Pigeon from Snowpatch

Pigeon from Snowpatch

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 photo.

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 think.

South Howser Tower is beyond. The far side of it is the site of the Beckey-Chouinard route featured in 50 Classic Climbs.

Eric Sandbo
on Dec 17, 2006 2:21 am
Image Type(s): Alpine Climbing
Image ID: 252190


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