Posted by: cherylyoung | June 25, 2013

BUGABOO PROVINCIAL PARK IS A FIRST-CLASS MOUNTAINEERING REGION AND IT IS ONLY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

 

Bugaboo provincial park is a first-class mountaineering

 region, situated in the rugged Purcell Mountains

 in the BC Rockies region of British Columbia.

 

This 13,646-hectare park encompasses extensive ice

 fields, the largest glaciers in the Purcells, and

 spectacular granite spires, some of which exceed

3,000 metres in elevation.

 

 Its challenging peaks in the northern extremity of the

 Purcell Mountain Range have attracted climbers

 from around the world since the late 1880s.

Particularly popular are the North Howser Tower

 and the South Ridge of Bugaboo Spire, which are

 considered to be very difficult.

 

The landscape is certainly breathtaking, but you

 shouldn’t attempt to hike or climb this region unless

 you are experienced, well-equipped and in good

 physical condition.

The Purcells, bounded by the Rocky Mountain Trench in

 the east, are actually ancient compared to the much

 younger Rocky Mountains, dating back 1,500 million

 years when the only form of life on the planet was algae.

 

 It was not until the dinosaurs era that the Rocky

 Mountains were born, some 70 million years ago. 

 

Heavy snowfall of the ‘Columbia Wet Belt’ continues to

 support large remnants of the vast alpine glaciers

 that shaped the rugged Purcell Mountains.

This rugged landscape was first explored between

1857 to 1860, when the Palliser Expedition conquered

 and named the mountains after Goodwin Purcell,

 the expedition sponsor.

 

 Since that time, the mountains have attracted miners,

 loggers and some of North America’s top mountaineers.

 

 Harmon, Longstaff, A. O. Wheeler and the renowned

 guide Conrad Kain visited the Bugaboo area in 1910.

 

 Kain returned with the MacCarthys in 1916 and

 climbed the North Howser ‘Tower’ and the South Ridge

 of Bugaboo Spire, which he considered his most

 difficult Canadian ascent.

Thorington mapped the area and climbed with Kain

 in 1933 on Crescent Spire.

 

In 1938 and 1939 Northpost, Eastpost and Brenta

 Spires were conquered. Snowpatch, beyond the

 techniques used in Kain’s time, was finally conquered

 by Arnold and Bedayn in 1940.

 

Climbers including Fred Beckey, Ed Cooper and Layton

Kor in the late 1950s blazed the first face routes on

Snowpatch, Bugaboo and Pidgeon Spires. Chouinard

traversed the Howsers in 1965 and Chris Jones

 pioneered the 600-metre West Face in 1970.

 Free climbing techniques enable faster ascents, with

 reduced exposure to the frequent lightning storms.

 

 It also continually opens up new lines in areas where

 the elements of glaciers, major routes on firm rock,

significant altitude and violent weather combine to

 create world-class challenges.

 

Bugaboo Provincial Park is, by its very nature,

 extremely isolated.

 

 People contemplating a visit here must realize that

 it is pure wilderness without supplies or equipment

 of any kind.

 

 Visitors must be prepared for true outdoor living.

 

Weather conditions can change suddenly in this area

 and lightning storms with hail and snow are common

 in summer.

 

 Only experienced climbers trained in crevasse rescue

and properly roped, should venture onto the snowfields

 and glaciers.

Ice axes, sunglasses, prusiks or ascenders with foot

 slings are essential.

 

 Climbers should check with park rangers before departure.

 A registry is kept in the Conrad Kain Hut for this purpose –

 and visitors convenience.

 

 The rangers will be pleased to offer assistance or any

 other information required.

Wilderness, backcountry or walk-in camping is allowed,

 but no facilities are provided.

 Camping in Bugaboo Park in the Crescent Glacier area

 is restricted to tent pads situated below the Conrad

 Kain Hut, at Boulder Camp, and on Mount Applebee.

 The Conrad Kain Hut is available for overnight

 accommodation for a maximum of 35 persons.

 

 Reservations can be made through the Alpine Club of Canada.

 

 Propane stoves and eating utensils are provided.

 

Visitors must bring all other necessary equipment.

 

 A nightly, per-person fee is levied during the period

 June 1 to September 30.

 

Hut accommodation is not available in winter due

 to avalanche dangers.

 

The Malloy Igloo is a hut that can accommodate a

maximum of six persons.

 

No facilities are provided.

 

 Climbers are responsible for their own safety,

 as rescue services are not readily available.

 

Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park is in a class of its own.

 

 Although much of the attraction of the Bugaboos is

for hard-core climbers, there are a few hiking trail

s that cover a variety of distances and terrains, and

don’t demand technical mountaineering skills.

 

 The Conrad Kain Hut Trail begins in the parking lot

and follows the northern lateral moraine of

 Bugaboo Glacier.

The trail is very steep and strenuous. Cobalt Lake Trail

 leads up a steep grade to an open ridge and views

of Cobalt Lake.

 

 A marked route then descends to the lake itself.

 Malloy Igloo Trail begins at the Conrad Kain Hut and

 terminates at the Malloy Igloo.

 

 Only roped parties should attempt this hike because

 several glaciers have to be crossed.

 

Alternatively, access to the Malloy Igloo via Malloy Creek

 is also possible.

 

Bugaboo Provincial Park is located 28 miles (45 km)

 west of Highway 95 at Brisco, between Golden and

 Radium Hot Springs.

 There’s good gravel road access to the park, but the

 roads are used by logging trucks, so check with

BC Parks regarding road use and condition before

 embarking on the journey.

 

CHERYL YOUNG, REALTOR,

SAANICH PENINSUAL REALTY

SIDNEY,BRITISH COLUMBIA

www.cherylyoung.ca

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