4 AM again. True to the Chossboys style, Daniel and I (Nick) had attempted to climb the Northeast ridge of Bugaboo Spire the previous Wednesday, but instead got hopelessly lost. After four hours of scrambling up steep, dangerously loose choss in complete darkness, the sunrise revealed how far we were from the climb. Using bail gear left by equally disoriented climbers, we retreated back to camp and made damn sure to scout the proper way for next time.
So there we were, this time following the true approach. The night was quiet and still. A clear sky and soft breeze filtered in from the North and kept us shivering well into our hike. As if to spite our reconnaissance efforts, cosmic forces cast our approach in the beautiful, bright light of a full moon. In the dead of night, Daniel and I were preceded by our shadows all the way to the start of the climb: a softly illuminated right-facing slab.
The very first people we met in the Bugaboos were two robust older men named Pat and Paul. Pat is 70 years old and Paul is 77. They started the long, grueling approach from the Bugaboo parking lot ahead of us and were resting 100 meters from the campground. Nick and I (Daniel), eager to arrive at the campsite, briefly and politely stopped to chat with the two obviously seasoned mountaineers. Although evidently winded by the steep hike, their beaming grins, deep satisfying breaths, and willing conversation revealed authentic appreciation for the scenery and tranquility of the mountains. Later that evening, they recounted stories of their rich climbing and mountaineering history. We became friends quickly.
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016
Having considered an alpine start to the famously long Northeast Ridge of Bugaboo Spire, Daniel and I (Nick) were instead tempted by new friends into taking on a shorter and more leisurely objective: The West Ridge of Pigeon Spire.
Fully stocked up on non-perishables, Nick and Daniel have done all they can to prepare for the mountains
Sunday, August 15, 2016
From the Okanagan, we drove North-East through the mountain towns of Revelstoke, and Golden. Before making one final stock-up on gas and supplies, we finally arrived in Brisco, the turn off into the back-country.
Bugaboo Creek road is a 50km stretch of dirt leading through the valleys to the South-Eastern boundary of Bugaboo Provincial Park. Aside from simple descriptions online of the campgrounds and the climbs, neither Daniel, nor I (Nick) knew what to expect once we got there; it was a completely novel environment. Accordingly, excitement was heavily present during the drive in.
Nick & Daniel's Experience
Just as Squamish started to feel like home, time was nearing for Daniel and I (Nick) to leave. Our pals from Newfoundland had arrived a week prior, and the campground was full of familiar, smiling faces.
Alas, we felt the mountains calling, so we planned one final big day on the Chief: The Grand Wall, the hardest climb we have attempted together thus far.
July 28th, 2016
The trip is off to a great start - our first week in Squamish has been a blast. Here's what we've been up to.
With many ambitious goals for the trip, we are taking our training very seriously. On our journey we will face many challenges both on and off the walls. We really like choss, so we need to prepare ourselves if we even want a chance at scaling some of North America's most iconic faces.
So, this past weekend, the weekend of June 3rd, 2016, the Choss Boys embarked on a training mission. We set off on a Saturday afternoon to the town of Swift Current, Newfoundland. The developing crag boasts high quality trad and sport routes, and local climbers had even been cleaning and bolting new routes earlier in the season. Unlike the local climbing area for St. John's - Mainface, Flatrock - the rock in Swift Current is granite, which gives us the chance to practice on something a little more similar to the West coast.
The plan was simple: 1) find a nice camping spot near the cliffs, 2) heat up the delicious supper Erik had prepared for us earlier in the day while replicating van cooking conditions, 3) sleep well, and 4) wake up and spend the next day climbing on some beautiful granite...
We are Daniel, David, Nick & Erik.
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