American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Snowpatch Spire, Labyrinth

North America, Canada, Bugaboos

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Jon Walsh, Canada
  • Climb Year: 2009
  • Publication Year: 2010

Jon Simms and I spent three-and-a-half days, over two weekends in August, establishing a 14-pitch route on the 600m east face of Snowpatch Spire. Tricky routefinding (hence the name Labyrinth) and crack-gardening kept us busy on the lower half the first weekend. The following weekend, on day one we reclimbed the first seven pitches, with our previous cleaning efforts making the pitches sendable and more enjoyable. On pitch seven, we hand-drilled three bolts and fixed three knifeblades, to protect the bouldery moves through the roof. We then sent the pitch and made two rappels to a good bivy ledge. The next day we joined the 1977 Brayshaw-Parker route for the last five pitches. We climbed the face in 14 pitches, plus a couple of 4th-class ropelengths along the summit ridge to the north summit. Two pitches clock in at 5.12-, four at 5.11, and the rest are 5.10, making Labyrinth a good moderate by east face standards.

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