Well it’s happened. As far as I know no climbing trip would be complete without at least a few hiccups. The word has just come down from the Western Alberta / Eastern BC region that the glacier conditions in the Bugaboos are (in certain areas) “exceedingly dangerous”. Here is an excerpt from a conversation with a local guide:
“I’m not sure if you have been following conditions out here, but it’s been a very dry summer so the glaciers in the Bugaboos are becoming quite difficult to travel on. Unless we get a bunch of new snow, the Bugaboo/Snowpatch Col is not reasonable right now and would be an exceedingly dangerous place to be. The alternate access to Pigeon and the backside of Snowpatch is still getting used, but is in challenging shape due to dry glaciers and open crevasses.”
Minimal Googling returns similar information.
Having never climbed in the Rockies we are inclined to listen when experienced climbers warn that crevasse falls like this or this are more likely now than one would desire. That said there are still a few accessible peaks – Crescent Spires, Eastpost Spire and McTech areas – and so the plan remains to head into the Bugs for at least the week of the trip!
Maybe once we get out there things will be different but in the event that all of the glaciers melt and the spires all crumble I’d like to put out a call to those who have climbed in the area: What are you favorite alpine routes?
Keep in mind a few things when answering:
- Matt and I are very handsome but not very experienced
- Matt and I are very smart but not very fast
- Matt and I are very excited but not very handsome or smart
We are super keen to hear about your favorite long alpine routes on remote peaks in and around the Bugaboo region (Banff / Lake Louise / Canmore / some place I’ve never heard of). We will plan at least a portion of our trip around your suggestions!