American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Interior Ranges, Crescent South Face, Bugaboo Spires

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1969

Crescent South Faces, Bugaboo Spires. The first climb done on the 1968 Calgary Mountain Club camp was the south face of one of the Crescent Towers, the "Donkey’s Ears” face visible from Boulder Camp, and it was climbed by Brian Greenwood, Ron Thomson, Urs Kallen, Oyvind Berle and me. Our route followed the corner system leading up between the two summits; it was about F6, taking 4 hours or so for the 500 feet. We found an old rappel sling about 200 feet up, but as far as we know the face had not been climbed before. A day or two later Brian Greenwood and I made a much harder route on the south face of Crescent Spire. The face is split by two vast corners running from bottom to top; we chose the left-hand one, being straighter and more direct. We followed the corner most of the way, with occasional detours to the left in search of easier going. Halfway up the face, we were about 20 feet left of the corner when our line of weakness ran out. A short pendulum took us back into the corner, which required aid to lead up past an overhang. A little higher we traversed out across the right wall on pitons, and finished the climb up steep but easier slabs. NCCS IV, F8, A2. The third new route was the right hand corner on the same face, which I climbed with Joy Heron. This was extremely fine climbing on good granite, mostly free, with several short artificial sections. We were able to find a way around each of the large overhangs, and eventually reached the summit ridge just before a long and violent thunderstorm. NCCS II, F6, A2. During the same week last July Brian Greenwood and Oyvind Berle did the first one-day ascent of the east face of Bugaboo, arriving back at camp late in the evening. I believe this was the fifth ascent of the face and the first by a non-American party.

Dick Lofthouse

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