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Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Canada and Alaska. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Canada and Alaska Climbing Partners forum.
 

Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Fury » Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:31 am

Well said, Dow. Self propelled is the way to go!

It felt great to climb again! It was a small crag and my forearms are not in climbing shape but I enjoyed myself. I'm on the right road. Nichole thinks I should go on a climbing trip next summer (I agree!) so I am working to get back to a reasonable level of climbing. Hope I can convince you to let me climb with you!

I sent an email with a couple photos for you.
Cheers
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:04 pm

Athabasca
Climbed the North Face yesterday. We simul-climbed the entire face for the most part on hard snow over ice, fast travel conditions. Bergschrund was easy. Some fresh snow from last weeks system. We pitched out the rock band. Was in total mixed climbing condition. Two suspect screws. No passive rock gear available really. A bit dicy of a lead. Made my third fall into a crevasse for the year on the descent down the North Glacier. Typical, isothermal snow conditions still hiding the open holes up high. The seracs looked like they have had some activity, but cleaner than I have seen in the past. We came down below them at 10AM, everything was quiet despite no freeze the night before. If you find my knee in the crevasse, please return. Will add a photo of the rock band on the north face later today.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:04 pm

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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:49 pm

Best September conditions since 2000 in my opinion. Great north face opportunities. Bill Kerr and I did a two day, five peak trip into Yoho National Park the past few days. President and V. President, a very common objective, is in fantastic shape and seeing constant traffic.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:07 pm

Conclusion for those of you interested in a trip to the Canadian Rockies or Bugaboos in 2012 and on.

September. The best month, on average the past 12 years, to come get some serious climbing done in the Canadian Rockies. Days are shorter, but the conditions have been drier and more stable almost every year it seems like, when compared to August. This Sept thus far has been perhaps the best month since I have been climbing the area to hop on some long north face routes.

Personally I damaged an MCL falling into a crevasse over three weeks ago. After two weeks of gym rehab, I have gotten back out on rock routes and scrambles but have missed some of the more spectacular weather and stable conditions I have ever seen. Even though I personally got out plenty, there was lots of bitching going on back in August regarding safe conditions on big alpine routes. None of that could be said for September to date. The weather and stablitly has been nothing short of spectacular. The few alpine solo speed records I hold were all set in previous Septembers when folks had completely vacated popular objectives like Assiniboine. Obviously I have found prime conditions in recent years in September as well.

Due to the knee injury, I have done modest day routes like free soloing the 16 pitch 5.6 Guides Route on EEOR, simul climbing the 12 pitch 5.8 Fold (photo below) on Mt. Kidd or putting in multiple peak scramble days. I am just gimping around getting exercise finishing out the season before returning to the desert and possibly knee surgery.

My advice? Start hedging your trips more into September than August. I believe this is becoming a solid weather trend. Until ice season.

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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:46 pm

I know at a minimum Troy is coming up for the last week of Sept-Oct, so I will make one more post. Despite a recent snow storm that dumped a significant amount of snow in the region, I drove south to Crowsnest and summited four peaks in two days, all aspects dry except for a smattering of fresh snow the the north faces. Crowsnest Mountain, south face, below.

Driving down through Kananaskis on the other hand, revealed significant amounts of snow on variable aspects. Several warm days have alleviated some of that, but expect more snow soon and be prepared, gaiters, etc, for what is already up there. Cheers.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:37 pm

Canadian Rockies Conditions Update: Climbed the NE Ridge of Mount Victoria 7/7. Conditions provided fast travel for the most part, 9 hrs car to car in what they call typically 12. We started at the parking lot at 4am, could have easily started at 3am. Take advantage of these short nights and get on snow as soon as you can and off as soon as you can and you will find great traveling conditions at the moment.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Vitaliy M. » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:27 am

Please post up about what is happening in Bugaboos. Thanks.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:50 pm

We have a new member, Laurel, she has reached out to me regarding the writing of her book, Spindrift. Interesting story for those of us who have spent time in this region. Bill, I know you will be interested. What a great way/project for a daughter to explore in terms of healing.

http://www.summitpost.org/users/laurelbird/99410

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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:02 pm

Climbed Ultra Brewers on Castle Mountain 7/8. Route completely dry which would be expected, no real drainages on it. However, the upper tier drainages have more volume then normal as can be expected with the late snow pack, but the common routes, Bass and Brewers Buttresses are dry enough. Expect post-holing getting to the descent gully though. The first pitch of Ultra has as much bird/bat/squirrel crap as always, but this is the 2nd most challenging pitch on this route, be hard to say you climbed the route if you skipped it via the ramp in my opinion, adds adventure and character to the climb. This route has been bolted to oblivion by the young guides no doubt, bolts next to crack? Going to be hard to learn or trust trad with such actions, but obviously condoned by some.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:05 am

Climbed a new route put in last year on Canmore Wall, an imposing feature in the Canmore skyline, sandwiched between the summits of Lawrence Grassi and Ha Ling Peaks to the west and the Ships Prow/Three Sisters to the east. It is a seldom climbed feature no doubt due to the hump of an approach (several thousand feet). Canmore Wall has four published routes (2012) on its broad face, three put in during the 90’s and Kurihara, the route I climbed yesterday, established in 2011 as a tribute to Jiro Kurihara, a local Canmore resident climber who died in an avalanche in May of that year. Hummel, Duerr and Zilbauer freed the line, 5.10d, 10 pitches, 1500'+/- of climbing. Will have the route up on SP next week. North face aspects like Canmore Wall are perfect for the unusually hot temps this week.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Bill Kerr » Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:51 pm

Interesting post on Laurel Holland and her book project. Grieving is such a personal journey and for her it has been a lifetime from age 5 until her father's body was found. The writing of the book will help her unload some of the emotions and help provide some additional closure.

Climbed Uto in Rogers Pass on thursday. Lots of snow below the col and bivy site is buried. Sir Donald still has lots of snow on it.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:38 pm

Despite a long spring, some hot temps have really erased a lot of snow in a short time period on the front range. I rarely stepped in snow on this infamous traverse route, Mount Glasgow to Mt. Cornwall to Outlaw Peak to Banded Peak, July 17. Mosquitoes are in full form, attacking from Jasper to Kananaskis in record numbers. They have genetically morphed before my very eyes during the past decade in terms of their ability to thrive at certain elevations. All four summits were plagued with mosquitoes as well as most of the ridge lines. The summits felt like Alaska at sea level in that regard.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Diggler » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:21 am

Any of you Canadian alpine studs have any knowledge of the conditions on Waddington or Cirque of the Unclimbables (& through the next 1 - 1.5 mo.), as well as suggestions on non-copter approaches concerning these groups? I'm less concerned about impressing others than I am about shelling out $$$ as a dirtbagging cilmber, eh? Some serious-looking bidness... Cheers!

Man, I wish alpine rock in the CO Rockies were the 'finest of conditions'- at-times-questionable rock, 80' run-outs (when you're less than 160' above deck- ya dig?), & the high possibility of getting into an apocalyptic lightning storm whilst in the middle of a climb quite honestly frighten the shit out of me! Climbing in the High Sierra, of course, is a different matter...
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