Friday, August 29, 2008


This August I spent several weeks in the Canadian Rockies and the Bugaboos. The summer has been full of work and some weeks it was hard to stay motivated and get out and climb for myself. Evening sessions were common. Will Stanhope and I became interested in a project that would be both a lot of fun, and easy to try after a day of guiding. We wanted to break the speed record on the Grand Wall, set over a decade ago by Guy Edwards and Sig Isaac. On our second try - and my second time up the route this year - we broke the 1:44 record with a time of 1:13.33.

Celebratory beverages
Drinking celebratory pilsners we had stashed after the climb.

Surprised by my fitness, I was off to see what I could do in the Bugaboos.

Snowpatch E. Face
Most of my efforts of the trip was directed at this beautiful piece of stone, the mighty East Face of Snowpatch.

It's amazing how close to camp this awesome face is - no alpine start is needed! Day one saw my talented soon-to-be mountain guide partner Jen Olson and I on The Power of Lard, a German route on the Tom Egan Wall, the right side of the East Face. The last pitch is one of the most amazing splitters I have ever seen. The Germans originally rated this pitch 5.13c and named it the Endless Struggle. With no expectations, just a willingness to try really hard, I onsighted the pitch. I can't claim the 5.13 grade though. Despite being 9a crushers, the Germans must have been very inexperienced crack climbers.

Jen Olson on the Power of Lard
Jen following one of the many quality pitches.

Jen then went back to Canmore to pick up Ines Papert, while I hung out in basecamp.

Applebee Camp
Talking shop with Jon Walsh and Cory Richards in Applebee.

There was a huge crew in Applebee so finding awesome partners was never a problem.

Will Stanhope even showed up for a quick hit with Chris Brazeau. Always prepared for the bad weather tent sessions with a copy of Chatelaine.

Pigeon Spire
The Bugs is designed for hot-lapping it seems, so I couldn't help but huck a lap on the Snowpatch Route and the NE Face of Pigeon. The latter resulting in a traverse of Pigeon and a super fun day out in the mountains.

Jen and Ines showed up that afternoon and we made plans to try Divine Intervention, a new route on Bugaboo Spire's east face.

Ines on Divine Intervention
Ines leading the first block.

I ran into Crosby Johnson and together we hatched a plan to free a route on the left edge of Snowpatch's east face. The route started on the original Beckey route but then aimed left to beautiful virgin pillars. Crosby was a good friend, but we had never actually tied in together. It was an honor to rope up with him for such an adventure.

Crosby Johnson

Crosby on Snowpatch
Crosby following a quality 5.11 corner on the route.

It was a pretty amazing trip, the Bugs are a very special place. It is good to be back in Squamish now though. The temps are good and I am very psyched on my latest project: freeing the old aid line Cannabis Wall with Will Stanhope.

1 comment:

Rich Wheater said...

Dudeski you gotta call me when you go up Canabis! Who else is going to haul the beer??