A moderate and interesting climb with short steps of 4th and 5th class climbing interspersed with 3rd class scrambling. The South Arete is an appealing route on good rock with plentiful belay points and anchors. Early season can have snow on the approach - might want to bring an ice axe. This route is a L O N G way from Portland, and it's kinda silly to drive all that way to climb a few pitches of rock. Make a weekend of it and combine this other classics in the area like Liberty Bell.

Other Information
Driving Distance from Portland 310 miles
Driving Time from Portland 7 hours
Expected Duration Car to car in one day
Relevant Books Selected Climbs in the Cascades Vol. 1 by Nelson and Potterfield Cascade Alpine Guide: Rainy Pass to Fraser River by Fred Beckey
Relevant Maps (Maps not really needed - climb is very close to highway) USGS 7 minute series, Washington Pass, USGS North Cascades National Park, Green Trails Washington Pass <href="http: maps.google.com="" maps?f="q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=South+Early+Winter+Spire&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=40.732051,93.164063&ie=UTF8&ll=48.511999,-120.651255&spn=0.016688,0.04549&t=p&z=15"" title="Google map">Google map</href="http:>