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Routes in Bugaboo Spire

Cooper-Gran (East Face) T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b A0
Divine Intervention T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Kain Route (South Ridge) T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
North East Ridge T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Type: Trad, Aid, Alpine, 1000 ft, 12 pitches
FA: Ed Cooper, Art Gran, August 1960
Page Views: 644 total, 25/month
Shared By: Louis Beaudoin on Oct 8, 2015
Admins: Kate Lynn

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Perhaps the easiest route (all free except for the bolt ladder A0) up the fantastic east face of Bugaboo Spire. I was amaze to realize only a few lines go across Bugaboo east face. From my reading in the topo, this was one of my project just because of the idea of being there on this dramatic face. Except for the short description in the topo, I couldn't find much detail about the climb and no one seems to ever go there. It was a great adventure and I would like to share it. Here is the description of what we climbed on Aug 2nd, 2015:

P1 (5.4) Instead of climbing straight up (as the book P1 says), we climbed up and left on a ramp to reach a belay (slings) in the middle of the "book P1". From this half pitch belay, we could see many cams and quickdraws left in place by a previous party. From this belay, we could see a hard section above the last cam (camalot #4 in horizontal crack) and the cam loop prove to be damage, as if the party before us fell on it and damage the cam loop badly. Also, we assumed the rope may also got damaged (or cut) because the way the protection were placed, the rope was going around a sharp edge. I hope some day I will know what happen and why all these protection were left in place. The book describe P1 as if it follows a straight line to reach the balcony above us, but it looked hard. Instead this is what we did:

P2 (5.10+) climb up the right facing dihedral for 10m then swing left to reach an horizontal crack (need long slings to avoid rope cut). Traverse far left (15m) to gain a blocky right facing dihedral (looks chossy). Climb this corner, marginal protection, to reach the balcony and make belay after the grassy ledge at the base of the vertical wall. Two ropes are mandatory. About 55m total.

P3 (4th class) About 100m of walking left on the balcony

P4 (5.9) Up the left facing dihedral and belay under the chimney roof

P5 (5.10) Cheminy roof. Not for beginners!

P6 (5.8) Cards castle pitch. Many loose blocks, pay attention. Slightly up and right (making the belayer safe, no rock fall directly above the belayer)

P7 (5.9) This is where we went off route. We went too far right to reach the nice looking left facing dihedral (which was indeed really nice). We ended up on a large ledge with 2 pitons for the belay. From there, we could see about 15m on our left the bolt ladder. We left a cordelette on the pitons and rappel to reach the first 2 bolts of the bolt ladder. Now we were back on the route and we could see below a nice face and crack system (original line). The corner variation we did was nice but we lost some time to get back on track.

P8 (5.10 A0) Up the bolt ladder, with 1960's old bolts(quarter inch rusty bolts with square nut). A few of the bolts where actually knifeblade pitons with the bolt stud through a drilled hole on the flat portion of the piton! First time I ever saw that (and I forgot to take a picture!). Continu up the offwidth (I dislodge a loose block and almost fell while leading, later at the belay above, my partner pulled the block out, I watched the block falling for a long time and this is where I realized we were high on the wall).

P9 (5.10+) The money pitch. Super and long and sustain left facing dihedral. Very nice stemming. This is the start of 80m of crux section. Total pitch lenght about 55m.

P10 (5.10+) More of the money pitch for another 20m or so. This is the end of the crux section. Then easier climbing on right trending ledges

P11 right trending ramp to snow patch

P12 up the corner to gain the Northeast ridge

P13 simul climb to the summit

We completed the route in 16 hours from Applebee camp, climb, scramble to summit, scramble down, go around snowpatch, 6 rappel and back to camp (the Bugaboo-Snowpatch col was out of condition and too dangerous to go rap down).


a full double rack was useful and we placed 3 x camalot #4 in the offwidth section (no camalot #5)