West Face on North Early Winters Spire

Following on the crux pitch

Washington Pass packs a whole bunch of awesome alpine granite climbing into a tight, easy-to-access location.  With only a couple of routes up there under my belt so far, the opportunity to have a beautiful fall day on the West Face was easy to say yes to.

Goran and I drove up from Seattle on Friday night, getting to the Blue Lake Trailhead around midnight.  We rolled our sleeping bags out in the parking lot and hopped in them quickly since it was quite cold.  The morning brought a solid frost and cold temps in the shade, so we waited for a while before heading up.  The approach went quickly in about an hour and we started climbing through the first two pitches (linked) in the shade.  By the time I started leading pitched 3 and 4, the sun was peeking around onto the face.  Cold hands and feet gave way to comfort as I pulled past the tat on the flake and into
the layback 5.9+ section.

Goran tried his hand at the crux and did really well, only popping off a couple of times when his feet smeared off.  I took it from there and had an absolute blast pulling up the off-vertical 5.10c crack with good holds every so often.  I had enough rope, so I ran it all the way to the top anchor, which ended up being a full 70m pitch.  Stellar!