The Bugaboos - Pigeon-Howser Bathroom View
After deciding to turn back on Pigeon Spire's west ridge in order to manager rising stress levels I had a couple hours to kill while waiting on the Pigeon-Howser Col, so I snapped a bunch of photos.
Here is the view from the Pigeon-Howser col outhouse, need I say more...
The Bugaboos - August 12-18, 2012
Living in Squamish I am very lucky to be surrounded by excellent rock to train my technical climbing skills as well as many great peaks for scrambling. But, until last week I had never had the opportunity to combine the two skills I've been developing for years. That all changed when a friend invited me to be her partner on the yearly trip my friend group takes. Two months after the invitiation, a partner swap, and a week of careful packing and preparation I actually found myself driving east about to embark on what would be the greatest adventure of my life to date.
The moment I arrived at basecamp my lofty climbing aspiration were downgraded to starting with a 4th class route and going from there. I received tons of advice from friends that had been going for several years, but still nothing could have prepared me for the reality of being there. The ascent to Applebee basecamp, the scale of the spires, the difficulty of the glaciers, and the exposure did not translate well to maps and photos I found myself in awe and terror. Every single obstacle I encountered was more physically and mentally demanding that I could have expected.
Even though we were with a large group of friends, we were on our own when we headed out for the day and often learning as we went. As a result we learned many lessons the hard way, including when to put crampons on, when to switch into rock shoes, how hard preventing rockfall can be, and all the ways rappelling can go wrong.
It was both the single most terrifying and rewarding experience of my life. Never did I expect to learn so much in a week, or do so little actual climbing. Instead it was a wild ride of alpine obstacles, and a truly life changing experience shared with great friends old and new.
A brief summary of my adventure:
Aug 12 - Hike into Applebee base camp with 80+lbs pack full of climbing, camping, and glacier gear as well as 7 days of food, and clothes for everything from -10 to +30 degrees celcius rain and shine.
Aug 13 - Eastpost spire, combination of Northeast and Northwest ridges.
Aug 14 - Crescent Spire, W ridge. - Rained off first attempt, after self arresting and improv. anchor construction.
Aug 15 - Crescent Spire, W ridge - Successful ascent followed by rappelling disaster involving ditching a rope that was later recovered
Aug 16 - Pigeon Spire, W ridge - Got 30m up route then turned back to save terror management skills for descent back down the Bugaboo-Snowpatch col
Aug 17 - Eastpost spire again and bathing in the tarn
Aug 18 - Hike out and long drive home
Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding my experience.
Photos from this trip were taken with a combination of my Nikon D7000, Olympus uT8000 & GoPro HD2