My friend Jason L was so excited by my photos from last year that he wanted to come out west
and check out the Bugaboos for himself. Here are some photos and video from our tour into the
Bugaboos in July 2013.


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Jason flew into Calgary a day before Natalia and my mom left for Europe. We met up after I dropped off the ladies
for their European jaunt, and left the next morning for the Bugaboos Provincial Park. This is taken at Vermilion
Crossing in Kootenay National Park, enroute to the Bugs.


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After a terrific meal of schnitzel and beer at the Old Salzburg in Radium, Jason and I drove the rest of the way into
the park for a nice early approach. Here is Jason at the trailhead after we finished porcupine-proofing my car. Yes, it's okay
to make fun of Jason's towelhead turban.


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Anyone who has hiked the Bugaboos trail knows that the views are stunning. Here's Jason with the Hound's Tooth visible.
The bag on his front is because Jason is used to carrying a Baby Bjorn. Most climbers would just put on a bigger pack. Not Jason.


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This is Jason with his first look at Snowpatch Spire. It's pretty striking. What else is striking is the fact that it
was smoking hot on the trail up to the Kain Hut. No Natalia, it wasn't as hot as the time you got heat stroke - but pretty close.


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This is the view onto the very-fractured-and-broken Bugaboo Glacier. Yikes!


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Here is Jason trying very hard to look stoic in his Lawrence of Arabia turban. It turns out that he's trying to reduce
the amount of chemicals he's taking in (a notable goal) and this prevents the over-use of sunscreen.


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Jason and the Bugaboo Glacier.


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I tried to give a sense of the variation within the trail. You pick up a lot of elevation on the trail up and
once you get up to this point, the only way to gain more elevation is by cutting out of the rock.


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... and by adding ladders. Note the addition to the top of the ladder making it WAY easier to actually go down
the ladder than it used to be.


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Jason is tying his shoes right near the temporary bridge, just below the hut. Not a bad spot to stop and tie
your shoes.


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Jason made the comment that the most depleted people we saw at the hut were the ones who had just hiked up from the
car park. It's definitely a strong hike up. The other factor that affects the exhaustion is the fact that a lot
of people are bringing in food, climbing supplies, and other gear for a week or more. I think you could likely earn
a pretty decent amount of cash as a porter service here.


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The Kain Hut, named after Conrad Kain, one of Canada's best-known and most impressive alpine guides.
Jason, on the other hand, is less well-known.


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One of the nicest views from an outhouse can be found at the Boulder Campground, next to the Kain Hut.
Jason is prognosticating from his position of power on the throne.


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Here I am on my third visit to the Bugaboos, one of my favourite (and scariest) places in the world.


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The night we arrived, we had a really pretty sunset. But with the spires blocking the sunset proper, visitors
to the hut are treated to a coloured light show with the clouds. I thought this looked pretty awesome.


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It's hard to do it justice with my little point-and-shoot, but this is the moon rising in the west.


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Cool colours in the sky, along with the moon.


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For our first full day in the Bugs, we decided on a 'Professional Development' or 'PD' day for Jason, since it
was his first time doing proper rock climbing outside in a mountainous setting. This is the sun rising as we're
getting ready to start our approach. Yes, climbing in the Bugs requires an alpine start on most mornings.


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The early morning sun off Bugaboo Spire and Snowpatch Spire.


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Jason thinks that carrying a rope around his neck is pretty cool.


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This is the trail up the Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col on July 21, 2013. This is the trail we'd take the next day wearing
crampons and a glacier axe.


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Here is today's destination - Eastpost Spire. While it looks reasonably daunting at over 2700m, the route we took
takes us up the col on the left side of the ridge, around the back on the north side snow field, and then up a 4th class
scramble to the summit. This is Appleby Dome camping area in front of us.


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Jason, making our way up to the scrambling. The peaks in this area are pretty nice for views. Jason compared the
views in this area to flying a plane.


