Climbing Conditions

2 photos

Climbing Conditions

We were in the Bugaboos July 08-13.

The major theme is that the unusually high amount of snow is quickly melting, bringing many routes into shape and increasing rock fall in many areas. More than one metre of snow height melted during our trip.

NOTE - A full-depth slab avalanche released on one of the Pigeon Feathers and ran on glacier ice. See attached photo. Similar terrain should be approached with caution until normal summer snow conditions arrive.

When we arrived, there was only enough dry rock exposed to accommodate about 10 tents. By the time we left, there were over 35 tents perched on dry stone.

Glacier travel (and most travel on snow) is in generally good condition. The rain from last week and recent warm temperatures have caused some snow bridges to sag and begin to open.

Eastern Spires
Most, if not all, routes are dry and free enough from snow to be climbed. Snow cones at the base of routes can make getting onto the rock a bit tricky on some routes.

Bugaboo Spire
As of July 12th, Bugaboo had only seen one ascent via the NE Ridge. The Kain Route still holds significant amounts of snow on its lower third, making it tricky when the snow is soft later in the day. This will likely change quickly.

Snowpatch Spire
Most routes on the East, North and West faces are dry, and many have been climbed already. The Snowpatch Route still holds a lot of snow in the middle section.

Bugaboo - Snowpatch Col
Although travel is in better condition than normal for this time of year, there has been significant rockfall, and the bergschrund is beginning to sag.

The West Ridge was climbed for the first time this year only a few days ago. Significant snow and ice remains on the traverse below the main summit, and boots are recommended for this section. No sign of traffic on other routes though the south-facing climbs look to be dry.

Howser Towers
As of the 13th, there had been no ascents of any routes on the Howser Towers. Although the Beckey - Chouinard might soon be coming into shape, there is likely still snow and ice to negotiate in the upper chimneys/corners. The approach to East Creek camp has seen quite a bit of activity from the serac on the South Howser Tower, and the camping area is still completely snow-covered.

Bugaboo Glacier Peaks
Houndstooth and Marmolata have seen ascents, with the latter still having snow on many ledges.

See the Friends of Bugaboo Park Facebook page for more photos of conditions.

Marc Piché
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.