After our awesome time on Pigeon Spire we decided to head up another classic route, the Kain route up Bugaboo Spire. Originally put up in 1916 by legendary guide and climber Conrad Kain, at the time it was a tour de force, and the most difficult climb in the world.
|Kyle poses in front of the hut, and the namesake of our climb. Conrad Kain|
|Kyle poses midway up the Kain route|
|Snow patch spire from the Kain Route|
|The Kain Route|
|Kyle negotiates the ridge traverse on the Kain Ridge.|
|On the way down|
We needed a break, so we hiked out, drove to Radium Hot Springs, got a delicious (veggie) burger, some beer, talked to my beautiful wife on the phone. A good recharge.
Kyle wanted to crank out something more challenging and technical, so we chose the ultra-classic MacTech Arete which ascends Crescent Spire. We stopped at the cool boulder bathrooms on the way, and then traveled through the tent camping spot.
|On the way to MacTech Arete|
|Tent camping at Bugaboos|
Kyle being the crack climbing guru led the whole thing. I followed, grunted, swore, but made it up. The 4th pitch was particularly spectacular. A 50 meter hand crack, amazing climbing.
|5.9 Hand crack.|
|Crack climbing stoke.|
We fished the 6 pitches, and rapped the route. All the pitches were perfect cracks, unbelievably good climbing. Kyle sent the crux 5.10 pitch with no issue, I huffed and puffed but made it through. Pretty proud of sending that steep crack, not exactly my specialty.
|Kyle cruises one of the upper 5.8 pitches on MacTech Arete|
|Looking back at MacTech Arete|
Also present was Steph Abegg, an enthusiastic alpinist whose blog I have used many times for beta in the Sierra's and John Walsh, a pro climber with an extensive alpine resume. Very cool to be among a community of such strong alpine climbers. Very humbling.
Day 6 - Crescent Tower, Lions Way, III, 5.6
We needed an easy day, and since I had been mostly a weinus on the trip, we decided to climb something easy, with a moderate approach. I wanted to lead every pitch, and off we went on another beautiful alpine climb.
|Climbing Lion's Way|
|Steep section on Lions Way|
|Heidi hops in the rescue chopper|
Day 7 - Eastpost Spire and Hike out.
On out last day we had planned to climb a 11 pitch 5.8 on Bugaboo Spire, but I was not feeling that well, so instead we zipped up the West ridge of Eastpost spire (class 4), a short easy scramble.
|Glacier on the way to Eastpost|
|Looking down to the campground from Eastpost Spire|
We then hiked out, and headed to Radium to have a flat tire fixed.
Then off to Canmore for a couple of days rest, and a shower! The first stage of our trip is over, and now we have about 7 days to climb some peaks in the Rocky Mountains.
The Bugs were an amazing place, really surreal and perhaps the best climbing I have ever done. I think I will need to come back soon, maybe next year with Teresa. I think she would love it. Now that I feel comfortable with the place it would be nice to climb some of the harder, longer climbs on Bugaboo Spire, Snowpatch spire and the Howser Towers.