Оля Миркина: 8/11-8/25 группа в составе Саши Мазуренко, Леши Мазнева, Арега Данагуляна и вашей покорной слуги сходила в Bugaboo National Park и на Columbia Icefields, что в Canada, British Columbia. .
Район Bugaboo представляет из себя тесную группу гранитных пиков высотой ~3000м и с большим количеством скальных маршрутов любой сложности, много гребневых. Шлямбуров и крюков нет, всё своё несешь с собой. Пики окружены ледниками и если хочется уйти от людей, проблемы это не представляет. Но уходить не хочется, потому что люди все милые и их не много.

Там мы и лазили в течении 9-ти дней, а потом спустились, искупались в горячих источниках, пожарили грибов :) и поехали на Columbia Icefields. Тут в первый раз за все время испортилась погода, но мы всё-таки залезли на какое-то плато и, решив не испытывать судьбу, на следующий день спустились вниз.


This is a non-technical photoreport by Areg about our climbing trip to Canada. It will be enhanced in the future, and I hope to make things more precise. Meanwhile, here is a short story 'bout what we spent 2 weeks on...

Before you start, I suggest you enlarge your Netscape window to take the whole screen -- the pictures are rather huge, and it will give you the effect of a slide show.

On our way from Calgary to Bugaboo Provintial Park we encountered a number of forest fires.

Here is another picture of the fire. Later on, in the mountains ~200km away, we could still smell the smoke.

Some beautiful waterfalls.

The first pictures of the glaciers. The spire in the middle is called Hound's Tooth Spire.

Our first camp, near the van. :)

Sunset. Olya is cooking.

Here is how our van looks after being wrapped by chicken wire -- the local porcupines have developed a taste for rubber, eating everything of rubber in the engine.

Alpine gardens.

Glaciers near the hut(in the left lower corner).

The first view of Bugaboo spire, on our first outing from Kain Hut. The name comes from an Austrian guide, Konrad Kain, who first climbed Bugaboo spire in 1915.


Beginning of the second day. We have crossed the bergshrund (bellow) and are approaching the col between Bugaboo spire and Snowpatch spire (to right). Below you can see me and Alexey. The last 5 meters were rather complicated, because of verglass on the snow -- the fact that my crampons were coming off and that a bergschrundt was awaiting me bellow didn't help at all.

This is what we saw when we reached the col. Far away are Pigeon Spire(left) and Hauser Spires.

Another breathtaking view of the glacial expanses.

This is the beginning of Kain route. Most of the route, till almost the end, is mostly scrambling, and easy grade 4-5 ridge traverses. However the 3 pitches of technical climbing were not simple, complicated by a very lengthy routefinding.


Beautiful views from the ridge. On the left is Snowpatch Spire.

Another view of the same from above, exposing the vast ocean of glacier-adorned peaks.

Snowpatch Spire. You can see me, Alexey and Sasha on the ledge bellow.

...and another view...

A group picture on the summit.

Three of us, Sasha taking the picture, with evil-looking Hauser Spires and lavas of glaciers on the background.


A lower view of Snowpatch, after completing the Kain route.

The safety of the hut... I had very bad sunburn, and didn't get any normal sleep that night.

This is the third day. We have relocated our camp from the noisy, hyper-comfortable, and crowded environment of Kain Hut up (300m) to the Applebee camp. On the background one can see the Donkey Ears, our next goal. There is a chimney route going right in between the ears. At this moment Alexey and I are leaving for a traverse on Southeast Spire, a simple but very nice climb right next to the camp.


In our absence Sasha is documenting the behavior of local fauna. Here is a ground squirrel, scouting our camp for food.

The beastie posing for the camera.

You can see he appreciates good rock gear.

...ice gear as well.

What a beautiful stand!

Finally found it.



So, while Alexey and I are "battling expanding cracks and the scorching sun," here is how they are enjoying their time (the temp. of the water is 10C btw).

There were some interesting birds living next to our tent.

Here is a closeup.

This is the image we came here for. This is the view from the toilet of the campground. Not even the richest of the richest have such a view from their bedrooms -- we have it from our bathroom! Olya had the great idea to print it on 1:1 scale, and put it on her bathroom door. The Kain route goes on the left ridge, while the NorthEast route takes the ridge on the right, and descends by the Kain route.

A beautiful sunset.

We started our next day with the Donkey Ears. This is Alexey on the first bellay. The bellay stances were rather atrocious, I must say.

A nice view from the second belay stance. The turquoise lakes bellow are stunningly beautiful, although had I seen it in the valley, I would take it for industrial pollution.

Portrait -- Alexey, between the ears.

Portrait 2 -- Sasha (the photographer), Bugaboo behind him.

