Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2010 Bugaboo Spires Trip (The Approach)

The Bugaboo Spires trip was my first multi-pitch and trad route and was an excellent way to start. Thomas and I hired a guide from Yamnuska and had an incredible short trip. This was definitely a micro mission as we spent only 3 days in British Columbia, but it was a success. With unpredictable weather we were lucky to have 2.5 days of good weather and had probably the best day of climbing I've ever had. The Bugaboos is considered one of the best alpine climbing destinations in the world and it is stunning, but the theme of the trip was intense! From the drive in, to the roughly 1.5 mile hike (over 2000 feet of elevation gain carrying an 80 pound pack), to the mixture of rock and glacier scrambling and granite rock climbing. The pictures never do places like this justice, but it's also hard to take a bad picture in the Bugaboos.

Special preparation must be implemented to keep away the porcupines which will eat your brake lines and tires. Chicken wire, logs, and rocks are provided.
Our guide Pat Delaney starting the approach hike first through a dense evergreen forest, and then up through the meadows cleared by past avalanches.

Thomas, pondering.

Finally starting to get close.

The Conrad Kain hut. An incredible base camp hut with fully stocked kitchen, gas stove, bathrooms, running water (powered by a generator producing electricity from glacier melt flow), and mattresses to sleep on. This place was awesome.

The waterfall pouring over the edge is the source of your water which you can either boil or drink right from the stream (which is what we did).

Down time was spent rock hopping, exploring the boulders and peering down into the valley and the glaciers.

It had been a while since Thomas or I had repelled, so our guide helped us learn on this massive granite boulder right outside the hut. We also went over some basic multi-pitch principles preparing for the next day's climb.

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