Kyle had been talking about the Bugaboos since the spring, and it had been in the back of our minds ever since we took a multi-pitch and trad climbing course in Squamish in April. Somehow a free weekend emerged in our jam-packed summer and we jumped on the chance to get out and climb some of the amazing spires! We made a quick get-away from work Friday afternoon and arrived in the parking lot around 8 pm. After about 30 minutes of gear faff and setting up the protection around the truck to prevent porcupines from checking the brake cables, we hit the trail. It is amazing how much heavier the packs were with all the climbing gear in them!
|Keep out! No porcupines allowed|
|Climbing up the ladder to the campsite|
|The Hounds Tooth and Bugaboo Glacier|
|Evening alpine glow|
5 am came much too quickly. Despite our best efforts, we were not quite as efficient as we had hoped to be. We left the Kain Hut at 6:50 am to start our trip up the Bugaboo Spire via the Kain Route (5.6). The first obstacle was reaching the Snowpatch-Bugaboo Col. This involved putting on crampons and getting the ice axes out. We decided not to rope up, but one of the two parties ahead of us did. With the crampons, the steep, snowy hill was quite easy and we made great time up to the Col where we left our axes, crampons and extra water to pick up on the way back down.
|Morning light on the Snowpatch-Bugaboo Col with some climbers in the foreground|
After leaving the Col, we started the scramble up Bugaboo spire. As we got higher and higher, the route got steeper but we made good time to the first belay station by taking a direct route up to the ridge and then traversing to avoid a patch of snow. At the belay station we met another party and were surprised to see Wendy from the Scrambling and Mountaineering Club! We spent the rest of the day following them up the route.
|View of the top of the spire from the first ridge|
|Waiting to climb at the first technical pitch|
|Ridgeline "au cheval"|
|Looking down at the gendarme and Wendy's party|
|Mandatory summit shot|
The last pitch went smoothly and we finally arrived on the south summit of Bugaboo Spire! It was getting late and we were the last party to arrive so we didn't stick around for every long.This trip was a bit of a birthday celebration as his birthday was coming up. I worked pretty hard to sneak a big brownie along on the trip and presented it to him, complete with a candle, at the summit before heading down. He was pretty surprised!
Unfortunately, getting to the top was only half of the climb. We had a long way to descend before we could rest. The good news was that there were lots of belay anchors on the way down so we were able to rappel down lots of the steep stuff. Thankfully we didn't get the rope stuck! We were able to catch up to Wendy and her friends and scrambled down the last of the the way to the col with them where we collected our stashed gear.
Coming down the Crescent Glacier was pretty interesting. We were exhausted and it was steep! There were 3 fixed rappels and a sling anchor down the side of Snowpatch that we used to get over the bergshrund. After that, we just had to walk down the steep snow. I slipped once and got to test out my self-arresting skills with my ice axe. Good thing I had practiced! Down on the flat part of the glacier, we stumbled our way back to the trail, totally stoked on our accomplishment and eager for some dinner. When we checked the time at the Kain hut, we had been hiking/climbing for 14:25. It was 9:15 pm! We were tempted to use the hut's luxury running water and electricity, but it was booked full for the night. We had a huge dinner and chocolate chip cookie dough to celebrate. What a day!
|Down the glacier|
|Back at the Kain hut after 14 hours and 25 mins. Looking a bit tired.|
|Bugaboo glacier in the background.|
|Snowpatch spire behind us|
|Applebee campsite below Snowpatch and Bugaboo|
|Setting up the tripod|