Do this climb first! It's a classic, it's easy, and will have you wire the descent for harder routes on the spire. The left hand skyline of Bugaboo Spire (south ridge) was climbed by Conrad Kain in 1916. It's now rated at 5.6 grade 3.
The only difficulty is the gendarme just below the summit. The crack is 5.6 with an airy move turning the corner of this tower-like obstacle. This route is cake if you climb at a moderate level and are familiar with moving over exposed terrain.
Leave the Conrad Kain hut or the campsite up at Applebee and head to the Bugaboo/Snowpatch Col (1+hour) . You may need crampons here if the snow has melted out and watch for the ?shrund?. Years ago a climber was cemented into this crack when a sluff of heavy snow followed the fallen climber in. At the top of the col watch out for loose scree that might be partially embedded in the ice and snow as this could dent your new helmet. Ask the ranger at the hut about current conditions.Scramble up lichened boulders and tend right shooting for the south ridge proper. A little headwall of about a rope length may need a bit of protection if you are uncomfortable in soloing this. It's kind of a chimney stem slot that is really solid and is about 5.4 in difficulty. Notice the rap slings at the top. Keep going scramble the obvious whaleback ar?te and rope up at the base of the gendarme. This climbing is so much more pleasurable in rockshoes rather than shanked leather boots? you might not even wonder who would wear those clunky boots. Well some purists still do but its more fun in lighter shoes. You might want to leave the heavier boots at the col for the descent.
The gendarme is pretty cool, all white and out in space and only about a rope length long.Scramble to the 3176 metre (10,420 ft) summit and dream about climbing all the spires here and wonder how Conrad Kain felt when he got to the top.
This climb will have you salivating at the quality of the granite. As you pull up onto the summit and are thinking, ?Is all the rock this crystalled and solid here?? It is, in fact. Do the east ridge next!
Rappel the gendarme over the face, a little hard to do if there are other climbers on the route. Otherwise rappel from the notch over the 650m east face (be sure to tie a knot in the rope) and angle south to easy ledges that lead back to the whaleback ar?te (perhaps rig a directional for the second). Use a double rope. One further rappel gets you down the stem chimney. And then it's a scramble to the col. Check all rap slings thoroughly. Be prepared to replace if abraded or eaten by rodents.
Bugaboo Provincial Park is located in southeastern BC, halfway between Golden and Radium Hot Springs, and west of Highway 95 (60 km south of Golden). Access to the park is via a good gravel road, open late spring through late fall, that begins at Brisco, 27 kilometres north of Radium Hot Springs on Highway 95. This 45-kilometre road into the park is frequently travelled by logging trucks, so drivers should exercise extreme caution at all times. Park visitors should park their vehicles in the public lot and not in that of the Bugaboo Lodge (Canadian Mountain Holidays), unless permission is granted. Visitors are recommended to protect their vehicle with chicken wire to deter small animals from chewing on wires and tires.To get to Radium Hotsprings/Parsons/Brisco area head toward the Bugaboo Lodge Canadian Mountain Holidays following Bugaboo Creek. Pack and head across the glacial morainal outwash, and hike the steep trail. Sections have been blasted out of the rock and a ladder or two are in place. Allow 10 to 12 hours from Vancouver to the parking lot. Allow 3 hours up the trail to the hut and about a half hour up to the Applebee campsite.
Note:The climbs in Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park are not rock climbs at sea level so be prepared for what high places can throw your way. Lightning is pretty well guaranteed after about 3- 4 days of high pressure in July and August. Snow, hail and rain will usually accompany storms or generally unsettled weather. As with most mountain climbs it is good practice to try to plan to be on the summit by noon. Use common sense and have fun.
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Posted By: Sarabiner
- Mon Oct 13 18:28:52 UTC 2008
UpsideEpic. DownsideBusy. If your climbing, wake up well before the crack of dawn to get out or you'll be waiting in line for any starred climb. CommentWill be back many times to climb I'm sure.