North Howser Towers west face is the largest and most remote wall in the Bugaboo's. Standing 3000' tall it has been compared to the Cirque of the Unclimbables and Patagonia. All of the routes on it are serious undertakings requiring maximum commitment to reach the top.
The main approach to North Howser is by the North Shoulder Col which is a long and gruelling ordeal. From the Kain hut and Applebee campground climb the Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col and descend northwest down the Vowell Glacier until your beneath the north ridge. Continue along the glacier to the North Shoulder Col and descend west into the steep loose gully. A small glacier will be encountered beneath the northwest face which is best to skirt around on the right. Scramble down more scree and glacier traversing to the south until you are below the west face.
There is also another approach from East Creek Basin that is described in the guide. It says to take the ridge west from the bivy site about 100m until it is possible to cut right down a ledge and gully system to a terrace. From here make 3 or 4 double rope rappels to the glacier below. This is not supposed to have fixed anchors and is not well traveled according to the book.
The route is s serious undertaking and was cutting edge at the time of ist F.A. It ascends a prominent line up the left side of the west face. Start from ledges where the lower wall sticks furthest into the glacier.P1-P9 Mostly 5.9 and 5.10, following cracks and dihedrals up the lower angle portion of the wall. The second will probably have to carry the bag in this section. There are very few substantial ledges here.P10-p13 The climbing starts traversing slightly to the north and angling for th...[more]Browse More Classics in International
I worked with Ward Robinson in the early 90's... by then, he had opted out of this kind of way-radical climbing in favor of his marriage and raising his family...but in his best days, he was a very modest and generally unrecognized Canadian climber of amazing talent and ability. This route was one of his best.
A tale of bivy near the summit of NHT... my girlfriend and I were once coming down from a climb on SnowPatch and met a couple young bucks who had summited the West face and spent a VERY wild night on the summit - complete with multiple lightning hits. They were burned and bedraggled... and lucky to be breathing. The summit bivy was probably the crux of that climb???