Trip & Conditions Report / BUGABOOS! July 19-23

Just returned from a 5 day trip to the Buggaboos, July 19th-23rd. Weather 

was generally unsettled, with the reality generally being a bit wetter than
the forecasts would have us believe. Despite this, 
with a can do attitude
we were able to stand on top of some fun mountains! 


On July 20th we climbed Pigeon Spires West Ridge. It was a cold day,
with poor visibility, strong winds 
and rime ice on the ridge, it felt very
Patagonian! As we neared the summit, we found boot deep snow 
the north side ledges. These adverse conditions resulted in a high rate
of attrition, the multiple 
parties we meet at the base thinned as we moved
up the ridge. In the end we shared the summit (very 
briefly!) with one
other guided party! As we descended the ridge we were pleased to find that much of 
the rime had melted and the rock was much drier. When we returned to camp late afternoon rain showers had us hiding in the tent and going to sleep early. 


July 21st, we climbed the Kain Route on Buggaboo Spire. Again the day started gray and cool, but improved through the day. An early start put us well ahead of other parties, and we enjoyed a quite day on the mountain. The route was in good shape and no significant snow was encountered. Afternoon in camp was positively balmy, we soaked up the sun and enjoyed the good camp vibe. We used the Buggaboo-Snowpatch Col to access both routes.


The col is currently in excellent condition (see photo). The bergschrund is still fully covered and we were able to kick good steps up the entire slope each morning. During our stay, we did not see a significant freeze on the col, although the snow was much firmer in the mornings. Soft snow in the afternoons had us using the rappel stations to descend. As always, the col descent was a bottle neck and the afternoons would see multiple parties descending the col simultaneously. Fortunately the climber generated rock fall hazard from the col itself is still low, due to good snow coverage at the top. 


On July 22nd, we climbed Brenta Spires South Ridge, and continued on to summit Crescent Spire via the Northeast ridge. We used the low approach, over the Cresent-Eastpost Col, which was easy travel because much of the scree is still snow covered. As the guidebook promised the climbing up to the col was somewhat convoluted and more complicated than it appeared, involving several 4th class slabs and exposed ledge traverses. After summiting Brenta, and under darkening skies, we climbed the Northeast ridge of Crescent Spire. We reach the summit just as the weather caught up to us and descended scree back to camp in light rain, which continued through the night. 


On our final day, we woke up to intermitent rain showers. We called it mission accomplished, pack up the damp gear and descended to the warmth of the valley and a Leo Burritos lunch! Another great trip to the Buggs, a venue that never fails to deliver!


The Bugaboo Season is On - - for more info!