FKT: Michael Burke - Kain Route, Bugaboo Spire - 2022-08-31

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
3h 52m 48s

On August 31 I did a speed climb of the Kain Route on Bugaboo Spire in 3:52 car-to-car.  I've been climbing in the Bugaboos for twenty years and ever since getting into FKTs a few years back I have wanted to have a fast day here.  I considered doing a speed ascent of Pigeon Spire but I think the Kain Route on Bugaboo Spire is a better route with a more interesting history, and still within my comfort level for 'running'.  

I did a recon of the route earlier in the summer to refresh my memory and test out some gear.  I have been refining my strategy and gear for these types of adventures and things felt pretty dialed on this one. 

Here is my gear list:

Wore: La Sportiva TX 2 shoes, socks, running shorts, t-shirt, sun sleeves, sunglasses, Petzl Sirocco helmet, carbon poles, BD Distance 15 pack.

Nutrition: 1.5 Liters Tailwind, 4 gels.

Technical Gear: Petzl Leopard crampons and Gully axe for the col. La Sportiva Katana rock shoes for the last couple pitches. Petzl 65m Pur'line, Blue Ice Choucas Light harness, BD Alpine Guide belay device and Petzl Attache biner for the raps.

Emergency Gear: Waterproof jacket, emergency bivy sack, athletic tape, Garmin Inreach.

Total pack weight was 5.5kg, a bit heavier than I would have liked.

It was an amazing experience to push hard and move so fast on such an iconic mountain.  I do regret bringing rock shoes and a rap line as it seems unsporting in some way.  It would have been better style to climb everything in approach shoes and then downclimb the full route.  But at the time I was not quite ready to leave these things behind so, as Chouinard might say, I carried my courage in my rucksack.  Perhaps next year I'll return and improve the style a bit.