Northwest Corner, North Early Winters Spire III 5.9+

   
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Washington Pass, Washington, USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 2.5-5 hours
Approach time: 1.5-3 hours
Descent time: 1.5-3 hours
Number of pitches: 6
Height of route: 600'
Overview
The Northwest Corner of North Early Winters Spire is a stunning route on excellent rock. The granite is less featured than is typical in Washington Pass; at first glance this smooth granite looks more like Yosemite or the Index Town Walls. This route is most famous for a thuggishly sustained 3-4” corner crack that starts on Pitch 4 and continues part way into Pitch 5. This corner pitch was put up before cams had been invented and is old school 5.9, for sure. Imagine attempting to slot hexes and tube chocks into it as you jam your way up it. The Northwest Corner is a classic route on the hardest spire in the Liberty Bell group and is worth doing for the sheer quality of the climbing.
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Route History
This route was first climbed in 1976 by Paul Boving and Steve Pollock. Later that summer this pair also established the Northwest Face of South Early Winters Spire. The pair had the original intention of attempting to free climb the West Face but then changed their plans to attempt this undone and obvious line. Pollock went on to claim the first ascent of Dury Falls in the Tumwater Canyon. Boving, a former UW student and Yakima native, was one of Washington’s most prominent climbers in the 1970s until his untimely death in 1977 on a route he put up at Index, Thin Fingers. Boving had climbed Thin Fingers twice before but fell while climbing it for the third time, pulling his gear and hitting a ledge, resulting in a head injury and an issuing coma. He never came out of his coma and died shortly thereafter. People who knew him say he typically wore a helmet but For some reason he didn’t wear it that day. Boving made the first ascent of some of the most famous and most difficult routes of Washington’s like R.O.T.C. and the Boving Route on Dragontail Peak in The Enchantments.

Strategy
This is likely the most popular route on North Early Winters Spire. Mid-week you should have the route to yourself, but on weekends plan to share the route. Passing is difficult except at belays. The first two pitches are shared with the West Face, adding ...   [full history for SuperTopo members only!]

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Source: SuperTopo Guidebook Staff
North Early Winters Spire - Northwest Corner III 5.9+ - Washington Pass, Washington, USA. Click to Enlarge
North Early Winter Spire
Photo: Ian Nicholson
Other Routes on North Early Winters Spire
North Early Winters Spire - West Face III 5.11a or 5.10a C1 - Washington Pass, Washington, USA. Click for details.
West Face, III 5.11a or 5.10a C1
North Early Winters Spire
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North Early Winter Spire
North Early Winters Spire - Early Winter Couloir III AI2-3 and M4+ - Washington Pass, Washington, USA. Click for details.
Early Winter Couloir, III AI2-3 and M4+
North Early Winters Spire
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Early Winters Couloir from the east
North Early Winters Spire - Chockstone Route II+ 5.7 - Washington Pass, Washington, USA. Click for details.
Chockstone Route, II+ 5.7
North Early Winters Spire
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North Early Winter Spire - Blue Bradley follows Pitch 6 of the Chockstone Route
North Early Winters Spire - Flycatcher Buttress IV 5.10b - Washington Pass, Washington, USA. Click for details.
Flycatcher Buttress, IV 5.10b
North Early Winters Spire
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The East Buttress’s of South and North Early Winters
North Early Winters Spire - Labor Pains III 5.11a - Washington Pass, Washington, USA. Click for details.
Labor Pains, III 5.11a
North Early Winters Spire
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North Early Winter Spire
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