I just finished an ACC Intro to Mountaineering course in the Bugaboos, July 12-15 with apprentice alpine guide Forest Latimer.
The road is good shape, with some very dusty sections where there is active logging.
We stayed at the Kain Hut. The hydro power is not operational. It was a treat to have exclusive use of the hut for just 8 of us.
Applebee campground was only moderately busy, and overall there weren’t many climbers.
As Jen Olson reported a few days ago, conditions are currently excellent, with dry rock and snowy glaciers. That is changing rapidly with the warm days and nights. We had light smoke and good visibility in the local area.
The Bugaboo Snowpatch Col is in good shape with good steps in snow (we used crampons for additional security) and the schrund is currently easily passed on the climber’s right. There was snow to almost the very top of the col (see photos). We kicked new steps on a switchback more to the climbers left (Snowpatch Spire side) to reduce exposure to potential rockfall from the Bugaboo Spire side. Some medium sized blocks fell from the Bugaboo Spire side sometime after we ascended the BS Col the morning of July 13th, some reaching all the way to the base of the slope.
The glacier access to the Pigeon Fork of the Bugaboo Glacier below Son of Snowpatch offered good travel on snow without needing crampons, but that has already likely changed as the snow on the lower glacier was melting very quickly and icy patches were being exposed. Ascending the glacier on the climber’s right worked well, and then crossing left on the flats once we were below Snowpatch Spire.
We had to climb a short easy rock corner above the schrund to climb the Hound’s Tooth via the Hound’s Tooth-Marmolata Col.
The top of the Pigeon Fork of the Bugaboo Glacier offered easy access on snow by weaving between a couple large crevasses below the Pigeon Feathers on a wide solid snow bridge.
As Jen reported, accessing the west ridge of Pigeon Spire after crossing the Vowell Glacier requires a roped crossing of the schrund, then onto a short section of steeper dirty ice that took ice screws well, and then onto the rock ledges leading to the outhouse and base of the west ridge (see photo).
ACMG / IFMGA Mountain Guide