Saturday, August 08, 2009

Bugaboo Free Mission

I just returned from a very successful trip into the Bugaboo mountains with Matt Segal and Will Stanhope. New free ascents were the objective - a tricky conditions-dependant business that can all come apart with the absence of a single key foothold or wet splitter crack. Luckily, things came together and we added two significant all-free routes to the range.

We began the trip based out of the Eastcreek Basin on the west side of the range, camped below an inspiring 'rocketship of granite' the Minaret. The hallmarks of this area are the imposing west faces of the South, Central, and North Howser Towers. The South is home to the ultra-classic Beckey-Chouinard, a 20-something-pitch 5.10-. The North Howser plum is the great All Along the Watchtower, a 900 meter all-free 5.12- first freed by Topher Donahue. The west aspect of the Central Howser wasn't climbed until 1999 and has only two routes up it, both multi-day aid-job affairs. The features on the route Chocolate Fudge Brownie looked the most promising for a free passage as we squinted through binoculars, and we would succeed in freeing the line via a 3-pitch variation at V 5.12+.

The North Vancouver/ Miami variation to Chocolate Fudge Brownie
I recently dropped my camera off Mt. Fay in the Canadian Rockies, meaning I had an excuse to get a new Canon G10. I used the shots and video footage from it to edit my very first movie. Check it out:

Central Howser Tower Freeclimbing from Jason Kruk on Vimeo.

After the Howser mission, we popped back over the col to Applebee camp for the remainder of the trip. Will, Hazel, Matt and I decided to try the still un-free Sendero Norte on the east face of Snowpatch Spire. Dry conditions worked in our favor and Will managed to pull through the tips finger crack crux at 5.12+.

Does this look like alpine climbing? No helmet or shirt on the crux pitch of Sendero Norte (V 5.12+)


renan said...

nice job on your adventure and edit, thanks for sharing, the central howser needed some free action!

Bubba said...

A fine adventure gentlemen, and a great video that captures the spirit of it all. Makes me want to be in the bugs, climbing.

Happy trails,

Barry Blanchard

ps I always take my helmet off in the alpine.

Anonymous said...

Hey Looks nice guys. were you up on the central howser in late july? My mate and i were up on the BC that day and I think i got some sweet images of some fellas dwarfed on the cental. Shoot me an mail and let you me know if you want the photos flicked your way eh
Reese Doyle