Started from the trailhead at 6:15am. Very cold early but quickly warmed up. Reached the summit in total of 4 hours. Not much snow in the couloir due to low snow year. Few places of hard ice. Used pickets, screws, nuts, 2nd tool.
Route will not be "in" very long this season so go out and do it now!!
I climbed this fun route with Tom Fralich (see his post below).
After claiming a campsite in a nearby campground, we began the mercifully short approach to SEWS around 2:00 PM. By 3:30, we were started up the first pitch of the South Arete. The climb consisted of an enjoyable mix of short low-5th class climbing sections separated by 3rd and 4th class scrambling. The highlight of the climb was a short but clean sequence of chimney moves on pitch 2. The clouds constantly threatened us with showers but never fully delivered and by 5:30 we were taking summit photos. The descent was mostly down climbing with the occasional seated hip belay for sketchy portions. We rapped the chimney and also the section back to the bottom of the route. We were off the route by 6:30 and in parking lot for victory beers by 7:45.
With E Sandbo. Eric and I were planning on climbing the NE Ridge of Bugaboo Spire in August and decided we should climb all the Liberty Bell group spires in a day in order to practice climbing efficiency. We didn't keep count of the number of 5th class pitches but it must have been close to 20. We carried a 2nd rope, 9mm, for longer rappels and our standard climbing rack of stoppers and hexes.
The original plan was to climb Black Peak but after waiting for 3 hours at Wing Lake for the weather to clear, we decided to retreat just to see the peak clear out once we were back at Heather Pass. All disappointed to salvage the day we decided to do a quick trip to SEWS at least. It was 3pm when we got to the base of the south route. We were the only ones going up so had the whole place to ourselves. Fun route with a nice chimney on P2, and a short unprotected traverse higher up. Due to being in a hurry could not spend much time on the summit, back on the ground at 7pm, ran down the trail and a long drive back to Portland. Great weekend, thanks Jim.
After retreating from Black Peak due to low clouds (which later completely cleared up!), Haydar and I decided to climb SEWS as a consolation prize. This was a surprisingly fun route - great views all the way up. The downclimbing was kind of a pain but it went quickly. We were back at the car and driving down I5 in time to catch the fireworks for at least 20 different small towns.
Lee Davis and I climbed this really nice route on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The approach went quickly since 90% of it is now snow free. We racked up at the larch tree, then waited an hour for a really slow party of the 5.8 widecrack pitch. This lady took over half an hour to move up 40 feet!
I lead the first pitch which had a harder section about half way up. After cranking through the interesting 5.8 section, it eased until the belay. Technically I thought this was the hardest pitch, despite what the guidebook says. On the next lead I cranked throught the widecrack quickly finding it to be very easy. I combined pitches 2 & 3 with our 70 meter rope, only placing 2 pieces in 130 feet. Was feeling strong!
Lee lead the 5.6+ slab pitch easily which was enjoyable. I blew up the bearhug finding it to be much easier than rated. Lee lead the easy slab pitch after that, then I got the summit pitch. We downclimbed the South Arete, before hiking back to the car, then enjoyed a nice dinner in Winthrop.
Very fun climb with Felix Danila on Memorial Day - mostly simul-climbed. With bad weather hanging over the area, we were very happy to get this route in. Crux on the first pitch was nice and very well protected. Lots of fun scrambling the rest of the way to the summit. Snow cover all the way to the trailhead made it hard to find the right path and we got a bit lost in the beginning but no problems otherwise. We saw about 4 other parties on the route.
Perfect day even though it was slightly overcast. Was a little disapointed I didn't see the killer Billy Goats I've heard so much about.
Beautiful day in a beautiful area. Climbed with skook.
Perfect day, with perfect conditions. A nice route to try a solo climb.
Sweet climb with great weather. The "5.3" scramble up top is really class 4 at best. We did encounter short sections of snow/ice in the 50+ degree neighborhood. Ski down was great on slushy corn.
Jon and I had some good experience building on this climb. Keep on moving.
Climbed with Marcus. Great views. It was fun to be back in the mountains again after some time off.
1979 with Fred; 1995 with Fred and Tanya.
SW Couloir as a snow climb. June 22, 2011. With Fred
Couldn't have asked for a better day climbing. We were the first party to head out of Blue Lake, and didn't see another party until we returned to the base of the climb.
Martin and I climbed the South Arete route after camping at Blue Lake. This was my first multipitch alpine rock experience, and we had a great time. I really liked the views of the North Cascades from the top. We met lots of nice people along the route and at the summit.
Climbed the south arete a few times, south couloir, and a variation on the sw buttress. Fantastic, fun, multi pitch climbs that are exciting but not too intense.
First Alpine lead. Great weather. Other than the first and maybe second pitches, it's nothing more than a scramble. Be cautious of other parties above you on the descent kicking down rocks, it's a funnel.