Bugaboos, Purcell Mountain, B.C., Canada
Hopefully everyone is having a good season thus far.
Sarah Hueniken and I just got back from spending 5 excellent days in the Bugaboos (July 5th-9th) on a women's mountaineering camp. We stayed at the Conrad Kain Hut for the duration of our trip. The Kain Hut as you might expect has been very busy and most nights were at or near capacity. The water filtration system at the hut is not working properly so we were treating water by either boiling or using a steri-pen to treat drinking water.
Weather: With the weather forecast prior to our trip, we were anticipating the hot weather and its effect on crevasse bridging, deteriorating snow slopes with daytime heating and rockfall events. On the walk into the hut, the heat was crippling and bugs were savage. Horsing up a big pack had me daydreaming about being towed on the back of Brad White's waterskiing boat on Lake Okanagan.
Conditions: All in all, conditions were far better than expected in spite of the short nights with minimal overnight freezes (we had temps in the low double digits most mornings). Our objectives were modest given our group size and ratios but we were able to climb Hound's Tooth, Eastpost and climb one of the Pigeon feathers.
The Bugaboo Snowpatch Col is still in good shape and is completely snow covered but the temperatures were motivating us to get an early start as was reasonable for us. The bergschrunds that we had to deal with were plugged up well & easily passable but sagging on the crevasses became more prevalent as the week went on. The snow structure held up really well but in thin rocky places where the heat was getting to it, it was obviously punchy.
We witnessed one significant snowmelt-induced rockfall event off of the east face of Bugaboo onto the Crescent Glacier on the way back to the hut on Saturday late in the afternoon - no surprises there. Lots of snow up on that face still (climber's left side that effects the BS Col), so more rockfall can be expected.
Miscellaneous Details: The mosquitos at treeline around the Kain Hut and allegedly at both Boulder and Applebee Campgrounds were nothing short of horrendous (the worst I've ever seen in 20+ years of climbing and guiding up there) so plan appropriately. There is still quite a bit of snow at Applebee campground at the moment so if it gets really busy, that may limit the number of snow free camping spots up there.
Lots of chicken wire and wood available to protect your car rubber but the parking lot was close to capacity when we left yesterday.