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[TR] Bugaboos: Crescent Towers South (Donkey Ears) - Ears Between w/ Direct Start (5.8, 8p) 7/13/2015

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Trip: Bugaboos: Crescent Towers South (Donkey Ears) - Ears Between w/ Direct Start (5.8, 8p)


Date: 7/9/2015


Trip Report:


Allie and I did a BC climbing trip from Jul 2-12. I'm breaking it up into a few reports for the individual climbs. Here was our overall trip timeline. Bolded days are those described in this report.


Jul 1: Leave Seattle after work, drive to Glacier National Park in Canada

Jul 2: Pick up our permits to camp at Mt Sir Donald at the Rogers Pass visitor center, hike in to the Upper Bivy site, at the col between Mt Sir Donald and Uto Peak. Climb Uto Peak via SW ridge.

Jul 3: Climb Mt Sir Donald, descend most of the way

Jul 4: Return to camp and hike out, drive to Golden and stay in Motel

Jul 5: Get our packs packed for the Bugaboos, have breakfast, drive to the Bugaboos trailhead and hike in to Applebee Dome campground

Jul 6: Climb Bugaboo Spire via NE Ridge

Jul 7: Scramble Eastpost Spire via NE Ridge

Jul 8: Climb Snowpatch Spire via Snowpatch Route

Jul 9: Climb Crescent Towers South (Donkey Ears) via Ears Between

Jul 10: Attempt Snowpatch Spire via Surfs Up, but get weathered off

Jul 11: Hike out, drive to Halcyon Hot Springs for a day of relaxation

Jul 12: Drive back to Seattle


Ears Between w/ Direct Start (5.8, 8p)


We opted for a slightly shorter climb the day after Snowpatch, so we headed up the Ears Between route on the Crescent Towers. It leads to the south summit, called the Donkey Ears. The usual start is to head up the "approach ledge" for the Crescent Towers, from where the climb is a 6 pitch 5.7. We opted to do the 2 extra pitches of the direct start, both of which are 5.8, making it an 8 pitch 5.8 climb.


This turned out to be a good decision, as the 2 extra pitches were some of the most fun. The other fun pitch was the last pitch (the chimney between the two ears). The 5 pitches in between were relatively nondescript and uninspiring.


We were tired from all the hard climbing we'd done so far on this trip and did not enjoy this route as much as we might have if we were fresh. Nonetheless, the first 2 pitches were really fun and the final pitch chimney is really cool. Definitely a good moderate route to do in the Bugaboos when looking for a bit shorter day.


Here is Allie leading pitch 1 of the direct start:






Looking over at Snowpatch Spire from the top of P1:




Summit of the South Donkey Ear:





The descent beta in the guidebook is a bit brief so I'll give some more details here for the descent.


1) By the summit of the South Donkey Ear, find a sling rappel anchor. Rappel directly down (East side) from this anchor 25-30m.


2) At the bottom of this 1st rappel, find a 2 bolt chain anchor. Rappel from this down a dirty gully trending rappeller's left. Rappelling a full 30m to the end of your rope will put you on a sandy ledge at the bottom of the gully. Look rappeller's left and a bit up and you'll see a notch in the ridge with a rock sticking up:




3) Scramble up to this rock through the notch, and you'll find another 2 bolt chain rappel anchor. Rappel down your entire rope length to easy ground.


4) Follow the ridge crest down, and you'll see a well beaten path with many cairns along the way. Down scramble this ridge crest as it broadens, following cairns, for about 15-20 minutes. The broad ridge crest suddenly falls off in a cliff, but off to skier's left you'll find a sling rappel anchors with rap rings.


5) Rappel down this, another full 30m rappel, and you'll be just above the Crescent-Eastpost Col, an easy class 2 scramble away from camp:



That night I finally got myself to take a few star photos. The sky was a bit hazy so not super starry:





The next day, we tried to go climb Surfs Up, but just as we were getting on pitch 1, weather came in, with rain coming down and thunder sounding in the distance. We rappelled off some slings a bit off to the side from the 1st pitch, and returned to camp. The weather cleared up later in the day. Some shots near the Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col:





After resting the rest of the day in camp, we hiked out the next morning and headed to Halcyon Hot Springs, where we relaxed and ate the full day before driving back to Seattle:





Edited by ilias

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