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When we made the col, we had the first view looking into the Cobalt Lake area. This isn't the Cobalt Lake though, as it's
on the other side of the formidable rock wall above this small tarn. The really sharp-looking peak on the left here is Brenta
Spire.


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While I was an idiot and stashed my axe and crampons, Jason didn't listen to me (or was lazy) and brought his with him
for the snow portion of this scramble. While J was more than a little uncomfortable initially on the snow slope, he quickly
adapted and followed my kick steps in the hard snow without taking a trip to the bottom.


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Once we gained the snow col between the northeast and main summits, it seemed like an opportune time for a nice photo. This was the
first time I had been in this part of the park as well.


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The last little bit up to the col was the first bit of actual rock climbing that Jason did.


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Here's the view back to the Brenta Spire. I give this basin the Paul Perrault stamp of approval. I also
give Nature Valley Sweet and Salty granola bars the stamp of approval.

Video of the view from the col of Eastpost Spire



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Here's Jason beginning the scrambling fourth class section of the day. That's the northeast summit of Eastpost
behind him.


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Another photo of Jason climbing, but with the Warbling Tarns below him.


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Yes Rebecca, I took good care of Jason the whole time he was in my care. How nice is this view? Jason thinks
he looks extra cool since he's wearing my rope. I think he needs a bigger backpack.


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A not-quite-as-good shot, but with Brenta Spire.


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We summited out Eastpost Spire and took some photos on the summit. Here's Jason with the Kain Hut below him.


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A gorgeous view of Snowpatch Spire. Some day, I will climb this route.


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The view from the summit of Eastpost Spire.


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Jason took a photo for me of me and Snowpatch Spire.


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The view from the summit of Eastpost Spire.

Video of the view from Eastpost Spire, along with an interview of Jason



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Jason and Bugaboo Spire.


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Even though the fourth class climbing wasn't technical, the consequence of falling here was ugly. So, we
signed the summit log, set up the rope, and rappeled down to the more comfortable spot to start downclimbing.


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Jason walking back to the start of the climbing section with the summit behind him. This was actually a really neat
route and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Video of Jason driving his heels into the snow on the descent



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Jason hanging out on the snow slopes below Eastpost Spire.


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This is a German lady living in Pittsburgh who we ran into as we got back into the Crescent Glacier basin.
I took this shot because I liked the reflection off her glasses of me and Bugaboo Spire behind me.


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Jason and I, after a successful summit of Eastpost Spire.


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The next phase of PD day was to get Jason climbing on real rock. So, rather than lead a route that wasn't
in the guide book, I dropped a top rope onto a single pitch of beautiful granite. This was a boulder the size of a
small house, tenuously resting on some other small rocks, but above a ~1000 foot drop. Yeehaw.


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Here's Jason climbing on what I estimate to be a ~5.8 crack. So, he got a little bit of use out of his rock shoes.


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This is a climber climbing a route in between the Donkey's Ears in the Crescent Towers area, called In Between .
It goes at about 5.7 but it looked really aesthetic.


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After some rock climbing on real technical rock, the next step in PD day was to get Jason comfortable using crampons and
an ice axe. We wandered over to Crescent Glacier and roped up to wander around and play. Above Jason is the spire we
had earlier summitted.


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Jason asked about the pink colour in the snow. I explained the algae that causes the snow to be red. Apparently, it
tastes like watermelon, but neither Jason nor I wanted to prove that theory.


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Our next full day in the Bugs we decided to make an attempt on the West Ridge of Pigeon Spire. This is the view
at 5:45am as we're leaving the hut. Nice colour for sure.


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The fastest route to get to Pigeon Spire is up the Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col. This is a steep piece of snow that cuts the
time needed to get to the start of the route. Here is Jason trying out his steep snow moves. That's Eastpost Spire
behind him.


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Here's the bergschrund, the opening in the glacier as it separates from the rock. This isn't a cool place to fall into.


