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[TR] Bugaboos - Beckey-Chouinard - Car to car

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Trip: Bugaboos - South Howser Tower - Beckey-Chouinard Car-to-car


Date: 8/20/2016


Climbers: Priti and Jeff Wright

Trip Report:

South Howser Tower: 16pitches, TD+, V, 5.10 (A0). + Finger crack variation

A humbling 28hrs car-to-car single push. 8000ft vertical, 10.5mi RT. We expected to get 'er done well under 24 hrs but with 8 parties on route with guides and slow clients, waiting at every belay station, not able to simul any pitches, stuck ropes and rappelling shenanigans, it took much longer than expected. Incredible route! 50 classic.


11:30PM Fri Aug 19: Start from Trailhead

1:20AM Sat Aug 20: Kain Hut

3:30AM: Bugaboo-Snopatch Col

4:15AM: Pigeon-Howser Col

6:30AM: Base of climb

7:10AM: Start climbing

7:15PM: Summit

11:00PM: End of rappels

1:30AM Sun Aug 21: Back at Kain Hut

4:00AM: Back at Trailhead


Gear Notes:

Single rack from .2-4, doubles of .5, 1, 2, 3

Single 60m rope, with ~10m of cord for pulling


No bivy gear.


3L water total


Approach Notes:



Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col is still in, although cracks are opening. There is a rope for ascent/descent fixed at the col.


Edited by Priti

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Steph Abegg's Rappel overlay is spot on and saved our bacon from getting off-route. You definitely want to have her overlay with you as you do this rap for the first time. Some additional lessons on the descent:


Ref: http://www.supertopo.com/tr/South-Howser-Tower-Beckey-Chouinard/t12222n.html

-We did all rappels on a 60m rope (Mammut Serenity). No problem. Still, I think most ropes are within 5% of their advertised length, so our 60m rope might not equal your 60m rope. Plus we are light (100lb and 150lb) and rope stretch is another factor to consider. The ends or our ropes barely reached the bolts every time. On the 32m and 35m rappels, we did lower the first person to add pull cords if it didn't make it. Make sure to put knots on the end and be careful. If you're nervous, instead of bringing a 70m rope, you can just untie your 10m cordalette to add as a pull cord. We did use this method on the last rap over the shrund to get us to flat ground. When we do this again, we will simul rappels #4 to the shrund with just a 60m (with knots on the ends) and then add a 10m pull chord to the last rap over the shrund for a single-strand rap to flat ground.

-The first anchor is tat (not bolts) on the N side of the summit block.

-Thought her "1a" tat anchor was essential. Down climbing would be difficult. You pull your rope between 1 and 1a and walk to 1a on a big flat cube boulder.

-"2" is a bolt anchor. We skipped this and walked on flat ground over to "3".

-"3" was pretty easy and straightforward. Stay on the ridge until you see your bolt anchor. You kind of want to veer climber's right as you rap, but avoid the temptation.

-"4" is straight down a corner. Lots of flakes and cracks. We got our rope stuck here in a crack and had to lead up it, so be careful pulling your rope here.

-"6": There is a janky old handline to scramble down to some useless tat. Then some more "scrambling" between the useless, old tat and the anchor. First, I scrambled, unroped along the handline to the tat, but further scrambling seemed too dangerous below the tat to the bolts (which you can't see). So instead, Priti set up a rappel adjacent to the hand line so we could both rappel to the bolts. Recommend rappelling from the bolts (which hold the handline at position "6") and rappel parallel to the handline down the scrambley ledge, continue past the janky tat (in the same direction, along the wall) down the gully to the anchor.

-"7": VERY IMPORTANT...as Steph notes, "DO NOT go down corner/gully". We missed this note, went down the corner/gully and had to jug back up. Instead, rappel down the slab climber's right. Bolts are easy to find.

-"8": Anchor was easy to find here, instead of the advertised "hard to find"

-If you try the last rap with just a 60m, it will still reach, but you'll want to have crampons on and your ice axe holstered. 60m barely gets you over the shrund but not to flat ground. FYI, The last rap station above the shrund is a tiny edge (not a ledge), so you'd be putting on crampons while hanging.

Edited by JeffreyW

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Only thing I remember from that route was the back end of the party in front of me....

Nice job CTC on that is impressive!

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Your time CTC is more humbling to others I would think, especially with the crowds, overall difficulty/scope, and general alpine shenanigans. Humbling is when a one day trip turns into 2-3 days! Thanks for the TR.


Kudos to you and to Steph, where experience, thorough documentation and willingness to share is much appreciated.

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Impressive! We had our rope get stuck on the very same rappel and had to lead back up to it. Thanks for the TR!

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Looks like you had a good time and nice weather!


One way to avoid the crowds is to use the super sweet bivy ledge, we didn't have a single party on route when we started climbing at 1 pm.


Don't ask Steph about what happens if you don't stay on the ridge on the rap #3.

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Excellent TR, thanks for sharing!! Based on what you saw... do you think the BS Col will be in for much longer? I had given up on going up BC this year but maybe there's still a possibility.. (Don't want to take the longer approach)

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