Spontaneity Arête, Le Petit Cheval III 5.7

   
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Washington Pass, Washington, USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 2-6 hours
Approach time: 1.5-2 hours
Descent time: 1.5-2 hours
Number of pitches: 8
Height of route: 900'
Overview
The Spontaneity Arête, with solid rock, straightforward climbing, and an easy approach, has become a modern classic. It’s made up of mostly lower angle climbing with a few short, fun and well-protected 5.7 sections. It’s great for climbers looking to push themselves at the grade. It also has a ton of awesome 5.0-5.4 finger and hand cracks: a rarity in the area. The line itself is an aesthetic feature and you have excellent views of the Liberty Bell group. The route has one small disadvantage: a lack of exposure on one side. The exposure is great to the north with airy views looking toward the highway. To the right you are never more than a couple hundred feet above the gully no matter how high you climb.

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Route History
In June 2004, Larry Goldie was heading east over Washington Pass late in the day when he noticed the west ridge of this little formation highlighted in the sun. A few days later, Goldie and Scott Johnston were headed up to climb the Direct East Buttress on South Early Winters Spire. Goldie mentioned the line as they were driving by and Scott said, “Want to go check it out right now?” Goldie swung the car around, and they made their way up to the start of the route. Goldie said, “We found the climbing so enjoyable, with pitch after pitch of fine moderate climbing on solid rock.” They were also delighted by the aesthetic line. They knew they had just discovered a new moderate classic.

The only down side was an unsavory descent down a steep, loose gully. The pair went back a few days later to establish a trail and Goldie decided to find a more pleasant descent. He set up the rap route a week or so later while guiding the second ascent of the climb. The name Spontaneity Arête comes from the spontaneous first ascent.

Strategy
Despite being a newer route, there isn’t much loose rock and the route is quite clean. On the approach, it’s easy to walk right past the start of the route. If you hike into the gully to the right of the route, you’ve gone too far. Look for the corners that mark the start. The first two pitches have awesome 5.7 climbing, starting with some steep...   [full history for SuperTopo members only!]

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Source: SuperTopo Guidebook Staff
Le Petit Cheval - Spontaneity Arête III 5.7 - Washington Pass, Washington, USA. Click to Enlarge
The North face of Le Petit Cheval as seen from the road.
Photo: Ian Nicholson
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The North face of Le Petit Cheval as seen from the road.
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