Conrad Kain Hut
GPS Coordinates: 50°44' 18"-116°45' 48" NAD27 11U 516700 5620754
Bugaboo Provincial Park is situated in the jagged Purcell Mountains, and mountaineers from all over the world are drawn to the sculpted granite masses that uplift into spectacular spires, some of which exceed 3,000 metres in elevation. Bugaboo Park represents mountain wilderness at its most rugged, and includes the largest icefields of the ancient Purcells.
Since the Palliser Expedition of 1857 - 1860, which first traversed the area and then named it for expedition sponsor Goodwin Purcell, these awe-inspiring ranges have attracted miners, loggers and some of North America's leading mountaineers. In 1969, Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park and the Bugaboo Alpine Recreation Area were set aside to preserve and protect this outstanding area of the Purcells.
In 1972, the Alpine Club of Canada erected the Conrad Kain Hut (named after the renowned alpinist who first visited the area in 1910), which, up until 2000, has been maintained by BC Parks as a base for climbers and to reduce visitor impact on the fragile timberline area below Snowpatch Spire. Road access to the park is fairly easy but trails are few. In 1995, the park and part of the recreation area were combined to create the current Bugaboo Provincial Park.
Bugaboo Provincial Park is, by its very nature, extremely isolated. Persons contemplating a visit here must realize that it is pure wilderness without supplies or equipment of any kind. All arrangements must be made beforehand for supplies and transportation. Visitors must be prepared for outdoor living. Inexperienced or ill-equipped climbers and hikers should forego a visit here in favour of less demanding areas. Hut accommodation is not available in winter due to avalanche dangers.
Bugaboo Provincial Park is located in southeastern B.C., halfway between Golden and Radium Hot Springs, and west of Highway 95. Access to the park is via a good gravel road, open late spring through late fall, that begins at Brisco, 27 kilometres north of Radium Hot Springs on Highway 95. This 45-kilometre road into the park is frequently travelled by logging trucks, so drivers should exercise extreme caution at all times.
Park visitors should park their vehicles in the public lot and not in that of the Bugaboo Lodge (Canadian Mountain Holidays). Visitors are recommended to protect their vehicle with chicken wire to deter small animals from chewing on wires and tires.
Check out the following YouTube videos of climbing in the Bugaboos:
Current Conditions: (webcam link courtesy of CMH Heli-Skiing)
Guidebooks and Maps:
National Topographic Series Maps 82K/10 (Howser Creek) and 82K/15 (Bugaboo Creek) are at a scale of 1:50,000 and cover all but the western limits of the park. These maps are available from the ACC's National Office, Government Agents and most map retailers in British Columbia and Alberta.
"The Bugaboos - One of the World's Great Alpine Rockclimbing Centres", by Chris Atkinson and Marc Piche (ISBN 0-9733035-1-4) is the definitive climbers guide to the Bugaboo Spires and the Vowells. It can be purchased from the ACC's National Office (see the online store section of this website).
It must be emphasized that Bugaboo is extreme wilderness and any visitors must be skilled and entirely self-sufficient outdoorsmen. All visitors should wear strong, waterproofed lug-soled boots and carry a daypack with rain gear, extra warm clothing and food. Weather conditions can change suddenly in this area and lightning storms with hail and snow are common in summer.
Only experienced climbers practised in crevasse rescue and properly roped, should venture onto snowfields and glaciers. Ice axes, sunglasses, prusiks or ascenders with foot slings are musts.
Weather forecasts and route information from other climbers is available at the hut.
Fees, Check-in/Check-out Procedures and Operating Dates:
Reservations for the hut can be made through the ACC National Office from 9:00am to 8:00pm, seven days per week. The campgrounds operate on a "first come, first served" basis.
An on-site ACC employee will collect fees for the campgrounds and hut (for those who did not reserve through the ACC office in Canmore) from mid June to late September. Tent sites and hut bedding must be cleared by 11:00am if you are not planning on staying that night.
Camping in Bugaboo Park in the Crescent Glacier area is restricted to tent pads situated below the Conrad Kain Hut at Boulder Camp (8 sites) and on Mount Applebea (20 sites). Visitors intending to use the campsites or to bivouac can self-register at the Kain Hut or pay the ACC staff member on-site. Bivouac sites should be chosen carefully to prevent contamination of water sources and to minimize damage to alpine vegetation.
Campground fees are: $10 for adults and $5 for children per person/night.
When custodians are not in attendance please ensure you bring the necessary equipment to cook your meals. This would include a stove and fuel, but pots are available at the hut.
The Conrad Kain Hut is closed due to avalanche hazard from approximately October to June.
The Alpine Club of Canada. All rights reserved.