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Bugaboo Northeast Ridge
Timestamp Free: 2019.11.14 - 22:18:07
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Purcell Mountains / Bugaboo Group
  (5 days)
Participants: Esther Visser, Mike Warren D-, 5.7
The NE ridge of Bugaboo was our main objective during this year's trip to the Bugaboos. After a couple days of unsettled weather, we expected a few people on the route; we didn't expect 14.
This was our main objective during this year's trip to the Bugaboos. After a couple days of unsettled weather, we expected a few people on the route; we didn't expect 14.

We woke up at a relatively leisurely 4:30am since we didn't want to do the "scrambly bits" (definitely a little 5th class involved) below the Crescent/Bugaboo col via headlamp. At about 5am heading up the glacier more-or-less with another party of two, we were dismayed to see six people in the distance just starting up the 4th/5th class bits to the col and Esther had already spied another party near the rope-up terrace.

Getting to the highest point on the Crescent glacier, there is a grey/green-ish slabby bit leading up and a little right. Following the left edge of this (all as per Marc Piche's Bugaboos book) takes you up to the col. We solo'd this in mountain boots, so it's not very hard, but definitely hands on and full concentration. In our case, we got to follow the blood splotches of an unfortunate member of one of the parties ahead.

After a potty break at the col and some more soloing up the (easier) large cracks to the white rope-up terrace (where some large dykes meet the ridge), we came upon a gong-show: 3 parties waiting around while another party was starting up. Over two hours of stress-inducing waiting had us commencing our turn a little after my mental turn-around time, it now beaing about 9:15am. Another party had arrived behind us, also.

The Piche book promses "strenous finger locks" to start the first pitch up the left-side of a detached flake. I couldn't find these, going first out left a little and then back right to the flake; the 5.7 rating in the Benson book seems more accurate. About half-height on the flake, you get onto the face of it and just about at the top...

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