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Climbers Find Dry Rock in the Bugaboos

"Lots of Bugs and some sign of Boo," noted mountain guide Larry Stanier

Photo by: Sarah Reed during previous season

There are some amazing alpine areas in Canada, but the Bugaboos might take the cake for being the most accessible with the best rock. They’re located in the Purcell Mountains in eastern B.C., about 300 kilometres from Calgary. The main spires are Bugaboo, Pigeon, the Howsers, Snowpatch and Crescent.

There’s still a lot of snow in the Bugaboos this July, but some climbs are snow free and dry enough to climb safely. Mountain guide Larry Stanier has returned from a five-day trip with a conditions update.

He said the “trail is in mediocre shape with some big blowdowns requiring some limbo and yoga maneuvers down low.” The approach includes a ladder and some chains on steep terrain, all of which are snow free. The snow, as reported by several hikers, starts just below the hut but is melting fast with warm nights, sunny days and rain storms.

Stanier included information about what routes are good to go: “Routes on the Crescent Towers and Eastpost all looked snow free. Sunshine Crack (route information here) got climbed and I would assume West Face of Snowpatch was snow free also. Routes like the Kain on Bugaboo, West Ridge of Pigeon would require some clever snow climbing strategies as they might be scary in the heat. East ridge of Bugaboo looks dry from the Crescent side but I would guess it is still pretty wintery in the upper chimneys at least.”

The Howser Towers are still very wintery, so The Beckey/Chouinard likely won’t be in condition for a few weeks. The Bugaboo/Snowpatch Col was in bad shape last year, and while it’s looking OK right now, Stanier warns it “looks good for now but is as always not a place to linger. Lots of boulders perched above the slope from last summer’s hot times.”

Stanier, known as one of Canada’s top mountain guides, completed his Bugaboos report with – “Lots of Bugs and some sign of Boo.”

Bugaboo/Snowpatch Col 2021

Lead photo: Sarah Reed during previous season