One of the most dramatic views of Pigeon is from Snowpatch
Spire. Bugaboo Rock shows three routes on Pigeon's
1100-foot E face. Sorry about the blur on the left side; it was so
windy, I was wearing shell mitts, and a wrist strap blew into the
I wish I could show the lightning strike I saw once while
standing on the upper Vowell Glacier, between the two peaks. Imagine
a chain of closely-spaced, white-hot, 5-foot diameter fireballs,
running from the summit to the foot of this face. It blasted out a
chunk of ice and a rock, both maybe twice the size of my head.
We were out on the glacier, just enjoying the storm. We felt safe
from direct lightning hits, because the W face of Snowpatch was right
above us, and safe from ground currents because we were on the
wind-carved snow ridge that's separated from the peak by a large
trough. We could enjoy the lightning, but it couldn't get to us. I
South Howser Tower is beyond. The far side of it is the site of
the Beckey-Chouinard route featured in 50 Classic Climbs.