Chianti Spire is the second (from the north) of four granite formations (plus one adjoining formation called Paisano Pinnacle) that make up a cluster known as the Wine Spires. The “cluster” forms a ridge trending SE to NW. At their northern terminus (at the foot of Burgundy’s north face) the spires are separated from Vasiliki Ridge by Burgundy Col. On the south side, a thin-looking ridge connects the Wines to the West Summit of Silver Star Mountain. Chianti’s summit is roughly equal in elevation to the nearby Burgundy Spire (within resolution of USGS maps, ~8400 feet) – shorter than Pernod and taller than Chablis. All routes up Chianti require 5th class rock climbing (easiest reported by Beckey is on the north face, II 5.6). Spire was first climbed by J. Hieb and A. Maki in 1952 (Beckey’s gang….though at the time Becky was FA-ing another Wine Spire). Note that there are 2 versions of the route page for the most popular line on the formation, Rebel Yell (III 5.10). One is more adventurous, the other one is more anal. Take your pick.
None. NW Forest Pass is NOT required as you’re parking on the side of the state highway. Note that WA state highway 20 (North Cascades Highway) is closed from first snow till spring.
No permits required. Follow standard leave-no-trace rules. Good campsites (year-round spring provides water, look 200 yards north of trail) available at a wooded bench at ~6400 feet when approaching via standard approach described here. Few (2 or 3) bivy sites established at Burgundy Col at ~7950 feet (year round snow for water). Slogging bivy gear up the Col would be fun once snow free (trailhead ~4250 feet)…
Wine Spires are located within Okanogan National Forest. Area is administered by Methow Valley Ranger District out of Winthrop, WA (509 996 2266).
(1) Selected Climbs In The North Cascades, Volume I (2nd ed.) by Jim Nelson and Peter Potterfield. Excellent description for Rebel Yell route only including topo. ISBN 0-89886-767-3. (2) Cascade Alpine Guide, Volume 3 (2nd ed.) by Fred Beckey. Descriptions for all routes listed below. ISBN 0-89886-423-3.
(1) North Face (II 5.6). FA by J. Hieb and A. Maki in 1952 (?). (2) Lichen Bouquet (II 5.9). FA by A. Kearney and M. Houston in 1989. (3) Rebel Yell (III 5.10). FA by J. Nelson (of guidebook fame) and M. Bebie in 1986. Search www.cascadeclimbers.com for new route development beta.