South Howser Tower, East Face, The Big Hose Route

Canada, Bugaboos
Author: Jonathan Krakauer. Climb Year: N/A. Publication Year: 1979.

On the right side of the east face lies a thin, straight couloir, almost a chimney, that provides an unbroken line of very steep water ice from the ’schrund to within 80 feet of the summit. This hose makes a fine alpine ice route that goes to a distinct summit, and though not extreme, it is difficult enough not to bore winter waterfall climbers: a lot of 70° to 80° ice, as well as a short crux bulge of dead vertical, inch-thick ice. I climbed this route alone on June 29 in three to four hours, ’schrund to summit. Where the ice hose ends, I encountered moderate rock and rotten snow mushrooms before I reached the top. I freaked out and jury-rigged a 30-foot loop of my rappel rope through some nuts to protect myself over the summit snow mushrooms, but climbed the entire ice hose below free, unroped, and unprotected.

Jonathan Krakauer