BugabooS MOUNTAIN GUIDES

3 TO 5-DAY GUIDED ASCENT PROGRAMS WITH OUR BUGABOO SPECIALISTS
 

The Bugaboos are Canada's Premiere Alpine Rock Climbing destination. Located in the Purcell Mountains, approximately 60km South of the town of Golden BC, the venue is home to some of the most renowned "50 Classic Climbs of North America", including the NE Ridge of Bugaboo Spire (5.8) as well as the Becky Chouinard (5.10) on the South Howser Towers. Granite towers erupting skyward from the glaciers below create a monolithic landscape and an incredible location to join our team for your next summer adventure.

The Cloud Nine Mountain Guides have a long history working and climbing these spires. We have more than a decade of consistent experience Guiding here, with a few of our specialists having completed modern first ascents on some of the venues' most technical walls. Check out our Core Guide and IFMGA Mountain Guide, Simon Meis' story of the first ascent of "Men With Options" on the East Face of Snowpatch Spire below.

Trips with our Mountain Guides are typically 3-5 day engagements. While even the biggest peaks can be climbed in a single day from the parking lot by strong teams, the majority of our Guests join us for a multi-day itinerary with an interest in exploring a variety of routes and spires. From our base in Canmore, you can expect a 3.5-hour drive to the trailhead, and roughly a 3-4 hour approach to Applebee Campground - the base for our trips. Applebee Camp is located an additional 30-40 minutes beyond the Conrad Kain Hut, a location that positions us closer to the majority of our objectives. Camp life at Applebee is an immersive experience with alpine climbing culture on full display. We stay where the climbers stay.

For those wishing to build a customized trip, with specific routes or summit objectives in mind: contact our Program Managers to request a detailed information package, choose from a host of optional extras, and receive a quote. Alternatively, check out our most popular ascent itineraries (available below) and book each as an individual objectives or combine them to create a trip duration that suits you best. 

This venue is far and away a favourite of our Guiding Staff. Drop us a line and join our IFMGA Certified Mountain Guides for an unforgettable Bugaboo adventure this summer season. 

 

 3 TO 5-Day custom Ascent ProgramS

FAST AND LIGHT ASCENTS
 

 optional COMPLETE MEAL PROGRAMs Available

ADD ON MOUNTAIN MEALS TO KEEP YOU MOVING
 

 ALL TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT INCLUDED*

SUPPORTED BY OUR PARTNERS AT BLACK DIAMOND EQUIPMENT
 

 Experienced IFMGA Mountain Guides

THE BUGABOO SPECIALISTS

 

 

 

ITINERARY

 

ARRIVAL & PRE-ASCENT

7 days in advance of your ascent, our Program Managers will touch base to provide you with an update on expected route conditions, avalanche hazards (if applicable), and expected weather for your ascent day. Your Guide(s) will be in touch 24-48hrs in advance of departure at a minimum to further discuss final logistics and your expectations for your trip with us.

 

DAY 1

Meeting location TBD based on your travel itinerary to join us for the trip. Meeting at 0700hrs, we'll start with a brief round of introductions and a pre-departure briefing with your Mountain Guide, which will include the following: 

  • Review of any expected changes to weather or climbing conditions related to our objectives in the Bugaboos
  • Expected Hazards, risk management plan, and associated mitigations for the duration of the trip
  • Distribution and repacking of meal program and trip food for participants
  • Distribution of any required technical equipment you require
  • Presentation of physical Waiver of Liability Document & Signing

Following the above, you and your Guide will depart. Typically from Canmore, the Bugaboos will require 3.5 hours of driving to arrive at the trail head. The last 40km of the trip requiring travel up the Bugaboo Forestry Service Road. Depending on the year and the amount of active logging, the road may require a high clearance 4x4 or all-wheel drive vehicle. Check in with our Program Managers for current road conditions. 

After arriving at the trailhead, the approach to Applebee Camp will take most groups an average of 3-4 hours.

The first day often requires that the team carry larger loads and for those wanting to save their energy for the spires, portering services can be added to your trip for a reasonable fee.

Arriving at Applebee, your Guide will secure space for your tents, prepare the evening meal, and wrap up your first day with a gear sort and pack up for the following day's ascents. 

 

AScent Days 

Depending on the length of your trip, the day or days between your first and last will be focused on ascents of the Spires via routes selected pre-booking or with your Guide on trip. Typically these days will follow a relatively similar flow: for summit days, early starts between 0300-0400hrs are typically required for Bugaboo Spires' NE Ridge and Kain Routes, in addition to ascents of both Snowpatch Spire and Pidgeon Spire.

Alternatively, days spent climbing on Crescent Tower, The Donkey's Ears, or Eastpost Spire will allow for more civilized departure times between 0600-0700hrs. 

Return times to camp are typically between 1500 - 1700hrs, allowing plenty of time for rest, a meal prepared by your Guide, and the opportunity to dry out gear and repack for the following day's program.

 

Final Day 

Most commonly, our final trip days allow for a short (up to 6 pitch) ascent in the Crescent Spire basin before returning to camp to pack up and begin the descent back to the trailhead in the valley bottom below. Commonly return trip times from camp to your vehicle or pickup will take between 2-3 hours, followed by up to a 3.5-hour return drive to Canmore or your trips original meeting location.

