Monday, September 5, 2011
Winchester Goose Tower!
Tanner Callender and myself made a couple trips into my 2nd favorite playground over two weekends. The first weekend we had high hopes of finding some Alpine ice but after getting to the NW face of Spirit all we got was a great view of the Bearstooth which was very worthwhile. The next day we got a super early start at 12pm and headed for the steep faces of Spirits North side. We ended up finding a great line we named Winchester Goose Tower!
The pass between Spirit Mtn. and the Bearstooth
The Infamous Bearstooth
Tanner enjoying our "Alpine Start "
Taking it in
Our Route- All pitches are 200ft rope stretchers to really good ledges. After gaining the Ridge on the 5th pitch the climbing gets much easier until the last pitch gaining the top of the tower.
Getting to the base of the walls was very interesting. Early in the morning you want some kind of crampons.
Tanner heading up the first pitch
Tanner heading out on the 3rd pitch. We were psyched how good the rock quality was
Tanner gaining the ridge line after the 4th pitch. It was getting super late and we realized our 12pm start was not going to get us to the top so we ended up bailing into the couloir off the ridge.
As we headed down we got a super good visual of our tower and began making plans to come back the weekend to complete the route in a day. We knew we had gotten the hardest climbing done and with a 4am start from the trailhead it was going to be all about moving fast and light to reach the top quickly.
This is a better, different angle to view our route line
We left the car around 4:30 am and got to the wall in perfect timing as the sun hit it
Me heading up the second pitch
I guess rock climbing isnt so bad !
Coming up the 3rd pitch
Me heading up the 4th pitch with some very memorable movements
Myself on the lower part of the 4th pitch
Tanner the Outlaw
Tanner on the lower pitches
Tanner heading up the easier terrain towards the tower
Tanner doing the last moves on to the top of the tower!
Psyched to be on top of the tower after 8 long pitches of incredible climbing
rappelling of the tower on to the ridge
Tanner running up the remaining easy terrain to the top of Spirit Mountain
Celebrating a successful day and plenty of daylight !
The route is super good quality and provides climbing at a moderate grade around 5.9. Its in a very impressive place with inspiring views! I would go back to climb it in a heartbeat and I dont consider myself a rock climber ha
Heading off to the top of Spirit looking into Glacier Lake area.
As Tanner and I head off the top of Spirit and down one of glaciers on the south side we ran into this guy who came up the glacier with NO Helmet or Crampons and decided to follow us down. Within a few steps he slipped and self arrested and I quickly decided I did not want to have to be responsible for this guys death so we roped him in and lowered him down the glacier to where he could safely walk off. Im amazed how dumb people can be and they put prepared people in a bad situation to where all the sudden we were liable for him. I had long talk with the guy but who knows if he will have learned.