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Rad

Bugaboo timing question

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Making plans to finally head up there this year.

 

Anyone know what the snowpack has been up there this winter?

 

Will crevasses, moats, bergshrunds and bare glacial limit our options (or add a significant ice element) in late August? Is early August better?

 

Thanks much.

Rad

 

 

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I drove through Golden on Saturday and it's definitely been a very low snow year in that area.

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I'm thinking last week of july first week of august in hopes of a key water supply at an on route bivouac. Basically a couple weeks earlier than is the traditional bugs "greatest proabability of good weather window." Besides my specific water requirement travel through the bugs didnt seem like it would be particulary hazardous when melted out, but likely a bit more tedious.

 

It is impressive the infrastructure present up there, definetly a different system then down here in the states. The year we were up there the descent down from the main col had been rerouted d/t high rockfall by the rangers, with new bolted stations conviently protected from rockfall. All with info about the rerouting on kiosk signs at the come one come all applebee bivy site, kinda cool..

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The Snowpatch-Bugaboo Col is going to be an absolute mess by late August. It's not an issue if you're going over to the South Howser tower because you can get there by going around Snowpatch the other way.

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Was up there early last August and three parties were injured (two requiring a heli-evac) trying to descend the Snowpatch-Bugaboo col on a single day. I would imagine this year is going to be much worse. If you're climbing any routes that would normally descend that route, you'll probably want to descend the snowpatch rappels (six single rope raps) to the east of the col on the southeast side of snowpatch spire...

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Probably June and early July would be good. If the road would be drivable at the moment I would imagine most of South and West facing stuff would be good to go even now.

 

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Was up there early last August and three parties were injured (two requiring a heli-evac) trying to descend the Snowpatch-Bugaboo col on a single day. I would imagine this year is going to be much worse. If you're climbing any routes that would normally descend that route, you'll probably want to descend the snowpatch rappels (six single rope raps) to the east of the col on the southeast side of snowpatch spire...

 

Yeah, I was there too and remember seeing that. My partner and I went up the col two days later and it was sketchy; dodged a rock or two coming off Bugaboo and rocketing down the col. That was the first week in August last season for timing purposes. No crevasse issues anywhere around the Howsers or Pigeon at that time.

 

They've had a better snow year than we have had, but I'm not sure how it compares to last year precisely. I'm sure it's less, so July is what I would be shooting for at least if you're planning on accessing anything through the S-B col and the like.

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This from an MCR report last week:

 

"All recent mountain observations point to the continuing theme of dry mountains, with local consensus saying that it feels like mid-August out there. Great conditions for alpine rock climbs, especially ones that avoid rockfall areas or stick to ridges. Mt. Assiniboine north ridge and Mt. Sir Donald NW ridge are a good examples of excellent routes to climb when conditions are super dry.

 

Alpine rock climbing conditions in the Bugaboos are excellent, and prior to todays new snow all routes were dry and good-to-go. The Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col, often suspicious in dry conditions, remains mostly snow and easy travel, although that will likely change soon. Watch out for this place when its dry because its famous for natural and climber induced rockfall"

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THis report from July 16th makes it seem that even the Pigion fork bypass of the snowpatch col may be more tricky than it's worth (again from MCR)

 

"The top 60m of the Bugaboo/ Snowpatch col at the “normal” exit point is down to ice, and rock fall is a real hazard now. Getting onto the West Ridge of Pigeon there is about 50m of 20 degree bare ice and a large crevasse is open at the transition point from snow to ice. The Pigeon Fork of the Bugaboo Glacier has some bare ice and though still mostly snow covered, the bridges are thin and the travel around crevasses is tricky.

 

Of course the rock climbing in the Bugs is still as good as it gets, it’s just slightly more challenging to get on it!"

 

Edited by Greg_Malloure

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