American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Bugaboos

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1962

Bugaboos. Rising from a western spur of Flattop Peak, and visible from few points in the Bugaboos, are two sharp spires (ca. 9200) which had remained unclimbed until 1961. On August 3 Edith Aston, Pierre Garneau, Peter Geiser, Sue Redpath and I reached the col north of Flattop Peak and descended westward onto one of many small glaciers draining into East Creek. We traversed southward and climbed steep snow to the col between Flattop and "Crossed Fish Peak,” the easterly of the two spires. The summit of the latter was reached after a few hundred feet of moderate scrambling. We started climbing down to the west, but were finally forced to rappel the last 150 feet into the notch between the two spires. Garneau, Geiser and I then continued on to the slightly higher western summit, which we called "Little Snowpatch Spire.” Well-fractured, moderate-angle slabs offered no difficulties, and with a half hour’s scrambling we were on top. Standing as it does, west of the main divide, this summit offered unexcelled views of the deep East Creek valley, the Four Squatters and especially, the spectacular west faces of the Howser Spires. After returning to the notch, we climbed down a rotten gully to the south and regained the Bugaboo Névé via the Thimble-Howser Peak col. Two days before, on August 1, Geiser and I climbed the South Tower of Howser Spire, the first time it had been climbed since the original ascents on two consecutive days in 1941. We used a slight variant of the original route and found it to be an enjoyable climb, comparable in difficulty to Snowpatch, and easily done in one day from Boulder Camp.

William J. Buckingham

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