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Snowpatch Spire

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Buckingham Route (easy version) T 
Bugaboo Corner T 
Flamingo Fling T 
Furry Pink Arete T 
Kraus-McCarthy T 
Snowpatch Route (aka SE Corner/Wiessner's Route) T 
Southwest Ridge - Direct Finish T 
Sunshine Crack T 
Sunshine Wall T 
Super Direct T 
Surfs Up T 
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Wildflowers T 
Wile Flowers T 

Snowpatch Spire Rock Climbing 

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Location: 50.73667, -116.78162 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 45,996
Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Steven Lucarelli on Oct 3, 2006
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The classic view from Bugaboo Spire.


The impressive Snowpatch Spire is the most obvious spire when entering the Bugaboo's. It stands just to the west of Applebee campground and is host to over 50 routes from 5.8 to 5.12. The largest wall on Snowpatch is the east face with routes ranging from 12 to 15 pitches and almost all of them being big wall in nature. The south, west and north faces boast numerous classic free routes such as the popular Snowpatch, Surfs Up, Kraus-McCarthy and Sunshine Crack. Snowpatch Spire is also the most difficult spire to climb with no routes to the top rated under 5.8.

Getting There 

All routes on the west face are approached via the Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col located on the north end of Snowpatch Spire. After climbing over the Col walk south to your desired route.

For routes on the north face follow the trail from the campground or hut toward the Col and north face is to your left once your in the Col.

The east face is obvious from the hut and the campground.

The south face is accessed via the Bugaboo Glacier. There is a trail to the Glacier from the hut, but from the campground its fastest to just scramble over scree straight toward the Glacier.

Climbing Season

For the Columbia Mountains area.

Weather station 4.4 miles from here

14 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Snowpatch Spire

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Snowpatch Spire:
Snowpatch Route (aka SE Corner/Wiessner's Route)   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 17 pitches, 1500'   
Surfs Up   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 500'   
Wildflowers   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 900'   
Kraus-McCarthy   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 800'   
Furry Pink Arete   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches   
Super Direct   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 900'   
Sunshine Crack   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 11 pitches, 900'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Snowpatch Spire

Featured Route For Snowpatch Spire
Rock Climbing Photo: Alic heading by the snowpatch on the 3rd class sec...

Snowpatch Route (aka SE Corner/Wiessner's Route) 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  North America : Canada : ... : Snowpatch Spire
INTRODUCTIONIn the late 1930's, Snowpatch Spire was "talked of as the continents number one climbing problem." After Snowpatch Spire was ticked, only one major peak remained unclimbed, South Howser Tower. Fritz Wiessner, 1938, made the best attempt before Bedayn and Arnold's success. After the highest attempt yet, Wiessner is famous for saying it would be: "...merely an affair of driving iron in...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Snowpatch Spire Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Snowpatch Spire at sunrise.
Snowpatch Spire at sunrise.
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Snowpatch Spire taken from Applebee campground.
Snowpatch Spire taken from Applebee campground.
Rock Climbing Photo: A less-common view from the Pigeon glacier
A less-common view from the Pigeon glacier
Rock Climbing Photo: Shifting shadows on Snowpatch Spire and the Cresce...
Shifting shadows on Snowpatch Spire and the Cresce...
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: West face route beta
BETA PHOTO: West face route beta
Rock Climbing Photo: Snowpatch from south: Bugaboo Spire in background
Snowpatch from south: Bugaboo Spire in background
Rock Climbing Photo: Katz guns for the summit!
Katz guns for the summit!
Rock Climbing Photo: Avalanche
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise on Snowpatch.
Sunrise on Snowpatch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers on Snowpatch Spire.
Climbers on Snowpatch Spire.
Rock Climbing Photo: From the summit of Bugaboo.
From the summit of Bugaboo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Snowpatch Spire basking in morning alpenglow, from...
Snowpatch Spire basking in morning alpenglow, from...
Rock Climbing Photo: Snowpatch

Comments on Snowpatch Spire Add Comment
Show which comments
By Sunny Jamshedji
From: Mumbai, India
Sep 3, 2010
Descent Information

My partner and I were on Snowpatch 24-Aug-2010. We went down the Kraus-McCarthy with two ropes, without a problem. Big rappel bolts/rings. No need to use any of the slings we saw!

The new Snowpatch Rappels descent is about 5 mins walk down and to [skier's] LEFT, down the glacier and around the corner, where you will see a large cairn on a shoulder. You will most likely need crampons at the least. All the raps are shorter than 30m, so you only need to get one rope wet! It's quite a long hike down to the hut from here with some crevasses en route as well. Note: In warm conditions, with lots of snowfall, expect this to be very WET and cold!

We recommend doing the Bugaboo-Snowpatch col descent. It's a few more minutes walk on the glacier, which is/was in pretty good shape. We rapped with a single rope for the first two raps, and then one double rope rap and walked down to the bottom of the col. If you do the first rap to the third station, your rope can get stuck and we avoided this the second time we did it. The first rap station is somewhat high and hard to see on the big boulder south of the small sign (skier's RIGHT) at the col. The second rap station is at the bottom of the rocks on skier's RIGHT. The third station is down under the [skier's] RIGHT side of the large boulder in the middle of the col. If you do the first rap with double ropes, then you might go to skier's LEFT of the large boulder and not be able to get around to it. Keep a couple of 4' slings handy, as the bolts on this last station are way up high! Note: In warm conditions, this rap is quite crazy with steep, loose mud and lots of rocks to easily knock off!
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Nov 25, 2010
Photo of the Pigeon-Snowpatch rappels:

Compliments to Sunny for a very useful comment and Kevin Craig for contributing a photo.
By will jones
From: N.B.
Mar 23, 2015
Does anybody know what the snow is like on the snowpatch? Is it hard and icy or kind of powdery? Any info would be appreciated! Thanks

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