Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Shooting the Bugaboos!

Snowpatch Spire and the Howsers

Late last month, I spent a week in the Bugaboos in Southeastern British Columbia, my fourth trip to the range in the last eight years.  I can't seem to get enough of this place.  Since I returned to Portland, I've been focused on activities other than climbing (mostly work and ... ahem ... Phish at the Greek Theater).  I haven't had time for a proper trip report, and I honestly don't think I'll get around to doing one, so I'll give a little narrative through some pics I shot during the week. 

Here's the summary.  We didn't knock out the big objective for the trip because of suspect weather and perhaps overly cautious decision making on my part.  But I did get in several very fun routes and had a great time in one of the best alpine playgrounds around.

Armoring the Cars at the Trailhead

Nate on the Slog to Applebee Camp

Moonrise over Taurus Mountain

Snowpatch Spire in Morning Light

James on the Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col

Climbers on the Approach to the East Creek Bivy with Pigeon Spire in the Background

Descending into East Creek Basin

The East Creek Bivy
Nate on the Lower Pitches of Furry Pink Arete

That's Where We Came From

The Crux Pitch of Furry Pink Arete

The West Face of Snowpatch Spire from High on Furry Pink Arete

The First Pitch of Paddle Flake Direct

The Second Pitch of Paddle Flake Direct

Chris Stolz Following the Second Pitch of Westside Story

Chris Stolz Leding Out on  the Third Pitch of Westside Story

From the Summit of Paddle Flake Direct

Climbers on the Summit of Lion's Way with the Donkey's Ears to the Right

Climbers Rapping McTech Arete
Later in the week, our friends Stephanie and Melanie showed up.  I had the unique pleasure of taking Mel up her first alpine climb ever - McTech Arete, III 5.10-.  She cruised it!  Way to go girl.  

At the Third Belay with Bugaboo Spire in the Background

Topping out on Pitch 5

At the Top of Pitch 6.  The Paddle Flake is Visible in the Background.

A Parting Group Shot

I'd have to dredge the very depths of my being to come up with the right words to describe the Bugaboos and what it's meant to me since I started climbing.  Instead, I hope these pictures inspire someone to go check this place out for themselves.  You won't regret it!

Thanks to Nate, Stephanie and Melanie for the great times!  When are we going back?


  1. Sweet trip report... looks awesome and you have quite the photography skills!

    Question: when where you there??? There seems to be a lot of snow still. We head in on the 16th of August. Should be late season conditions, but i'm curious what we will find.



  2. Hey David - We were there the last week of July. There was a lot of snow this year, so the col was in really good condition at that point. My guess is that you will have crevasses opened up on the col but they will be passable, and the single rope raps on the skiers right of the col will probably be useful for descents. I've climbed there as late as early Sept. in 2006 and found it manageable but a bit hair raising. Have a great trip! - Chris