Mt. Bute - West Face Free & Coast Range Adventures

'86 Foweraker-Serl 5.10 A2 
 '13 Herrington-Sorkin 5.12-
The Coast Mountains of British Columbia hold many of North America's most spectacular granite walls and peaks, and are often ignored by alpinists heading (farther) north into Southeast or South-Central Alaska. These peaks are hard and expensive to reach, and seldom very glamorous. I first became aware of one of the range's outstanding peaks, Mt. Bute, several years ago, when a team of three climbers from Squamish won a Mugs Stump Grant to travel there, then succeeded in establishing a monstrous ridge climb gaining roughly 6,000 (School of Rock 2009 Martinello-Kay-Sinnes 5.11 A2). The trio describe Bute's West Face in their Mugs Stump report as "certainly one of the finest pure rock features in the Coast Range; it deserves a free ascent."  


Bugaboos Pictures

In July I made my first trip to BC's Bugaboo Provincial Park with old friend Nate Farr. We didn't venture onto the Howser Towers or the more remote East Creek Basin, as nearly every day's weather called for some amount of precip. I was impressed with how well-organized and managed the scene at Applebee Campground has become, thanks mostly to BC parks' upkeep and climbers' good wilderness practices. The camping had spots to hang food, metal lockers, posted weather forecasts, well-kept outhouses, and easy access to the big East Face of Snowpatch Spire and the South Face of Bugaboo Spire. For climbs on these features, you only need tennis shoes and a light axe or trekking poles. I never put on my crampons. If you are only doing routes that you'll rappel, bringing big clunky boots will keep your feet dry, but will obviously be a pain-in-the-arch for the steep 3hr hike in.