Climbing Conditions

1 photos

Climbing Conditions

Just out from an amazing trip guiding the Beckey-Chouinard and Sunshine crack in the Bugaboos, so was able to travel in a few locations and happy to share some observations.

Most important, its BUSY up there always, parking is very tight, so make sure you get of the access road as much as possible. Second, of course is that camping is busy too so your best bet is to come to camp with ear plugs and be considerate of everyone around you. Applebee is like grand central station with literally people coming and going at all hours of the day! But of course the place is amazing, so its all worth the hassle.

Snow/coverage is the best it has been in years, with easy travel still holding on up the Bugaboos Snowpatch col. This might not hold on for too much longer but only the last few meters are exposed rock/scree/dirt. However, the Sunshine Wall/Col gully is a certified mess and is the site of most of the natural rock fall in the area now. While climbing sunshine I watched multiple toaster to bar fridge style blocks tumble out of it and slide down the snow. Climbers, myself included, scrambled across this terrible slope to get to Sunshine but I am vowing not to do that again as it was way too much added risk. All the loose rock is sitting on melting snow/black ice and is short for the vertical world. See attached photo for a birds eye view of the zone. Yellow is the rockfall starting grounds, red is the track everyone is walking up to the col, and blue is the dance of death to get to the base of Sunshine, please consider the alternate approach and descent from the east face of snowpatch.

The access to East Creek was easy and lots of tents were there using the facilities. Good snow coverage and no obvious crevasses with limited rockfall down that side except for the usual spitting out of ice and rock from the Howser seracs…move hastily in that area!

The Beckey-Chouinard has had regular traffic and as of a few days ago there were some fresh snow spots still on the route but it was dry and excellent climbing. I can’t recommend enough avoiding the 5.9 chimneys on the upper head wall for the amazing and well protected 10- finger cracks in the sun on the left! The usual easy horizontal scramble to the ridge from after the enroute rappel is a firm snow field so its not as easy to get across, so expect an added pitch or two of chossy fifth class to gain the summit.

The rap route was in great condition included an easy 30m rappel onto the glacier at the end with an easy to manage bergshrund.

Some anchors were getting actively replaced and moved so be sure to check in or look for updates with Friends of Bugaboos group and donate to them for all of their hard work!

Safe travels!

Evan Stevens
ACMG Mountain Guide

On The Map

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.