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The Outdoor Athlete Book by Courtenay and Doug Schurman



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About Us > Adventures > S. Early Winter Spire

S. Early Winter Spire, 5/20/01

6 of us spent the day climbing in the North Cascades, reaching the summit of S. Early Winter Spire under beautiful conditions and clear blue skies (not the case merely a day earlier, when we were snowed off Kangaroo Temple!) Susan Wright, Doug Schurman and Courtenay Schurman were rope leaders, George Oliver, Susan Poulsom, and Danny Geiger participated as students in our mentor group through the Seattle Mountaineers' Basic Climbing class. Pictured (left) is the bulk of the S. Arete route on S. Early.

Following is a listing of pictures in order taken, from parking lot to summit to glissade and, finally, "success" photos back at the cars. All photographs taken by Courtenay Schurman except where noted.

Views of corniced ridge due south of S. Early Winter Spire

S. Arete Route (shown, top).

Danny Geiger and Doug Schurman relaxing at the base, waiting their turn

Susan Wright takes a breather past the crux (you can see rope veering right then left across a finger traverse) on the first pitch.

Doug Schurman leading the crux move / step across the slab.

Danny Geiger travels in coils on between-belay scrambling, which we simul-climbed

Courtenay Schurman in thumbs-up coils (photo by Danny Geiger). Getting closer!!

Danny Geiger with the "Whale back" in the foreground and stunning snow-capped peaks in background.

George Oliver crosses the "Whale back"

George Oliver and Doug Schurman relax on summit block

Summit shot with Susan Wright included.

Summit shot with Courtenay Schurman included (taken by S. Wright).

Downclimbing from the summit block: Susan Wright (top), and Susan Poulsom (middle) retrace their steps as Danny Geiger offers helpful suggestions and reminds them where the running belays (and most importantly, the remaining GEAR) were.

Another downclimbing shot of Susan, Susan and Danny.

View looking southwest from a rap station.

"Help, it's stuck!!" Susan ended up repeating the crux all over again to retrieve her rope, which somehow tied its end into an overhand knot as Danny tried to pull it down.

Awesome glissading -- looking back at S. Early Winter Spire and our glissade trail; it took merely 45 minutes to descend from where we roped up (top picture) back to the car! It joins the list of good glissades, which includes Adams and St. Helens.

George Oliver glissading -- but watch out for that tree!

Wallaby Peak and Kangaroo Ridge (looking somewhat southeast).

Liberty Bell from the parking lot at 6 p.m.

Success! We arrive safely back at the parking lot around 6:30 in time for treats: cold drinks, chocolate zucchini cake, and Doritos (what else tastes better following a day of climbing than sugar, beverage and salt??)



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