Bugaboo Alpine Rock
Dates

July 8-10, 2022
August 12-14, 2022
Custom dates available

Price

3 Day Guided Program for

1:3 ratio is $775/person
1:2 ratio is $1012/person
1:1 ratio is $1725

*add days 1:3 $258, 1:2 $337, 1:1 $575

Group Size
1 guide / 1, 2 or 3 guests
Skill Level
Beginner to Advanced, Route dependent

Bugaboo Alpine Rock

The Bugaboos are a magical alpine playground of inspiring glaciers, pristine wilderness and towering granite spires...

The Bugaboos of Western Canada are one of the world’s greatest alpine rock climbing centers. Located in the Purcell mountains of South-Eastern British Columbia they are cluster of high and shear granite spires situated inside the pristine Bugaboo Provincial Park. Join our 3 to 5 day guided program and discover some of the best traditional alpine rock climbing in Canada.

The Bugaboos offer a challenge for climbers of all ability on sound granite. The various summits of the Bugaboos including; the Crescent Spires, Bugaboo Spire, Snowpatch Spire, the Howsers, Pigeon Spire and the Pigeon Feathers, boast fine moderate mountaineering objectives, superb scrambles and fantastic alpine rock climbs.

Some of the popular peaks and classic routes we recommend in the Bugaboos include:

  • The Northeast ridge of Bugaboo Spire (D-, 5.8, 12p)
  • Kain Route on Bugaboo Spire (AD, 5.6, 450m)
  • West ridge of Pigeon Spire (PD, 5.4, 500m)
  • East Ridge of Marmolata (AD-, 5.6, 280m)
  • Surf’s Up on Snowpatch Spire (D, 5.9, 9p)
  • Snowpatch Route on Snowpatch Spire (D-, 5.8, 19p)
  • Buckingham Route via “The Enjoyable Way” on Snowpatch Spire (AD+, 5.8, 8p)
  • Lion’s Way on Crescent Tower (PD+, 5.6, 6p)
  • Ears Between on Crescent Tower (AD, 5.7, 6p)
  • McTech Arête on Crescent Spire (D-, 5.10-, 6p)
  • The Beckey-Chouinard on the South Howser Tower (TD+, 5.10, 22p)

Due to route length and arduous approaches, most peak ascents in the Bugaboos require a minimum of 2 days. That being said, it is often possible to ascend 2 routes or peaks over a 3 day period from the Kain hut.

In general, the guests to guide ratio is route specific. A 1 to 1 ratio is the norm on longer or more technical routes like; the Northeast Ridge of Bugaboo Spire or the Beckey-Chouinard on South Howser Spire. Previous experience climbing with our guides may affect this slightly. Depending on conditions, many of the less difficult or engaging routes can be done with a 1 to 2 ratio. A 1 to 3 ratio will limit us to very basic non-technical mountaineering ascents.

For a complete route list along with difficulty information, route description and trip length, click on Location below.  Please contact us if you are interested in a specific route or a custom trip.

We offer 3 to 5-day Bugaboo Alpine rock climbing programs. The length and itinerary of this program is flexible and depends on many factors including your interests, needs, and previous climbing experience.

The length of a chosen route(s) its difficulty will determine the number of days for the program.  We will typically have a pre-trip meeting the evening before your trip start and try to be back in town at a reasonable time on the last day of the program.

Below is a sample itinerary for a 3-day program

Pre-trip meeting; 7:00 PM in Golden (1 hour)

  • Welcome, introduction, goals & agenda, waivers.
  • Review of planned itinerary and current conditions
  • Issue of required gear and session on packing strategy

Day 1, Drive-in, Hike-in and Climb

  • 04:30 AM, meeting and drive
  • 06:30 AM, at trailhead, hike -in
  • 10:30 AM, at camp location, drop overnight gear
  • Hike to base of climb with a small day pack!
  • Climb, climb, climb!
  • 15:30 PM, top out, walk off & hike back to camp
  • 16:30 PM, Back in camp for a great dinner and cozy night in the mountains

