| The Bugaboos
Pigeon Spire (10,354’) via the West Ridge
Bugaboo Spire (10,450’) via the Kain Route
Eastpost Spire (8,850’) via the NW Ridge
Climber’s Log Day #1:
We cruised the 30 miles of dirt road to the Bugaboos TH, and successfully fortified our ship, a rented Chrysler 200, before our impending journey into the Bugs i.e. the Applebee Camp.
We completed our last minute checks and pushed off for our vertical assault to the Applebee Camp, about 3k in 2.5 miles with 40 pounds of gear. The ascent went quite smoothly and with minimal suffering since we were constantly distracted by these giant icebergs spilling down to the valley floor.
The Hounds Tooth guided us like a beacon.
After 2 hours we arrived at the Applebee campground while the weather was still stellar, but it was too late in the day to put an attempt on the Kain Route on Bugaboo Spire. So, we just sat and gawked at the surrounding spires.
We eventually retired to our berth for the evening, the Bibler.
Climber’s Log Day #2:
We awoke to angry skies and quite questionable rock climbing conditions, but we still packed our bags only soon to be thwarted by graupel, lightning and thunder @ 7am. Clearly, we are no longer in our homeland of Colorado, where the trade winds provide for exceptional weather in the AM hours. So we quickly abandoned the idea of climbing the Kain Route, and retired to our racks for a nap. Ah, the torment of being bound to your quarters in the Bibler. We arose from our stupor to somwhat angry skies, but the ceiling had lifted a bit and the thunder had suspended. So we made a lightning raid of the Eastpost Spire, a mere class 3/4 climb, easy by Bugaboo standards.
Upon our return it began to storm again.
Climber’s Log Day #3:
The skies were still angry, but we decided to pack and give the West Ridge of Pigeon Spire an attempt.
We left for the B/C Col (Bugaboo-Snowpatch Spire) with hopes of getting a window. We quickly surmounted the B/S Col and crossed the vastness of the Vowell Glacier to Pigeon Spire.
We were soon met with conditions that you would encounter in the North Sea. i.e. wretched winds and rime ice. The conditions were “Scottish”!!! We traveled across rimed covered rock to only turn back after a couple hundred feet of climbing; passage along the ridge would have been quite dangerous and daunting.
The trade winds put on an amazing show as they swirled around the Howser Towers. We soon set course for the Applebee Camp.
Climber’s Log Day #4:
We are deathly low on supplies, food and fuel is now our enemy, the journey was to only last 3 days and 2 nights, but we still lobbed a feeble shot at the Kain Route. We quickly decided to abandon ship as we were pummeled by sleet and dismal climbing conditions. We finally acquiescence to the Bugs, our mouths were fertile with scorn, but we swore to return later in the week. We packed our bags and headed for the lowlands of Canada.
Climber’s Log Day #8:
We were greeted with splendid weather as we arrived at the Bugaboo TH for our second foray into the Bugs, we could feel this journey will be much more fruitful this time around.
We fortified our ship again and pushed off again this time for the Kain Hut, our motivation to camp was non-existent. We reached our berth in a timely manner; we quickly deposited our supplies so we could put an attempt on the Kain Route.
The weather was holding and the rock is dry. We scrambled up the initial slopes of the Kain Route as we knew time was our enemy.
We encountered the 5.4 pitch and completed it.
We continued to move upward, but we knew we were doomed as time was escaping us and descending in the dark would not be wise.
So, once again we abandon our attempt and begin the descent for the Kain Hut, but first we took in the grandiose of the Bugaboos and the surrounding peaks.
Climber's Log Day #9:
We awake to sunshine and clear skies again, we felt success would be ours today on “the best 5.4 route”.
We slowly moved towards the B/S Col as the legs are weary and tired from countless vertical excursions in the Canadian Rockies. We once again cruise across the vastness of the Vowell Glacier, and we don’t encounter a soul.
We tethered ourselves together and began walking the plank while immensely enjoying the solid granite.
We moved nicely across the class 4/low class 5 terrain and then pitch out the 5.4 slab to the base of the summit block. We successfully made the crossing of the ridge, and then took in the endless beauty of the Canadian Rockies.
We make our descent via several rappels and down climbing, and begin the journey back to the Kain Hut.
Our forays into the Bugs have been trying, frustrating, and spectacular; that is why we will never forget the Bugaboos. We will return to the Bugs where the spires climb to the sky.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):