Artsy Climber

The blog of a Seattle-based designer with a touch of dirtbag.

Upcoming Trips

  • Backpacking Goat Rocks - August 2022

Recent trips

Check out the Trip Reports page to view all past trip reports!

South Early Winters Spire via SW RIB

Washington Pass | August 6th, 2022

Trad Multi-Pitch | 5.8 | 10 Pitches

Came back to Washington Pass to tackle a climb that once intimidated me; the Southwest Rib of South Early Winters Spires. I climbed this peak for the first time back in 2020 via the South Arete (5.6). It was an incredible climb that provided excellent views of the North Cascades from its summit. I recall hearing about the Southwest Rib that day from another party and wondering if I would ever come back to climb it.

Fast forward two years: My friend, Felicia, texted me asking if I had any climbing plans for the weekend. I was in Squamish at the time and was packing up earlier than expected as there was rain in the forecast. After leading several 5.8 pitches confidently, I proposed climbing the Southwest Rib which we both agreed sounded like the best option. We drove down Friday night and car camped at the Blue Lake trailhead to get an early start the following morning.

The Southwest Rib starts a little lower than the South Arete route and provides more challenging terrain with some iconic pitches like the Wavy Crack and the Bear Hug. We followed the Supertopos guidebook closely and swapped leads up to pitch 7. The final three pitches were low class 5 so we decided to simul them. This was my first real simul experience which ended up being awesome! We shaved off a lot of time and had the summit to ourselves. After a quick lunch break, we then descended down the South Arete route and did three rappels to reach the base. We made it back to the car in time to catch some last minute bakery items from the Mazama store. I'd say this trip was a huge success!!

Eldorado and Dorado Needle

North Cascades | July 8 - 9, 2022

Mountaineering | 18 miles | 8,661 ft elevation gain

Some essential gear for this trip:

  • Helmet

  • Crampons

  • Ice Axe

  • Navigation

  • Camping gear

  • Crevasse Rescue gear (Carabiners, prusik loops, cordelette, etc.)

  • Pickets

  • Small climbing rack (BD #.75 - #2)

  • Rope

We hiked up the day before to reach high camp at the base of Eldorado. The boulder field was snow free and consistent snow started a little above 5000 feet. Camp was cold and windy but we enjoyed sneak peeks of incredible views through the rolling clouds. We woke up the next morning around 4AM to start our epic day with a sunrise climb up Eldorado. We saw so many iconic peaks all around us and enjoyed great conditions up and down. After Eldorado, we made a pit stop back at camp before continuing North to Dorado Needle. It was a long walk up and down two glaciers but conditions were great with minimal crevasse issues. Dorado Needle looked menacing from the distance as we crossed the saddle into the Mcallister glacier. We reached the base around 10AM and were stoked to start the climb. The route overall was beautiful and airy and we summited around 11:30AM. Getting off was a little tricky but we reached the base with minimal issues and started the long trek back to camp. We packed up camp and parted ways with the snowy terrain. The trek back down was long and arduous but we made it back to the car with plenty of sunlight to spare. Another great trip with Claire!

Climbing Olympus

Olympics | July 2 - 4, 2022

Mountaineering | 44 miles | 7,387 ft elevation gain

Some essential gear for this trip:

  • Helmet

  • Crampons

  • Ice Axe

  • Navigation

  • Camping gear

  • Crevasse Rescue gear (Carabiners, prusik loops, cordelette, etc.)

  • Pickets

  • Small climbing rack (BD #.75 - #2)

  • Rope

Twenty two miles through lush rainforest and glaciers to access one of Washington most elusive peaks. We camped at Martin Creek both nights which is around 15 miles from the trailhead and about 7 miles to the summit. The route overall was straightforward with minimal crevasse issues. The crevasses right before climbing Snow Dome are getting wider and might pose a problem in the next few weeks. We reached the summit block a little before noon and climbed the North face. A moat is forming around the base of the summit block which might also make things spicier for folks looking to summit in the coming weeks. The views were spectacular and we didn’t really face any drizzle until we got off the glacier. Thanks for planning an awesome trip Felicia!

Hiking Navaho Peak

Teanaway Range | June 26, 2022

Hiking | 13.7 miles | 4,223 ft elevation gain

Some essential gear for this trip:

  • Hiking poles

  • Sun hoodie

  • Sunscreen

  • Hiking shoes

What a lovely hike! We started from the trailhead around 9:30AM and enjoyed a mellow grade trail that took us above the tree line. There were plenty of water sources around us so I was able to use my Befree filter to refill on water easily. The last 1,000 feet are the most challenging as the grade increases. There is some snow to cross near the summit but we didn't need any traction. The summit views were stunning as we were able to see Stewart, Rainier, Adams, the Enchantments and other Cascade peaks North of us. Overall I'd say this is a great conditioner hike if you're looking for something that will push your distance while still getting those nice views!

Skiing Wy'est

Oregon | June 20, 2022

Ski mountaineering | 6.4 miles | 5,249 ft elevation gain

Some essential gear for this trip:

  • Helmet

  • Touring skis

  • Ski poles

  • Ski boots

  • Avy gear (beacon, probe, shovel)

  • Navigation

  • Lots and lots of stoke.

What a beautiful mountain! We got super lucky with the weather window and summited with clear views of several Washington and Oregon volcanoes. The morning was rough because the winds were blowing down the mountain which made the climb up feel like a death march. We also were worried the snow would not soften in time as it stayed rock solid all the way up to Hogsback. We left our skis at Hogsback and took advantage of the great conditions of the Pearly Gates to reach the summit. The summit was calm and clear which was a nice relief after our windy morning. We didn’t spend too much time at the summit and went down via the Old Chute. By the time we reached our skis, the snow had softened up nicely giving us a wonderful ski down the mountain. Another awesome last minute adventure with Claire!

Follow my artwork on Instagram!

I've created a new Instagram page where I plan to post my artwork and pictures of the adventures that inspire me! Check it out and follow me at https://www.instagram.com/artsyclimber