Just back from 5 days in the Bugs. The muddy section of road has dried up since the previous post and low clearance vehicles are now accessing the parking lot. We saw bear prints and scat on the approach trail not far from the parking lot. The mosquitoes were pretty vicious at lower elevations and even at the hut occasionally. Snow line sits at 2100m (100m below the hut).
There was a pretty steady stream of folks in there throughout the week, despite the hut not being officially open until July 1. The ACC asks that you still make a reservation. The propane is on but the hydro is not. With the long days and all the boards off the windows there was never even need for lights but there are propane lanterns for early starts.
The Applebee campground is under 1 - 1.5m of snow. There was one small dry ledge big enough for two tents but already multiple parties up there wanting to camp.
We had warm temps with snow staying soft near the hut overnight but hard enough to need crampons just below Applebee. In the afternoon, especially on solar aspects, the snow was very soft with deep foot pen and the occasional sink to the hips near buried rocks. Playing the aspects was key to avoiding the isothermal snow. We kicked off some small surface sluffs walking down the couloir below the Crescent Spire / Towers Col and saw and heard a few wet slides off Snowpatch & Bugaboo Spires.
All the sunny routes on Crescent Spire & Towers were dry but the backside raps for Ears Between, etc are snowy. We traversed Eastpost Spire and found about 100m of snow travel on the north side of the peak.
The Kain Route was climbed with many snow patches to navigate. The first belay ledge on the NE Ridge of Bugaboo is packed with snow and I would imagine the chimneys would be very snowy and melting onto the rock below.
At least one party turned around attempting the West Ridge of Pigeon. You can see all the snow up there from a distance.
One party reported that the hangers are missing from the 2nd rap off the B-S Col (studs are still sticking out). All the snow is making for easy travel through there now but someone will need to replace those.
Shaun King, ACMG Mountain Guide
For Yamnuska Mountain Adventures