Sunday, 13 September 2015

The "Bugs"

Two days after returning from Bella Coola I set off with my best mate Ben Doubroff for Bugaboo Provincial Park. Deep within the Purcell Mountains, this alpine mecca attracts climbers like pins to a magnet. We reached the trailhead in the late dusky hours of Monday, August 3rd, and it immediately began raining. Hard. Water from the skies and sweat from my inner depths dripped to the rocky ground as we grunted ever uphill into increasing darkness, packs loaded with food for four (4) days, tent, stove, sleeping roll and climbing equipment. We reached the Conrad Kain hut sometime around 11pm and were invited inside for tea and warmth, which promptly turned into a full-blown campaign led by an enthusiastic Russian alpinist attempting to convince us to sleep on the hut floor, rather than continue on. But we could not be swayed from our plan to reach the high Applebee Dome campground. Revitalized from the moment's warmth, we continued up the steep moraine, pitched our tent, and crawled into what would be our home for the rest of the week.

Over the course of the following four days Ben and I climbed Pigeon Spire's West Ridge (PD, 5.4), Crescent Towers' "Lion's Way" (PD+, 5.6), and Bugaboo Spire's "Kain Route" (AD, 5.6+), with a mid-week rain day spent playing cards in the aforementioned hut. Pressed by a time constraint, to be at a wedding in Whitefish Montana the following day, we left The Bugs on Friday night, already planning our routes and tactics for when we return next summer.

The following video is of Pigeon Spire's West Ridge, the first route we climbed, and our intro to Bugaboo hail, thunder, and exposure. 

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