Natalie and I got a casual start to our trip. Pigeon Spire is the gold standard easy alpine outing in the Bugaboos. A straightforward ridge of perfect granite rises out of the glaciers to an airy summit. After a trip up the loose, steep and icy Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col we made quick work of the glacier and flew up the ridge with views of the Howser Towers, Snowpatch and Bugaboo Spires and the heart of the Purcell Range.
That evening, Alex (who I’d had the pleasure of getting to know well on Peaks Korzhenevskaya and Communism last summer in Tajikistan) and Vincent arrived. Both meteorologists and snow scientists, they’d just flown in from France. Natalie and I decided to join them on a climb of the legendary McTech Arete on Crescent Spire. This route didn’t require much of an approach, but presented the hardest technical climbing of the trip. Fortunately, rope-gun Natalie led all the hard pitches.