Explore Canada’s premier alpine rock climbing destination
Classic routes, beautiful lines, and stunning summits: the Bugaboos have it all. The area is home to two of the famous ’50 Classic Climbs of North America.’ Our long-running Best of the Bugaboos camp is your opportunity to reach the top of classic summits, get a taste of alpine rock climbing, or come back for another shot at the climbs on your bucket list. Stand on the summit of the Crescent Towers and take in the surrounding spires and tumbling glaciers. Tiptoe around the gendarme on the classic Kain route up Bugaboo Spire. Cruise up beautiful granite cracks. Challenge yourself with exhilarating exposure as you cross exposed rock ridges.
If your goal is to climb the classics, this low-ratio, fully-catered camp is designed to get you there.
Our 2:1 guiding ratio (2 clients per guide) will give you the best possible chance of success. The small groups mean that you can split up based on objectives and pacing, and get the individualized attention needed to tackle more challenging alpine rock routes.
This camp is guided by Association of Canadian Mountain Guides-certified Alpine and Apprentice Alpine guides. If you’re coming back for a second year, you’ll recognize most of the same faces. Our guides have years of experience guiding in the Bugaboos, and have guided both classic routes and lesser-known gems.
- Kain Route (Bugaboo Spire); 5.6
- NE Ridge (Bugaboo Spire); 5.8
- West Ridge (Pigeon Spire); 5.4
- Wildflowers (Snowpatch Spire); 5.9
- Bugaboo Corner (Snowpatch Spire; 5.9
- Pigeon Feathers traverse; 4th class
- Ears Between; 5.7
- East Ridge (Marmolata); 5.6
- Lion’s Way; 5.6
- Surf’s Up; 5.9
Wake up before the sunrise, and enjoy a simple but hearty breakfast. Pick up your packs that you put together the night before, and tiptoe out of the hut to avoid disturbing the other guests. As the sun comes up behind you, you’ll make your way by headlamp up to the toe of the glacier. You leave the Kain hut and your first day’s objective, 2728m Eastpost Spire, behind as you head up the Crescent Glacier.
You’re in luck: it has been a good snow year, and the Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col is in good condition. Your guides coach you up the steep snow slopes, moving quickly through the col.
The West Ridge of Pigeon Spire is one of the classics of the Bugaboos. While the climbing is mostly straightforward, the exposure is spectacular. Your guides transition between pitched out climbing and short roping, moving as quickly and efficiently as possible. The route follows the ridge up the spire, then traverses along the exposed knife-edge ridgetop. If you were a metre off the ground, the famous ‘au cheval’ (alpinist for ‘bum scooch’) section wouldn’t be much of a challenge. With 300m+ of exposure on either side of you, though, simple moves take more care and thought. A last, short section of climbing takes you to the summit. The 360-degree panorama of potential climbs whets your appetite for the following days. The descent follows the ascent route, with a combination of downclimbing and rappelling. You re-trace your steps down the glacier and through the boulder field to the hut.
Back at the hut, everybody pitches in to help out with the kitchen chores. You prepare your hearty dinner (an appetizer, main course, and dessert) that the porters have carried up to the hut for you. Now that everybody has a taste for the climbing style of the Bugaboos, your guides discuss objectives for the following days. Your group heads to bed early so that you can make another early start, and tick as many Bugaboos classics as possible off of your bucket lists over the next three days.
Once at the trailhead, all of the logistics are taken care of to allow you to focus on the climbing. Participants meet in Brisco, BC, and carpool to the Kain Hut trailhead. Porters carry your group’s food into the hut to keep packs light on the ascent.
The Kain hut is a comfortable base for your Bugaboos exploration. The hut provides a kitchen with running water, a heated common area to socialize in the evenings or on rain days, foam sleeping pads, and a micro-hydro generator in a nearby creek.