Bear Creek Spire, NE Ridge, First Winter Ascent

1 Jan 2003 - by Doug Robinson

In January 2003 Michael Thomas and I skied up from Little Lakes Valley and camped at Dade Lake. Leaving our skis at Peppermint Pass we third-classed several hundred feet with ice axes, leading to one of those classic moments of tiptoeing in to the harness, wishing we'd roped-up sooner. Nice Fourth Class led us to traverse onto the East Arete as early as posible, where we found some 5.6 (entertaining in duck-billed 3-pin boots) on the way to the summit, just at sunset. Our hurry off the summit block was interrupted by noticing the most strikingly intense neon-like violet shadows just before the sun set. Quickly descending the NW ridge, we were relieved to find relatively little postholing back to our skis.


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