“Sharpening The Saw”
Leaders Need to Have Some Fun Too! – July 29-August 4, 2012:
A week ago, I attended the Alpine Club of Canada, Vancouver Section’s trip to Rogers Pass & the Bugaboos for some hiking, scrambling and climbing. Here are some of the highlights from that trip:
Note: Click on a picture to start a full screen carousel carousel slide show of the pictures with captions.
Monday: well over 7,000 feet up Cheops (8,546 ft./2,605 m) in Rogers Pass after a long approach hike all the way around the mountain and up its rear ridge – with only the summit pyramid left to be scaled – a wicked thunderstorm rolls in over us and we are forced to retreat back down the mountain.
Tuesday: Day 1’s objective, Cheops, is reflected in the melt water at the Rangers’ Hut ridge at the 7,000 foot level on the way up Mt. Abbott (8,087 ft./2,465 m) across the valley from Cheops. Unfortunately, heal blisters stopped my progress up the mountain (luckily I later sorted the problem out and continued the week unaffected by my damaged heals). While the rest of the team made good progress further up Mt. Abbott, they were again forced to turn around without summiting due to bad weather (torrential rain and hail).
Wednesday: The ACC’s cozy 12-person Asulkan Hut – our home for the night at 6,890 feet up the Asulkan Valley (a beautiful 6.5 km. hike in with a 2,790 foot elevation gain) sitting under Young’s Peak (9,341 ft./2,847 m.) and surrounded by the Asulkan Glacier – with a sweeping front porch view of all of the great peaks of Rogers Pass.
The Asulkan Hut has amazing views from its front porch high above the south end of Rogers Pass.
Wednesday Night: Team-mate Karen has time for one more photo as the sun sets over Rogers Pass. Tomorrow we hike back down to the car and drive 3 hours or so to the legendary Bugaboos.
Thursday: About half-way along the hike into/up to the Bugaboos, we get our first look at the famous Conrad Kain Hut (the green roof at the top of the wall above the waterfall). Almost there…but from here on up the trail gets a little more “interesting”….. How DO we get up that wall the hut’s sitting on?
Thursday: Cool trail….just don’t trip or slip!
Thursday: Really….don’t trip or slip! Cemented steps, chain handrails and a tall ladder bolted to the wall make up some of the interesting solutions to the challenges of this part of the trail.
Thursday: Finally the hike up from the valley floor is done….so, where are we anyway?
Friday: Welcome to the world famous climber’s playground: the Bugaboos! Snowpatch Spiire in the middle with Pidgeon Spire in the background right and Bugaboo Spire coming into view on the hard right with the treacherous Snowpatch/Bugaboo col in the center-right (it’s so steep that many rappel down rather than try to boot down – if you zoom in you can see the climbers’ ascent route zig-zagging up the snow field). I really don’t have a wide enough lens for this place…
The ACC’s Conrad Kain Hut (7,320 ft./2,230 m.) with Snowpatch Spire rising behind it (leave your ice axes and trekking poles outside please).
Friday: Our objective today is Eastpost Spire (8,950 ft./2,728 m).
We pass the campsite at Applebee Dome (about 8,000 ft. and 1 km. from the Kain Hut) as we head up towards Eastpost Spire.
We stash our ice axes and trekking poles and start our scramble up the Spire.
Karen & Brent soak in the view while making our way up the Eastpost Spire. This place is magical.
Valerie pauses to absorb the spectacle around her.
The Applebee campsite (about 800 feet directly below us) and the Kain Hut (about 1600 feet below us) continue shrinking in size as we ascend Eastpost.
The team celebrates getting to the first (false) summit of Eastpost Spire. To get to the slightly higher true summit….well, we should have brought a guide book….turns out we needed to traverse the spire a little lower down and then resume climbing to the top…oh, well, gives us an excuse to go back one day. Careful guys…that’s nearly a 1,000 foot drop down on both sides of that slab you’re sitting on (1,600′ straight down on the right to the Kain Hut).
The team begins making its way back down. We left our packs at lower platform on the spire. Once we get back to our packs, it’ll be time for lunch and then the final descent back to the Kain Hut.
As we eat lunch, another team rock climbing up the face of Eastpost tops out on the true summit.
Celebrating the end of a wonderful day and a fantastic week – alpine style! Careful…more than about 4 seconds of that glacial water will really freeze your brain! Behind me is the Kain Hut sitting on the edge of a bluff overlooking the valley below.
It’s a glorious Friday afternoon to be sitting on the steps of the Kain Hut. The leader of our week in Rogers Pass and the Bugaboos was veteran ACC member, Rob Brusse (center – one of the six founders of MEC 40 years ago). Rob and Alan (left beside Rob) just returned from successfully summiting Pidgeon Spire (Rob’s last unclimbed peak in the Bugaboos).
Unfotrunately, one of our team collapsed with crippling abdominal pains just before dinner on Friday (after suffering stomach flu-like symptoms for 24 hours). Luckily we were able to have the B.C. Ambulance Service medivac her out to the hospital in Golden.
Thanks to the B.C. Ambulance Service for rushing to our team-mate’s rescue. It’s nice to know there’s help out there when we really need it no matter how far out we are into the backcountry and mountains of British Columbia!
A shakey cam 360 view of the area surrounding the ACC’s Asulkan Hut located at 6,900 feet at the south end of Rogers Pass, B.C.
The Bugaboos from Eastpost Spire from B Jody Lotzkar on Vimeo.
A shakey cam 360 of the Bugaboos taken from near the top of Eastpost Spire.
Medi-Vac in the Bugaboos from B Jody Lotzkar on Vimeo.
The B.C. Ambulance Service airlifted one of our team-mates out of the Bugaboos (from the landing pad beside the Conrad Kain Hut) after she was stricken with a perforated appendix (she collapsed with crippling abdominal pains just before dinner after suffering stomach flu-like symptoms for 24 hours).