Monday, September 9, 2013

Bugaboos - Day 7, Waiting on The Weather

Clouds continue to spill over the top of Snowpatch Spire. Camp has really cleared out. People are headed home, or they're headed to Radium Hot Springs to relax for a few days while the bad weather passes. We've decided to wait in camp. Lawrence wasn't psyched to nurse his aging car 33 miles down a dirt road each way just for a town run. 

We sit around, drink coffee, and munch on what few extra snacks we have available. We're cutting it pretty close on food - there isn't a ton of extra food and there are nearly no indulgent treats to munch during full days of doing nothing. I grabbed all the extra coffee from the car yesterday. I've had several cups already today, and with little extra food, I'm jittery and eager to do something.


Lawrence, who's less caffeinated than me, relaxes until near the end of the day. We motivate and decide to check out a new 5.11 on Eastpost Spire just above camp. A ten minute walk deposits us at the base of a pretty looking corner system. As it turns out, "pretty looking" is all it is. Compared to the incredibly solid rock on the other formations, the rock on Eastpost is incredibly crumbly and weathered.

Lawrence struggles to find decent protection and finally clips the first bolt. A string of shallow cams and small wires protects the moves up to the next bolt. I can't look up; there's a pile of granite kitty litter on our packs from where small edges have collapsed. I want nothing to do with this climb. After a few more tries Law decides to downclimb and then lower off the bolt. One of the reasons we've had many successful trips together is because we're so often on the same page about the routes we want to climb. This is no exception.
As I've aged, my tolerance for crappy climbs and my willingness to suffer through them has diminished. In a veritable Mecca of solid rock climbs, why on Earth had we even bothered to climb this trash heap? I should have known better, and trusted my instincts.

Eastpost Spire is in the background - the route we tried
follows overhanging left-facing corners directly above
Lawrence's feet.

The sky darkens. As we approach camp it begins to pour rain. We retreat to our little tarp-covered abode and enjoy soup and a hot meal before retiring. During the night a violent thunderstorm rolls through camp. Literally, it sounds like it's rolling through. Without any vegetation the thunder has unfettered access to us. I know there are plenty of spires around us, but I still don't like being out in the open during thunderstorms. As a result of a near miss during high school lightning and thunder continues to scare the shit out of me. The tarp flaps violently overhead. I wish I'd brought earplugs.