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CrackMeister

best of cc.com [TR] Bugaboos - Many 8/15/2010

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Trip: Bugaboos - Many

 

Date: 8/15/2010

 

Trip Report:

Bugaboos trip Aug 15th - Aug 22nd

 

Dave and I awoke dizzy and blurry eyed on the Sunshine Coast after a friends wedding. The night before we vowed to be on the 0815 ferry back to Vancouver. We ended up on the 1300 ferry and feeling severely hung over. Not the alpine start we wanted for our Bugaboo trip…

 

After shopping, eating, and driving to the gravel access road, we finally set up the tent and passed out at 0130. An early rise had us hiking by 0700. Two hours and 15 minutes later we were dropping gear in Applebee and heading up the Snowpatch/Bugaboo col. It was only about 1pm by the time were walking behind Snowpatch spire. Our original plan was to go solo the west ridge of Pigeon, then bivy the night and do the Beckey-Chouinard the next day. Instead we did Wildflowers, 5.9, on the back of Snowpatch. By the time we were setting out bivy gear beside Pigeon it was later than expected and we were really feeling the lack of sleep of the previous days. Our prospects did not look good for the B-C…

 

 

Wildflowers

[img:center]http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/Scott_Burrell/IMG_4261.jpg[/img]

 

After a cold and windy bivy the alarm finally went off at 0330. The conversation went, How do you feel? Not good... Me neither... We should probably just suck it up and go anyway. Shit…

 

After the decision was made it became much easier.

 

4th class scrambling at the start of the Beckey-Chouinard

[img:center]http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/Scott_Burrell/IMG_4321.jpg[/img]

 

Scott following low crux on Beckey-Choinard

[img:center]http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/Scott_Burrell/IMG_4339.jpg[/img]

 

The B-C lived up to all the hype. Pretty much 1000 meters of 5.8-5.9 hand cracks. We were on the summit by 1320. Raps took about 1.5 hours with double ropes. If you have the energy, I would highly recommend the 5.10 finger/hand crack variation around the squeeze chimney. It was probably the best pitch of climbing on the whole route and that chimney looks ugly.

 

Dave following 5.10 variation on Beckey-Chouinard. Squeeze chimney visible on left of pic.

[img:center]http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/Scott_Burrell/P8170024.jpg[/img]

 

Our only difficulty came on pitch 15 (Chris Atkinson and Marc Piche guide book), the tension traverse or 5.10 + variation. The problem was we somehow missed this pitch… The confusion started as Dave lead pitch 13. The book reads, “Climb the gully over chockstones to where it steepens into a capped corner. Climb the second crack on the left wall to belay at the base of a long, shallow, right facing corner (5.9 60m) 14: Follow the corner to a two-pin belay at a small notch (5.8 30m).” This is then supposed to be the tension point, then a 5.6 gully to the top.

 

Dave takes off and I notice that he is at about 55m, I shout this information at him, but probably due to wind he doesn’t hear it. I interpret this as he is ignoring me. The rope goes tight and I start simul-climbing. Once I can see what’s happening I can see the capped corner referred to in the book and the cracks up the left wall. Dave is way up on the left arête of the gully having climbed what appears to be the second crack on the left. I followed up the left wall, which was 5.9-5.9+ train track hand cracks, awesome. He builds a belay at the base of a long shallow right facing corner. Seems like we have followed the book perfectly but appear to now be in a 5.6 gully that goes to the horizon and we have not seen a pin or small notch anywhere. I jump on lead and take us to the top, which was in fact the correct summit with a 20m rap and then 4th class to the true summit.

 

In hind sight you are supposed to go all the way to the capped corner than climb the crack 2nd to the left FROM THE CORNER. So really we turned two pitches of a chockstone filled gully, a weird 5.8, and tension traverse, into an 80 m pitch of solid continuous 5.9 hand crack. We thought we should pass this information on to the original assentionist. The letter is as follows.

 

 

[font:Times New Roman]Dear Mr. Fred Beckey and Mr. Yvon Chouinard:

 

My friend Dave and I recently climbed your world famous route up the SW Buttress on South-Howser tower. I can see why it is such a sought after climb, wow, what a route! Amazingly sustained at its grade and the line is stunning.

