All Locations > International > North America > Canada > British Columbia > Columbia Mountains > Purcell Mountains > The Bugaboos > Snowpatch Spire
Avg: 3.2 from 36 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 500 ft, 7 pitches, Grade II|
|Page Views:||8,745 total · 70/month|
|Shared By:||Hans on Dec 2, 2007|
The RouteA popular climb on the right side of the west face of Snowpatch Spire, Surfs Up follows broken cracks on somewhat poor rock for three pitches to Surfs Up ledge, then finishes with another two or three pitches of beautiful cracks on excellent granite. Thanks to Steph Abegg for the excellent route overlays shown below.
Begin at the right side of the west face of Snowpatch Spire, near the Pigeon icefall. Climb 3 pitches of indistinct cracks leading up and right to an alcove.
Though protection is somewhat limited on these first 3 pitches, the climbing is easy. Note that many parties get lost and climb up too far. Slings may indicate bail anchors and be off route.
Pitch 4 is a traverse right from the alcove to reach Surfs Up ledge. This is another place where it's easy to go wrong and go up instead. The ledge itself is an excellent place to have lunch, take a nap, or just enjoy the view.
The crack pitches above Surfs Up ledge are excellent, and make the route worthwhile. Follow an obvious handcrack for 2 pitches to the top of the wall.
Scramble or simulclimb to the south summit from here, and descend the Kraus-McCarthy rappel route.
Overall, a recommended route. Avoid the alpine start, as it's pretty cold over there until the sun hits the route.
Getting there and getting downLocated on the far right (south) side of the west face of Snowpatch Spire, Surf's Up is located just above and left of the Pigeon Icefall rappel route. Approach via the Bugaboo-Snowpatch col.
Descend via the Kraus-McCarthy rappel route (chain anchors). Four 60m or eight 30m rappels reach the bottom. The second rappel (or first if doing double raps) is a notorious rope eater, so beware. Typically it will get stuck near the station and not be too hard to fix.
If rappeling with a single 60m rope, note that some of the rappels are rope stretchers. Be very careful and be sure to knot the ends of your rope.
The base of the rappel route is close to the base of Surf's Up and there is no need to carry over approach shoes, crampons, or an ice axe.