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North America, Canada, Purcell Mountains, The Bugaboos, Bugaboo Provincial Park Mountaineering Summary and Statistics

Bugaboo Provincial Park Mountaineering summary and statistics. The 2001 Bugaboo season was blessed with good weather but not many new routes. Rather, a number of older classics were dusted off. Early July saw an attempt at the completion of an aid project on the Pigeon Feathers by a team of locals that ended in a med-evac when one member of the party broke an ankle as the result of a ledge fall. Members of the same team nearly completed a new line on the Minaret of South Howser Tower. The ice route Ice Hose on South Howser was in shape most of the summer, allowing several ascents by alpine ice aficionados from around the world and even from Canmore, Alberta. All Along The Watchtower on North Howser saw an ascent by a Kiwi/Canadian team. Among the most in-vogue classic routes were the Southwest Corner of Snowpatch Spire and the Beckey-Chouinard on South Howser, which never seems to lose appeal. In addition the Northeast Ridge of Bugaboo saw at least three to four ascents a week in late July and all of August. Several parties were benighted on the Northeast Ridge due to underestimating the commitment this classic route demands. The only other med-evac of the summer was the result of rockfall in the Bugaboo/Snowpatch col. The victim escaped with only minor injuries. The oldest climber was 76 and was not Fred Beckey. During mid-August a team of 17 women known as Girls-Rock ruled the Applebee campground and completed everything from Wildflowers on Snowpatch to the Beckey-Chouinard on South Howser. Some men were afraid, while others were delighted. A lone Minnesota climber attempted a burly aid line on the east face of Bugaboo Spire, only to be defeated by a week of poor weather at the end of July. Hence he called his effort Unfinished Symphony. Rumors of a new and improved rappel route on Snowpatch Spire proved to be true. The creator is unknown, but suspected to be Joe Benson. Several speed ascensionists found that running shoes are not appropriate for approaches in the Bugaboos, resulting in many a hairy descent from the Bugaboo/Snowpatch col. Overall, a good season was had in the Bugaboos, with many good stretches of weather and a busy campground and Kain Hut throughout July and August. No incredible epic Krakauer-type stuff to report— just, lots of good alpine granite climbing that is truly world-class.

Wayne J. Sobool, Bugaboo Ranger and ACMG Member