Portrait 3 -- my wretched self, emerging from a goddamn 5.7 chimney, hauling his sunburned ass and a backpack full of boots.

This is cool (you bet!-- the water is 10C, I jumped into it without any warmups, and only the fear of drowning saved me from passing out). I hate getting up at 4am, but if that leaves time for so much fun later during the day...


I drag myself out of the water -- it's Alexey's turn to suffer.

The morning. We woke up this morning late, expecting real bad weather, finding sunny skies instead. So we left for a short climb on McTech Arrete (5.9), and that's when rain caught up with us (the *only* rain in 5 days of what was predicted to be bad weather).

Everybody is kinda sleepy. Here you finally can see the col between Snowpatch (left) and Bugaboo (right) I spoke of in the first pictures. You can see the trail going up and crossing the bergschrundt.

Southeast Spire...what a cute little mountain -- submitted herself to our pleasures like a good girl.


The beautiful morning of a day when we set off for Pigeon spire. The "clouds" you see is the smoke from the forest fires.

The glaciers bellow Snowpatch.


Pigeon. We took the ridge that is on the right side.

What a pornography! A nice view of snowpatch.

Pigeon foreva! Interesting thing that we saw on its summit...there was a group of 5-6 climbers, and when they noticed that we speak Russian they asked us if we are from Russia (Alexey is). Turned out that the author of the local guidebook, a famous climber, died on Ushba(Caucasus) one month ago. These fellows were his friends who brought his ashes to the summit in order to spread it on the wind.

A final view, before leaving. Between the previous picture and this, we have descended once to the Radium Hot Spring, and climbed our biggest prize -- Northeast ridge on Bugaboo. No pictures of it yet, but I will only say that it was quite a thing we did -- temperatures of 5C, horrible wind, constant fear of rain and monstrous exposure on the ridge...and yet we finished it only in 14hrs (including at least 1-2hrs wasted getting off route during the descent).

Before leaving we noticed a huge cave on the glacier, and decided to explore it...

Olya on the rock. Around this area we saw marks of mountain goats' hooves. They apparently come here to drink and eat the grass. However we never saw them...

Olya valiantly stepping into the gaping jaws of the glacier!

The cave.

Beautiful ice.

Olya, this is not rock!

Hommo Habilis, et Hommo Erectus.


This is Kain Hut. You can see the gas, electricity, furniture...

...water heaters...

Where the electricity comes from? You won't believe it -- they have built a hidroelectrostation.

The Hut from outside -- all this pleasure for $12/day. Somehow we preferred the natural beauty of the camp...



A final passage.


Alpine gardens.

Descent on a steep trail.



We spent the night at this beautiful German(Austrian?) hotel. I have to say that British Columbia is *both* beautiful and not expensive.


Here is a beautiful bear.

...and a family of beautiful deers.

Beautiful mountain lakes.

Here is the entrance to Athabasca glacier. Initially the plan was to start climbing this, reach Columbia Icefield, and summit either Athabasca or Mt. Columbia. However you can see how the weather looks...

...and when we were about to turn around and go have fun rock climbing at Banf, the treacherous weather decided to give us a winch.

This is quite curious -- a buss on the glacier. The tourists were looking at us from the windows like if we were animals in a zoo. We were looking at them like if they were idiots in a box.

On our way up the glacier we came up to this abandoned/destroyed camp -- broken skis, different gear...Alexey got a rusty ice screw as a booty, I found a nice compass. We as well found a bunch of sticks, to be placed on our way up so we can find our way down during a tempest (turned out very useful).

We were supposed to go around the icefalls, but somehow ended up in this mess. Alexey is leading on these seracs...

Another view of the seracs.


We had to climb on the slope to the right. During the descent everything was blanketed under a layer of snow, making navigation around crevasses very hard.

We are building a wall around the tent. The wind is extremely strong, and it's snowing intensively. I always wanted to see snow in August.

Another view of the camp.

Olya cooking.

In the warmth and comfort of our shelter. I am glad the tent was so good, because the weather outside was just going nuts. (Why is Sasha wearing a sunhat?)

In the morning...this is what was *inside* the tent. Outside there was 0.5 meter of snow.

Ready to get off the mountain...

After one night of snow all the crevasses were covered, making the trip quite dangerous. Almost everybody partially fell in a crevasse.


Glacial expanses.

Hanging Glaciers.



Farewell to Mountains.

...and back to the decadence of the city -- regurgitating ourselves in a McDonalds(after all this...!!). To the left are Tanya and Dima.

Banf is a beautiful European-type tourist city in the Canadian Rockies, flanked by beautiful rocky mountains.

The final party. You can tell everybody is already quite happy -- we finished 4 bottles of wine, I think. Next day I felt really sick.

And we carried all this on our backs -- what a bunch of fools!


Write to me -- aregjan@jlab.org