North America, Canada, Purcell Mountains, Bugaboos, South Howser Tower, Soul Cinders; East Pigeon Feather Peak, Ride the Snafflehound; Other Activity

Publication Year: 2004.

South Howser Tower, Soul Cinders; East Pigeon Feather Peak, Ride the Snafflehound; other activity. During an amazing high pressure system from August 25 to September 4, Renan Ozturk and I climbed two new routes in the Bugaboos. Camped below South Howser, we were the only people in the range, as, unbeknown to us, B.C. Parks were closed due to forest fires.

We started by establishing a six-pitch free line in the Pigeon Feathers. Ride the Snafflehound (III 5.10a) ascends the previously unclimbed northwest rib (Snaffle Puss Pillar) of East Pigeon Feather Peak. The route follows corners and splitters on the left side of the pillar for three pitches, before it gains the ridgeline arête and rides the snafflehound for three more pitches to the summit.

In a failed attempt to free the Southwest Pillar of The Minaret (A3), we freed the first six pitches, up to 5.12a. No bolts were placed, but we placed and removed one piton on the first pitch.

Our second new route was an independent line on South Howser between the Catalonian Route and The Minaret. Soul Cinders (V 5.11 C2) entails 20 pitches of chimneys and corners in perfect rock. It was done in 14 hours camp-to-camp, with no hammer or bolt kit.

Before leaving we climbed North Howser via All Along the Watchtower (VI 5.12). French-freeing and short-fixing, we climbed it in daylight from the base to the summit ridge. In the morning we gained the true summit and left a dreadlock of hair, in the absence of pencil or paper. Out of food, we were forced to leave the Bugaboos’ towering walls basking in sunshine.

Nick Martino