.9. I tore my ACL and had it reconstructed in March and am hoping to be back to climbing by August after a 9-month break. NWC been on my list for a long time and just trying to figure out if this is a realistic objective for this year.

5.9 face moves vs. 5.9 foot jams matter to me and my new ACL.

 

I'm a new father, so pretty risk averse at this point. Thanks all for the beta. I may be looking for a rope gun in a month or two!

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