Day 2, Full Climbing day

  • 05:00 AM, breakfast, hike-in to another classic alpine rock route
  • 07:30 AM, start climbing
  • Climb, climb, climb!
  • 15:30 PM, top out, walk off & hike back to camp
  • 16:30 PM, Back in camp for another great dinner and cozy night in the mountains

Day 3, Last climb and hike-out

  • 05:00 AM, breakfast, hike-in to another classic alpine rock route
  • 07:30 AM, start climbing
  • Climb, climb, climb!
  • 14:30 PM, top out, walk off & head back to camp
  • 16:00 PM, gather overnight gear from camp & hike out
  • 18:00 PM, back at the parking, drive-out
  • 20:00 PM, back in Golden for a late dinner

On this guided alpine rock program, prior rock climbing and mountaineering experience is required. Good physical fitness is also a must as it will give us the ability to move safely and efficiently in the mountains.

The difficulty of the routes we attempt will be based on your personal goals, interests and previous climbing experience.

Previous traditional and crack climbing experience, with or without a guide and the ability to climb with a small pack is required.

Bugaboo Provincial Park is located in the Purcell mountains of South-Eastern British Columbia. The trailhead is about 50km West of Brisco BC along the Bugaboo Creek forest service gravel road. Brisco is an hour drive south of Golden BC or one and a half hours drive north of Cranbrook BC along highway 95. The nearest international airport is in Calgary, Alberta. From Calgary, it is roughly a three and a half hour drive West along highway 1, 93 and 95, via Banff and Radium to Brisco BC.

Here is a list of our favorite Bugaboo peaks

  • Bugaboo Spire, 3200m / 10500’
  • Pigeon Spire, 3156m / 10350’
  • Snowpatch Spire, 3084m / 10100’
  • Howser Spires, 3412m / 11200’
  • Crescent Towers, 2830m / 9300’
  • Brenta Spire, 2958m / 9700’
  • Northpost Spire, 2919m / 9650’
  • Eastpost Spire, 2728m / 9000’
  • Pigeon Feathers, 2990m / 9800’
  • Marmolata Peak, 3019m / 9900’
  • Hounds Tooth, 2830m / 9300’
  • Anniversary Peak, 2947m / 9700’

Below are our favorite Bugaboo alpine routes grouped by difficulty

Easy Alpine Routes

  • West Ridge of Pigeon Spire (Grade II, 5.4)
  • Kain Route on Bugaboo Spire (Grade III, 5.6)
  • East Ridge of Marmolata (Grade II, 5.6)
  • Southeast Ridge of Eastpost Spire (Grade II, 5.6)
  • Lion’s Way on Crescent Tower (Grade II, 5.6)
  • Southeast Spur of Brenta Spire (Grade II, 5.6)
  • Northwest Face of Hounds Tooth (Grade II, 3rd class)
  • South Ridge of Brenta Spire (Grade II, 4th class)
  • Northeast Ridge of Eastpost Spire (Grade I, 4th class)
  • Pigeon Feather traverse (Grade II, 4th class)
  • Glacier Route on Anniversary Peak (Grade II, 3rd class)

Moderate Alpine Routes

  • Northeast ridge of Bugaboo Spire (Grade IV, 5.8)
  • Surf’s Up on Snowpatch Spire (Grade IV, 5.9)
  • Snowpatch Route on Snowpatch Spire (Grade IV, 5.8)
  • Integral North ridge on North Howser Tower (Grade IV, 5.4)
  • Buckingham Route via “The Enjoyable Way” on Snowpatch Spire (Grade III, 5.8)
  • Wildflower on Snowpatch Spire (Grade III, 5.9)
  • Tiger’s Tail on Crescent Tower (Grade II, 5.9)
  • Ears Between on Crescent Tower (Grade II, 5.7)
  • Lambrice Tour on Pigeon Spire (Grade II, 5.8)

