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Bugaboo Solos by MFF Recipient
August 2001 :: Canada :: Bugaboos


Aaron Martin, recipient of a Mountain Fellowship Fund Award in 2001, did some amazing solo climbs while waiting for his partner in the Bugaboos. See the short report below for the details of this impressive climbing!

I realized I was super anxious to climb in the Bugaboos when I arrived at the Applebee campground five days before my partner was scheduled to arrive.  I figured I would keep myself busy hiking around and scoping out some routes, but soon discovered to solo potential for me.  A lot of the classics were within my comfort level, from 5.4 to 5.9.  On my third day in the park(Aug 8), and after climbing the N.E. Ridge of Bugaboo Spire and the West Ridge of Pigeon Spire, I saw potential for an amazing day involving numerous classic alpine granite pitches and four of the best summits in the Bugs.

I awoke at 5:30am and was hiking out of camp by 6:00.  After repeating what I did two days ago,(N.E. Ridge of Bugaboo and W. Ridge of Pigeon), I began my new and exciting journey to the South Howser.  Soon I found myself on the ultra classic Beckey-Chouinard doing hand jam after hand jam.  A few hours later I was sitting on an amazing summit in a spectacular granite arena.

The next goal, Snowpatch Spire, was staring at me from across the glacier.  The idea of just walking past that last spire vanished as thoughts of getting off the Howser Tower entered my mind.  I had brought one 7.5mm for rappelling but after asking around camp it became questionable whether one 60m rope would cut it.  Turns out one rope worked out until the last rap.  My rope went to the top of the 40ft.  bergshrund off of the last rock anchor.  Luckily I collected enough bail slings and ‘biners that when all tied together it extended the last anchor enough to put me into the shrund.

I showed up at the base of the Kraus/MacCarthy on Snowpatch and gulped the last of my water and began climbing again.  At around 6:00P.M., about 12 hours later, I stumbled back into camp and slept like a baby.