Mixed Climbing in the Bugaboos

Bag Pigeon Spire with Yamnuska Mountaineers

Feb 8, 2012
Outside Magazine

On the Beckey Chounaird route up the South Howser Tower

For climbers, the Bugaboos' allure is undeniable: seven granite fins rising as much as 3,000 feet above glaciers. Getting there is the challenge. The 33,720-acre Bugaboos Provincial Park sits 40 miles down a gravel road southwest of the town of Golden, British Columbia. To access the peaks, hike four miles up a 2,100-foot well-maintained track to the moraine of Crescent Glacier. Your reward is Conrad Kain Hut, the 40-person alpine shelter that’s the launching point for hundreds of the best climbs in North America. Hire a guide from Yamnuska Mountaineers and sign up for their five-day Bugaboos Granite Tour, which takes fit beginner climbers up four ultra classic routes. The highlight is the West Ridge of Pigeon Spire, which mixes glacial travel and fourth class scrambling with a handful of 5.4 pitches.

YOU NEED: To reserve a spot on Yamnuska Mountaineering’s Bugaboos Granite trip three months in advance ($1800 per person for everything but transportation). If you park at the trailhead, you also need to wrap your car in chicken wire to prevent porcupines from chewing the rubber gaskets.