There are a lot of famous ski traverses in Canada and around the world, from the Wapta, Bonington, Spearhead and Garibaldi to the Haute, but one of the most classic is the Bugaboos to Rogers in eastern B.C.
Greg Hill, Adam Campbell and Andrew McNab have just smashed the fastest known time for the traverse by nearly 30 hours and completed it in 53.2 hours. It’s a 135-kilometre ski along avalanche-prone slopes and glaciers. The traverse is often skied from the Bugaboos to Rogers Pass, south to north, and was pioneered by Bill Briggs, Barry Corbet, Sterling Neale, and Bob French in June 1958.
Hill, one of North America’s most accomplished backcountry skiers, wrote on Instagram, “Freezing levels were low, weather was perfect, and we hoped we had the stamina. Therein followed the biggest push of our lives, 135 km, almost 11,000 m of uphill and the best conditions we could hope for. 53.2 hours later we stopped and celebrated. A journey of a lifetime.”
The approach to the traverse advanced over the years and is now often skied from the north to the south. According to Hill, the previous record was by Troy Jungen, Douglas Sproul and Jon Walsh back in 2005 in a time of 80 hours, with 64 spent skiing. The cruxes of the traverse are Deville Chimney, Malachite Spire, Syphax Mountain, East Cirque and the Bugaboo / Snowpatch Col. You can read about it here.
Along the way are famous glaciers, vast valleys, huts and some amazing peaks. If you were taking your time, you could climb mountains like Mount Conrad, Mount Sugarloaf, Grand Mountain and Mount Wheeler. Be sure to follow the three skiers below as they’ll be updating followers with stories from the epic traverse.