 

We noticed that between pitch 13 and 15 the quality is slightly less than average, and many people require a tacky tension traverse. We would like to let you know that we have now fixed your route to follow the ethics with which it was originally intended by trading aid for crack climbing. We have posted the necessary changes in a popular climbing forum.

 

 

Scott and Dave

[/font]

 

 

 

All kidding aside, it really was a simple mistake that I am sure many have made before us… Oops. I hope all our route finding problems end up this well.

 

The next day we woke up late and did Surfs Up, 5.9. Dave got off route and in all fairness I think most parties that climb that route go astray somewhere (this must have something to do with the guide book describing “follow the corner” when about 10 corners exist in close proximity). This time we weren’t lucky as on the B-C. I lead through a 5.10 + roof with bottoming fingers, then we had to rap over to the proper dihedral. Dave finished the route up following amazing hand cracks with awesome exposure.

 

Scott following up high on Surfs Up

[img:center]http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/Scott_Burrell/IMG_4481.jpg[/img] [img:center]http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/Scott_Burrell/IMG_4491.jpg[/img]

 

The following day we did the Cooper-Kor on Pigeon spire 5.9, A0. This route was really amazing mostly because of it’s positioning on the wall. Dave and I also really like the alpine feel of the tension traverses way up on the exposed wall. We haven’t done too much of that stuff so it was neat to run across that wall. The slabs and one 5.9 finger crack were quite wet, making it a bit tricky.

 

Dave following the slab pitch

[img:center]http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/Scott_Burrell/P8190096.jpg[/img]

 

The weather started to move in that evening. So the next day we went to Crescent Spire and climbed Paddle Flake Direct 5.10. Again, more amazing crack climbing that was surprisingly steep. We then climbed the 5.10+ roof McTech after as a single pitch. Good way to finish a short day.

 

Scott leading roof McTech

[img:center]http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/Scott_Burrell/IMG_4613.jpg[/img]

 

The weather was really not looking so good for the next day so we went off to climb Sunshine Crack 5.11- on Snowpatch. It is a good one to climb in unsettled weather because it has bolted rap stations down the entire route. The low 5.10 off width is a bit of a bar fight, but very doable, just a lot of grunting… This route continues with amazing jamming pretty much the entire way, passing through 4 roofs. The 5.11- roof is only about 1 move and is softer than the grade implies. Two pitches from the top it started to snow while Dave was leading. Shit. By the time I was brought up to his belay stance it was a full on blizzard. Encouraged by the sound of another party’s cheers after pulling through a roof below us, I tied into the sharp end and took the rack. Half way up this long pitch, and fairly run out, Dave yells up “Scott! Check it out, there is significant snow accumulating on the ropes.” Thanks Dave, that’s very helpful at this point… Arriving safely at the top and bring Dave up, we snapped a couple pics and rapped out. The raps went better than expected considering the ropes were being blow horizontally below the rappeller.

 

Scott leading 5.10 offwidth on Sunshine

[img:center]http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/Scott_Burrell/IMG_4622.jpg[/img]

 

Gearing for final 5.10 pitch on sunshine (in the snow) [img:center]http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/Scott_Burrell/IMG_4644.jpg[/img]

 

We rolled into camp, grabbed out gear and ran out to the car. We were back in Vancouver by 0245 in the AM.

 

Gear notes for Sunshine: Take doubles to and including #4 camalot, and one #5 camalot. You can push the # 5 up once or twice and then the angle of the crack backs off. You can leave the #5 clipped to the anchor at the top of pitch 2 (the off width) because it isn’t needed after that. The double #3’s and #4’s are nice for the top pitch.

 

Sunshine was by far the best climbing of the whole trip. That route is amazing.

 

Gear notes for the Beckey-Choiunard: We took doubles up to and including #3 camalots, and one #4 camalot, and a 3rd # 2 camalot. You could definitely do it without the triple #2’s, but we simul-climbed a lot of it and it was nice to have extra of this very common size on the route. You can also make an argument to leave the #4. It was placed but we did not climb the chimney so it wasn’t “necessary,” depending on your comfort level.

 

 

Crazy awesome trip!

 

Edited by CrackMeister

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IMG_4481.jpg

 

...One of the most jaw-dropping climbing shots I've ever seen! ..and coming from a dedicated armchair alpinist like myself, who mainly just looks at mountains rather than actually climbing them, that is high praise indeed!

Congrats, and thanx!

Edited by zoroastr

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