Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bugaboos - Day 1

We're out the door by 4 a.m. and searching for egg sandwiches and coffee in Missoula around 7 on a sleepy Sunday morning.

A few hours later we're stuck in line at the border, a long line of RV's queued up ahead of us. It an unanticipated delay which makes our estimated time of arrival at the trailhead even later.

As we drive further north the valleys deepen, and mountains seem to dominate the horizon in every direction. Canada has more mountains than the states. The towns of Windermere and Invermere, just south of the turn off to Banff, are packed full of tourists. They're also the last place to get gas or food before heading toward the Bugaboos. We wade through the crowds to grab extra beer and extra gas, two things that will make the long dirt road drive into the park more fun.

17 miles later we're on dirt roads headed into the park. The 30-mile long dirt road dead ends at the trailhead. The lot is nearly full. We pull in as clouds slip down over the very impressive Bugaboo glacier. A light rain begins to fall.

By 7:30 we're on the trail toward the Kain Hut and Applebee Dome, our home for the next 12 days.
We reach Applebee around 10:30. Climbers can still be seen descending the Kain Route on Bugaboo Spire. They're worse off than us I think. In the dark and desperate for sleep we settle for a small site. Tomorrow we'll find a good spot to put both tents.


Large packs and chicken wire defense lines are the norm at the parking area

Even an 80-pound pack isn't going to stop Lawrence
from hiking in tonight

The trail in is direct, rugged and very beautiful. Our first views included rain
clouds, which were a theme during our trip.