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Here's Jason climbing a little bit higher.


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This is just before the col runs out of snow and turns into a short rock climb to get out and into the Vowell Basin.


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Here's Jason's first view of the West Ridge of Pigeon. You can see that it has 3 summits and our goal was to do all
of them. My crampon likes this view.


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Jason and I roped up on this section of the Vowell Glacier since neither of us knew the glacier that well. This
is a method of preventing a climber from falling too far into a crevasse. That's Bugaboo Spire behind Jason.


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This is a look out onto Vowell Glacier. If you look at a topo map, you'll see that it's a huge glacier.


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Here's Jason having a bite to eat after our 3 hour approach to the base of the climb. It was about this time
that my stomach started acting up. I thought it was just due to drinking coffee too early and dismissed it.


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These are the Howser Towers behind Jason. It's a pretty dynamite view.


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This is one of the more popular routes in the Bugaboos so we weren't surprised to run into a few new friends.
Meet Darren and Nick, two firefighters from Calgary who were out enjoying the climb.


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Jason, enjoying a view looking down from a few pitches up the route. I decided to pitch the whole climb out,
in order to ensure safety and a comfortable climbing experience. There were absolutely guys climbing this route
in their boots with no ropes however. That's more risk than I'm comfortable carrying.


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Here are Nick and Darren on the second summit pitch. Notice their bright green rope strung along the ridgeline.


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Another shot of Nick and Darren.


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After you pass the first summit, the route actually loses elevation as you effectively walk along a granite sidewalk.
Jason is climbing up behind me along the less-steep-than-it-originally-looked section.


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Jason thought 1000-foot plunging drops off either side merited a no-hands rest.


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Just before the second summit, we decided that we had passed our turn-around time and so we turned around.
As well, Jason could actually hear my stomach at this point, so it was better to start the long train home.
At this point, we were ~4.5 hours into the climb and I had already used a Restop bag. The view from here though
makes anyone feel better.


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For most of the return downclimb, we actually simulclimbed, which makes travel quite a bit faster, while still giving
good protection from almost any accident.


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Here is Jason holding up my Restop bag like it's a fish he just caught. For those unfamiliar, a Restop bag is what one
uses to get rid of human waste when you're not close to a bathroom. As a happy note (for me), notice that Jason is wearing
a backpack. I wasn't wearing a backpack. So, guess who got to carry this bag back to the start of the climb? :)

Jason also wrote a poem to commemorate the event :
Left Holding the Bag
Based on a true story

Climbing up the Pigeon Spire,
his bowels expressing dread and ire.
A Shit Kit was all that he desired,
to help relieve his intestinal fire.
15 hours to go, sphincter cannot tire,
as the duo moved ever higher,
forehead dripping with perspire.
A precarious ledge finally acquired,
"Please hand me that bag, posthaste good sire!",
his rumbling stomach was not a liar.
The end in sight, through the mirthless mire,
the situation no longer dire,
to the Kain Hut he could finally retire.



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The views in this area are pretty unbelievable. You kind of almost take them for granted sometimes. Until you realize
that most people who come to the Bugaboo get rained out. We had 4 perfect days of weather.


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Thankfully, there is an 'alpine toilet' at the base of the West Ridge of Pigeon. This is the view from the
alpine toilet, looking out to the East Basin.


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Since I couldn't really hike very quickly at this point (or I would poop my pants), Jason got a few paces on me.
Here's Jason on the Vowell Glacier with both Bugaboo and Snowpatch Spire in front of him.


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You can see the last 20% of the climb we didn't finish - but it'll have to wait until next time. Jason is roping up
before we cross a short section of glacier that had some cracking in it.


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Here's some more perfect sunshine on our last morning in the Bugs. A pretty terrific trip I'd say. Three trips into the
Bugs for me with perfect weather - that means that my next trip is doomed. Thanks to Jason for making the trip out west.
I hope the mountains see you again soon.

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