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North America, Canada, British Columbia, Bugaboos, North Howser Tower, West Face, New Route

North Howser Tower, West Face, New Route. On August 8-10, Cameron Tague, 29, and Eric Greene, 32, both from Boulder, Colorado, took advantage of three days of cloudless skies to establish a new route on the 2,800-foot west face of the North Howser Tower in Bugaboo Provincial Park. Spicy Red Beans and Rice (V 5.12a Al) shares the first two pitches of Seventh Rifle, then trends left through chimneys and left again onto a lichen-covered face where a continuous wide crack leads to a bivy ledge midway up the route. The brilliant free climbing on the upper headwall follows various splitter cracks, incipient seams, and massive dihedrals possibly overlapping previous aid pitches on Warrior. The last pitch, which contains the only aid, was full of heavy black lichen and would probably go free after a bit of cleaning. Unfortunately, neither of us had the energy to deal with it. The headwall terminates on the northwest ridge with another thousand feet of 4th and easy 5th-class climbing leading to the true summit. We reached the summit at 4 a.m. on the 9th after simul-climbing for what seemed an eternity. Fortunately, the discomforts of the long summit push were tempered by a glorious show of northern lights gradually fading into the dawn.

Cameron Tague, unaffiliated