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North Cascades Climbing with Mountain Madness

Squeezing In One More Day of Rock Climbing In the North Cascades.

Despite the late date on the cal­en­dar, I was able to squeeze one last alpine rock climb­ing trip into a great sum­mer in the North Cas­cades. As the snow now descends upon the Cas­cades and Pacif­ic North­west­ern­ers put a fresh coat of wax on their skis, I was hap­py to get one last trip in on some alpine rock. Join­ing me on this amaz­ing last day of sum­mer in Wash­ing­ton Pass, was Joe Sabek. 

South­west Rib of South Ear­ly Win­ter Spire — Marc Gun­log­son photo

Joe, a rock climb­ing crush­er from New York came out to Seat­tle for our Moun­tain Mad­ness alum­ni rock event in Leav­en­worth the week­end pri­or. After a few days of busi­ness in Seat­tle every­body has to get out once in awhile to unwind and espe­cial­ly with split­ter blue skies in the fore­cast. Joe and I were able to coor­di­nate a day in Wash­ing­ton Pass. No spe­cif­ic agen­da in mind just a lot of rock climbing. 

High on the Route — Marc Rip­perg­er photo

We hiked in and jumped on the SW Rib of South Ear­ly Win­ter Spire. This might be my favorite mod­er­ate alpine route in all of Wash­ing­ton Pass. The climb­ing along the ridge crest was exposed and full of diverse climb­ing with fan­tas­tic views of the val­ley floor and sur­round­ing peaks. How­ev­er, this was­n’t our only climb of the day. We descend­ed the South Arête and then enjoyed a cou­ple more pitch­es up North Ear­ly Win­ter Spire before call­ing it a day after log­ging over 10 pitch­es and 1100 feet of climb­ing. Not a bad day before the rain and snow accu­mu­la­tion the fol­low­ing day. 

Tak­ing a break — Marc Rip­perg­er photo

Until next sea­son adiós! If you still have the rock climb­ing bug, Moun­tain Mad­ness guides will be in Red Rocks enjoy­ing the lights and glam­our of Vegas…oh, and rock climb­ing too.

Great crack climb­ing with amaz­ing view — Marc Rip­perg­er photo

~ MM Guide Marc Ripperger