series of granite towers reaching above 10,000 ft high in spectacular range
in Canada's British Columbia. Greg Frux with Canadian Mountain
Guide David Scott climbed four summits during the second week of July 2004.
Peaks reached were Eastpost Spire (8850 ft.), Bugaboo Spire (10,420 ft.),
THANKS TO EXPEDITION SPONSORS
Dr. Joseph Dallessandro
Mark and Dustie Robeson
Bugaboos Alpine Rock Week
8: Fly New York to Calgary, Alberta, stay at Lake Louise, Alpine
Club of Canada club house
July 9: Hike to Plain of Six glaciers
July 10: Met my guide Dave Scott in Golden, British Columbia at the Husky Gas Station on the Trans Canada Highway. Our basecamp was the Conrad Kain Hut, at elevation 7200 feet. To reach it required a 40 mile drive on dirt roads, then a 2200 foot climb up a forested valley. The trail was spectacular, looking down on a glacier filled valley. The higher parts of the route had cables and a ladder. The hut is in an alpine meadow, with large picture windows looking out at a 2000 vertical foot ice fall. The building itself was three stories high, with a fully equipped kitchen, electricity and foam mattresses. Plush for climbers.
July 11: Rained, waited a while, then decided to climb a small peak anyway. Summited East Post Spire (8850 ft) in rain and snow. Route was an exposed scramble, we used ropes and running belays. Trip took about five hours.
July 12: Woke at 4 am and climbed Bugaboo Spire (10,420 ft). Route involved snow, glacier travel, then snow slopes up to 50 degrees. Reached rock at 7:30 am, in perfect sunny and cool conditions. Rock scramble at first, turning steeper and route narrowing to a ridge. Running belays, then two pitches of 5.5 rock. Crossed a spectacular knife edge. The two more moderate rock pitches going at 5.7. The second of these is the famous Bugaboos Gendarme, where you turn a corner and carefully cross about ten feet of steep featureless granite on friction above a 2000 foot drop-- wow! Did really well and were on the summit at 11 am. Descent involved 4 rappels, lowering and down climbing. Back at the hut at 3 pm.
Bugaboo Spire Gendarme
13: We got up at 7 AM and had pancakes. Head off to climb a pure
rock route on the Donkey
Ears Spire (approx. 9000 ft). Our route was called Ears Between (5.7+).
Approached over meadows and
snow fields, then along a narrow ledge (2 feet to 6 inches) with running
belays. The granite was
moderately steep, with a bit of gravel and some flower filled ledges for
the first three pitches, running
a consistent 5.6 - 5.7. One hard move (5.8+) on P4 around a boulder
in a chimney. The highest pitch
(P5) was up a steep fluted chimney-- some places so narrow I had to jamb
my thigh in, in others
needed to be spanned with a three foot stance. A final scramble took
us to the summit, which
capped the 800 foot rise with a platform the size of a car. Descended
via a free hanging rappel,
and lots and lots of down climbing along different ridge. Back at
the hut at 4 pm.
July 14: Last day, so we go for it. Up at 4 am, head up to climb Pigeon Spire (10,250 ft). Same snow and glacier climb at the start as Bugaboo Spire, then off to climb another glacier. Reach base of rock at 8:30 am. Route is easy rock climbing (class 4), but with lots of exposure and more narrow ridges. Totally trust myself, the rope and Dave-- we move very quickly. Summit at 10:30 am, despite a toothache and stomach cramps. Safely back at the hut at 2:30. Pack up and head out at 4 pm, reaching the car at 6:15. By 8 pm I am at a hotel in town of Radium Hot Springs.
|Donkey Ears||Pigeon Spire|
July 15: Visit Radium Hot Springs, then drive over mountains to Lake
July 16: Hike at Moraine Lake to Consolation Lake , drive to Calgary.
July 17: Return to New York.
About Gregory Frux
New York City Paintings
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