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[TR] A Bugaboo Adventure- 7/19/2005

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Climb: A Bugaboo Adventure-


Date of Climb: 7/19/2005


Trip Report:

Jason and I went up to the Bugs to see about getting in some climbing. The weather had not been promising of late but it looked like there was going to be a few good days mid-week so we decided to give it a go. We left Seattle around 8:30pm on Monday and after sleeping for about 2 hours just across the border we eventually pulled into the parking lot bleary eyed and beaten from the long drive and the beatings from the king sized potholes on the logging road.

-The view from near the parking lot



We slowly made our way up the steep trail to the Kain Hut and continued on to Applebee Dome where we made our camp amid a city of tents and bivy sacks. We chatted with others who had stories of very windy and cold weather to relate to us, this day was sunny and warm and we enjoyed relaxing around camp playing cards and sipping whiskey.

-Snowpath from our camp


With the weather looking good for Wednesday and Thursday and maybe Friday, we decided to try the Wildflowers route ont the west face of Snowpatch Spire and then carry on into East Creek where we would bivy and then climb the Beckey-Chouinard on South Howser on Thursday, then likely spend another night in East Creek and return to Applebee Friday morning for more R&R.

So after getting plenty of much needed sleep Tuesday we got up early Wednesday and with bivy gear headed up the Bugaboo-Snowpatch col. Upon reaching the col I headed over to the convienently located privy and admired the view.

-Howsers from the Bugaboo-Snowpatch privy


It was damn cold so we took our time admiring the views and looking at the various routes on the west face of Snowpatch. We finally started the climb and enjoyed numerous 5.9 pitches up a large corner formed by the west face and a large pillar. But damn it was freaking cold. The corner faced north and we didn't see any sun until we made the ledge at the top of the pillar.

-Jason climbing the corner


-Jason above the pillar near the summit



The climb was lots of stemming and cracks in and around the corner and then some groove and cracks above on the face which lead directly to the summit of Snowpatch.


-Howsers and Pigeon from the summit


From the summit several raps got us back to the glacier and our gear. We slogged our way up to the Pigeon-Howser col an began the descent down into East Creek. Wow what an awesome place. South Howser and the Minaret tower above you and the valley openening up across the way was absolutely amazing. Not a bad place to spend a couple of nights, except for all of the enormous snaffles everywhere that seemed to take a liking to my boots. Several hours on snaffle watch eventually led to a couple hours of sleep.

-Jason reading at the bivy


-The Minaret in the early morning


We awoke early Thursday to crystal clear skies and quickly readied and made our way down and around to the buttress. Much scrambling around on blocks and slabs eventually led us to a rope-up spot.

-The SW Buttress of S Howser


The climbing was stellar. Many crack and corner pitches, mostly 5.8-5.9 with a couple of slightly more difficult sections.

-Jason somewhere on the route


-Jason on the Great White Headwall


The most difficult section was in the 5.9 squeeze, which was completely iced up. Some tenuous ice flake laybacks and icy stemming finally got us through that section. Somehow high on the route we ended up further to the left than we thought and we missed the tension traverse into the gulley. Instead we climbed flakes right up into the gulley. Anyway we finally realized that we were actually in the right gulley and made our way to the top of the gulley where a 30m rap puts you on a ledge from which 4th and 5th class leads to the summit in several hundred feet. That would be easy enough except for all of the snow and ice covering everything. We put on our boots and simuled very delicately up the snowy mess. After what seemed like forever climbing on very sketchy and tenuous ground we topped out and were afforded some awesome views.




-Snowpatch and Pigeon



We were able to locate the top rap slings barely melted out of the large cornices perched along the summit ridge. Several raps down the face and over the bergschrund led us back to the glacier. Damn what an awesome day! Spectacular route.

We descended quickly back to our bivy in east creek for a much needed meal and a good nights rest.

Friday morning we woke up to some high clouds so we decided to take our time getting back to Applebee. We decided to rest Friday, but shortly after getting back to Applebee Dome it started pouring rain. We huddled in the tent playing more rummy and drinking the remainder of our supply of whiskey. The rain continued and the wind kicked up. As we were trying in vain to sleep I was wondering when our tent would be getting ripped to shreds. Fortunately the tent held its own. Unfortunately we awoke to more rain, and with a gloomy forecast related to us from people coming up from the hut we decided to bail.

Wow the Bugs are awesome great fun. I am definitely looking foreward to the return trip!


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Damn Ross, I'm salivating here and getting a little frustrated. GET THOSE PICTURES UP!!!


I think you have worn out your welcome wherever you posted those pics, so you should put them in the cc.com gallery.




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Sounds like a great time, and that's about the most enticing group of pictures I've seen in one TR in a long time.


Thanks for posting!

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I'm headed up that way next wednesday. What are your thoughts about crampons? Will we need them? Probably doing Bugaboo, Piegon and/or snowpatch?

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We brought crampons but never used them. There was still soft snow on the glaciers and it never really froze solid. There are also major bootpacks going pretty much everywhere. That said, you probably might want to bring either crampons or and axe. Better to have and not need than to need and not have.

Have an awesome time up there, hope the weather is good for you.


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