Route: Kain Route, Bugaboo Spire

Submitted by Michael Burke on Thu, 09/08/2022 - 01:13pm
British Columbia, CA
15 km
Vertical Gain
1,650 m

First ascended in 1916 by legendary Austrian guide Conrad Kain, with Albert MacCarthy, Beth MacCarthy, and John Vincent, Bugaboo Spire is a famous Canadian mountain located in Bugaboo Provincial Park.  The peak's name came from a particularly difficult gendarme encountered by Kain high on the mountain.  Kain found an improbable, bold friction traverse around the gendarme and opened one of the most difficult climbs in the world at the time.  Kain made the first ascent of Bugaboo Spire, as he did for all his Bugaboo first ascents, round trip from the valley bottom in a very respectable time.

The FKT route starts at the trailhead at around 1,500m.  The run starts through a beautiful old-growth forest along Bugaboo Creek.  It then climbs steeply across slide paths and up rocky outcrops to emerge at treeline near the Conrad Kain Hut.  From here, a beautiful alpine trail leads up to the base of the infamous Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col.  Ascend the col on steep snow to arrive at the base of the Kain Route.  Then, awesome third and fourth class granite scrambling leads to a low-fifth class step, an airy fourth class traverse, and finally the infamous gendarme, which is surpassed with careful friction climbing at 5.6.  The route tops out on the South Summit at 3,204m. Reverse the route using a combination of rappelling and downclimbing as you see fit.

GPS Track