Devo's Climbs

Friday, September 20, 2013

Alpine Climbing at Washington Pass: DEB of SEWS and more - Sep 12-14, 2013

I met JP at Lone Fir CG last week to get some long-standing projects wrapped up. Hwy 20 was still closed, so I drove from Everett via Wenatchee after work Wed night, arriving at 4 am Thursday - ouch. I slept in until 11 am that morning, had some coffee and climbed South Early Winters Spire Thursday afternoon.

SEWS: Southwest Rib, III 5.8

We left the Blue Lake TH at 12:38 pm, were at the base of the SW Rib at 2:07 and began climbing at 2:40.

JP led p1 through the awkward 5.8 bulge. I led the Wavy Hand Crack on p2, the Nervous Nelly on p4/5 and the Bear Hug pitch. JP started us up The Aretes, I led p7 to the rappel horn, and JP took us to the top. We were on the summit at 5:33 pm - an on route time of 2:53.

We down climbed the South Arete and were back at our packs at 6:15 pm - 3:35 round trip. A leisurely hike back to the TH found us at the car at 7:35 pm.

WEST SIDE OF NORTH AND SOUTH EARLY WINTERS SPIRES


PITCH ONE


WAVY CRACK, PITCH TWO


JP ON THE "NERVOUS NELLIE" PITCH FIVE


BEAR HUG TIME




RAPP'IN' INTO THE NOTCH


FINAL PITCH


SUMMIT GLORY


JP: "HUGGIN' BEARS MAKES ME STRONG!"



Friday was a big day: The DEB of SEWS was on the agenda. I'd bailed off the route back in June of '09 and JP'd been eyeing it for awhile. Time to get 'er done.

SEWS: Direct East Buttress IV 5.10a C0

- Left hairpin 5:49 am
- Base of DEB 7:12 am; a 1 hr, 23 min. approach
- Climbing at 7:56 am
- 10:35 am we were @ the top of p4
- 1:15 pm @ the top of p7
- Summited @ 2:51 pm; 6 hr, 55 min. climbing time

JP linked pitches 1 & 2 and led pitches 3, 5 (A0 bolt ladder #1), 8 & 10. I led pitches 4, 6, 7 (bolt ladder #2) & 9. I managed to free climb most of pitch 7 - I pulled on one draw at the 10+ "throw for the obscure finger pocket" move. All-in-all a great climb worthy of it's reputation. One of the coolest top-outs I've ever done.

THE E. FACE OF NORTH & SOUTH EARLY WINTERS SPIRES: THE D.E.B. TAKES THE LINE UP THE CENTRAL CREST OF THE LEFT SPIRE


SOUTH FACE OF SEWS: THE D.E.B. FOLLOWS THE RIGHT HORIZON LINE


JP LINKING P1 & 2


5.8 ROOF ON P4


JP FOLLOWING P4


ENJOYING THE VIEW AND SOME SWEET FINGER CRACK ON P5


PITCH 8 GAINS THE CREST OF THE BUTTRESS


BIG KANGAROO, SILVER STAR AND THE WINE SPIRES FROM THE D.E.B.


THE FINAL EXPOSED 3RD CLASS WALK ALONG THE SUMMIT RIDGE



We'd used our two cars to our advantage and avoided the descent down Spire Gulley, instead "enjoying" another easy hike down the Blue Lake trail.

Certainly was nice to get done early and enjoy cooking dinner in the daylight! We didn't feel like getting up too early on Saturday either, and climbing in the shade away from people was our preference. So off we went to the NW Face of Liberty Bell - another climb I'd bailed on, go figure.

Liberty Bell: NW Face II+ 5.9

- 12:26 pm at the base
- 12:40 pm climbing
- 4:05 pm summit; 3 hrs, 25 min. on route

JP led pitches 1 & 3; I led 2 & 4. We did hasty belays for the exposed scramble between the false and true summits, losing a little bit of time in route finding. The 5.8+ flake on p3 is somewhat loose and a heady lead. The 5.9 finger crack dihedral on p4 is MONEY!

LIEBACKING SOME CREAKY FLAKES ON P3


JP STRIKES A SERENE POSE ATOP LIBERTY BELL


NW FACE OF LIBERTY BELL FROM THE BLUE LAKE T.H.



After all that, we were tired, especially of hiking down the Blue Lake trail for the third time. Another splendid dinner at Lone Fir was followed by a quick turn to bed. We skedaddled by 8am Sunday. Good times!

Link: Washington Pass Sep 12-14, 2013 photo set on Flickr ยป


Gear Notes:
Lot's of it!

Approach Notes:
Up down, all around. I've now down-climbed the South Arete of SEWS more than I've climbed it. A car shuttle for the DEB is a gift to the knees...

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