Advanced Alpine Routes

  • The Beckey-Chouinard on the South Howser Tower (Grade V, 5.10)
  • Sunshine Crack on Snowpatch Spire (Grade IV, 5.11a)
  • McTech Arête on Crescent Spire (Grade II, 5.10-)
  • Paddle Flake on Crescent Spire (Grade II, 5.10)
  • Thatcher Cracker on Crescent Tower (Grade II, 5.10)
  • Furry Pink Arête on Snowpatch Spire (Grade IV, 5.10+)
  • Flamingo Fling on Snowpatch Spire (Grade IV, 5.10-)
  • Tom Egan Memorial Route on Snowpatch Spire (Grade V, 5.10 A3)
  • Wingtip Arête on Pigeon Spire (Grade V, 5.10-)
  • Cooper-Kor on the East Face of Pigeon Spire (Grade IV, 5.10)
  • All Along the Watchtower on the North Howser Tower (Grade VI, 5.11 A1)

Many other easy, moderate and advanced route options exist, contact us for more information. Whether a route is easy, moderate or hard is subjective and depends on many factors. To create our favorites list we have considered these factors: length of the route, technical difficulty, how sustain a route is and how long of a day it takes to complete it.

Due to the higher elevations, proximity to dominant winds and weather conditions, mountain weather is difficult to predict. It is most often worse than the weather in the surrounding valleys and can change quickly as it is really hard to predict for more than 24hrs ahead.

In summer you expect temperatures to be from 10 C to 28C in the day while overnight temperature can drop dramatically in the high alpine, even below zero.  Temperatures are much colder at higher elevations, even in the summer. It is not uncommon to have overnight freezing temperatures in the alpine, outside a mountain hut or near a back country camp.

It is always an interesting challenge to know exactly what you are going to get, therefore is important to be flexible with timing and not too attached to a particular goal or objective.  Be prepared by bringing all required items, this ensure you will be dressed for all variations as temperatures, wind, precipitation.

  • Pre-course planning support
  • Fully certified IFMGA and/or ACMG Alpine Guide or Mountain Guide services
  • 20 years of experience in the area
  • Alternative plan based on current conditions
  • Rope use & all technical equipment
  • Park permits and Liability Insurance
  • Emergency response plan
  • Group safety equipment

Services NOT included:

  • 5% GST tax
  • Hut & camp fees if required
  • Dinners & breakfast meals on trip, available for $45/night
  • Technical gear including ice axes, crampons, harnesses, helmets, prussix, carabiner, climbing shoes etc..
  • Personal clothing, overnight equipment, mountaineering boots *see equipment list for more details
  • Personal lunch & snacks
  • Travel to meeting location and accommodation prior to field portion trip
  • Gratuities
  • Trip interruption, cancellation insurance or medical insurance
  • Additional costs incurred if changes made to itinerary due to weather

How experienced do I need to be?

On this guided alpine rock program, prior rock climbing and mountaineering experience is required. Good physical fitness is also a must as it will give us the ability to move safely and efficiently in the mountains. The difficulty of the routes we attempt will be based on your personal goals, interests and previous climbing experience.  Previous traditional and crack climbing experience, with or without a guide and the ability to climb with a small pack is required.

Is it safe?

On all our courses, SMG provides you with fully certified IFMGA/ACMG Mountain, alpine and rock guides. This guarantees you the highest safety standards in the industry. Mountaineering remains hazardous and while it is impossible to eliminate all the hazards, our guides will maximize your experience and greatly minimize the risks involved.

Can I rent some of the equipment needed during the programs?

On this program, we offer participants access to all the technical equipment at a discounted rate. This includes; harnesses, helmets, belay device, carabiners, ice axes, crampons and much more. Contact us for specific sizes and availability.

Where else can I rent/buy climbing & outdoor equipment?

Here are a few outdoor stores in the region that supply good service and quality outdoor equipment and gear rental, please ensure you rent gear well in advance.

Kelowna:

Mountain Equipment Coop www.mec.ca

Golden:

Higher Grounds Sports www.highergroundssports.ca

Revelstoke:

Valhalla Pure Outfitters: (250) 837 5517 www.shop.vpo.ca

Canmore:

Valhalla Pure Outfitters www.shop.vpo.ca

Vertical Addiction www.vertical-addiction.com

Banff:

Monod Sports www.monodsports.com

Lake Louise:

Wilson Mountain Sports www.lakelouisewilsons.com

Calgary:

Mountain Equipment Coop www.mec.ca

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