 

LOGISTICS

 

Guide : Guest Ratios

Given the technical nature of the routes in the Bugaboos, it is most common that our Guide to Guest ratios are limited to 1:2. The longer, more complex routes, however, are limited to 1:1 ratios. Please contact our Program Managers for more information on ratios and specific objectives.
 

Travel to Canmore

Our suggestions for your most efficient way to access the program venue from a variety of locations and international ports of entry:

  • Calgary (YYC) to Canmore:
    • Those Guests traveling from or arriving by air at Calgary International Airport: Your most efficient route to join us for the program start in Lake Louise will be through our base in Canmore, Alberta. A rental car may be required, though public transfers and other transportation options are also available to you.
      Find a travel plan here

  • Edmonton (YEG) to Canmore: 
    • Those Guests travelling from or arriving by air at Edmonton International Airport: the fastest route is via Calgary by AB-2 S and then Highway 1 to Banff. An alternative and more scenic route travels via Rocky Mountain House, then Saskatchewan River Crossing, turning south on HWY 93N toward Lake Louise. A rental car or personal transportation will be required.
      Find a travel plan here

  • Travelling from British Columbia: 
    • For our Guests travelling and arriving from locations in British Columbia: Please use the following map link to aid in your planning and arrival in Lake Louise. 
      Our Meeting Point in Canmore
       

Transfers from Calgary international Airport:

Transfers are available departing Calgary International, arriving in Canmore and Banff. We'd suggest The Banff Airporter for those requiring transfer services.

Early ARRIVALS

ACCOMMODATION & TRIP PREP

For those looking to arrive early ahead of your program, there are a variety of useful pre-trip amenities and comfortable accommodation options around our base in Canmore, Alberta, the townsite of Banff, a further 20-minute drive inside the East Gates of Banff National Park, and Lake Louise. The following are our suggestions for accommodation as well as gear and equipment retailers to help you prepare post-arrival:

  • ACCOMMODATION:
     
  • GEAR PURCHASES PRE-TRIP:

    For those looking to purchase gear and equipment prior to your course, we would suggest the following local Bow Valley retailers:

    • Vertical Addiction
      • Located in Canmore, Vertical Addiction offers a complete selection of technical climbing, mountaineering and ski equipment along with a broad selection of technical clothing. 
         
    • SkiUphill
      • Located in Canmore, SkiUphill is a collective of experience driven individuals each with their own history, knowledge and stories of getting out there and getting after it. They offer expertise in backcountry skiing, trail running, climbing and any combination of those activities all while offering the best selection of curated equipment. 
         
    • Monods Sports
      • Located in Banff, Monods is one of the longest operating outdoor equipment and clothing retailers in the Bow Valley. Monods has a large selection of technical clothing and equipment offerings.
         
    • Ortovox
      • Our Partners at Ortovox are known for their high-quality technical outerwear and are a supporting partner of C9G and our ski guiding programs.
         
    • Black Diamond Equipment
      • Black Diamond Equipment has been providing skiers and alpinists with technical equipment since 1989, and is a supporting partner of C9G and our guided ski programs.

 

YOUR MOUNTAIN GUIDE'S TRANSPORTATION

TRANSPORTATION COSTS

In addition to your Ascent Package Fee, an additional fee of $275 will be applied to your order. These amounts are paid in full and directly to our Guiding Staff to cover the longer transportation routes required to arrive at the Bugaboos. In circumstances where you are able to provide your Guide with Transportation from our hub in Canmore, and where no other factors prohibit this option, this fee will be waived.

 

Mountain Meal Program

INCLUDED IN YOUR PROGRAM FEE

A complete Meal Program starts with Dinner on Day 1 and concludes with lunch on your final trip day. Please pack a lunch for your first program day.

Dietary restrictions can be accommodated. Please contact our Program Managers for more information on Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Paleo, or allergy restrictions for your trip.

 

Required Equipment & Personal Items

  • Trekking Pole
  • Water Bottle 1L
  • Mountaineering Boots (must accept crampons)
  • Sunglasses + Spares
  • Blister Kit (optional, but suggested)
  • Sunscreen SPF 50+ minimum
  • Camera, batteries, memory cards etc.
  • Pack 35-45L (if bringing a larger, non-compressible sleeping bag 50L is suggested)
  • Gaiters (optional)

Cloud Nine Guides Will Provide The Following Personal Gear if Requested:

  • Harness
  • Helmet
  • 3 Locking Carabiners
  • 120cm sewn sling
  • ATC / Tube Style Belay Device
  • 2 Prussik Cords / 5m long x 6mm diameter, min 10kn strength
  • Ice Axe 
  • Crampons
     

ESSENTIAL Clothing

  • Wool / Synthetic Blend Socks (2-3 pairs)
  • Base Layers (top and bottoms, wool or synthetic)
  • Mid Layers (approx 200 weight, wool or synthetic insulation)
  • Softshell Jacket & Pants
  • Gore-Tex Jacket & Pants
  • Buff Style Neck Tube
  • Warm Hat (able to fit under helmet)
  • Sun Hat - Ball Cap or Full Brim
  • Heavy Gloves (primarily for warmth when stopped)
  • Lightweight, Dexterous, Climbing Specific Gloves (2 Pairs)
  • Warm Down or Synthetic Insulated Parka

 

Overnight Items

  • Sleeping Bag Rated to -7˚C
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Alarm Clock
  • Toiletries + Small Hand Sanitizer
  • Headlamp with Fresh Batteries
  • Smartphone or Similar
  • Ear Plugs
  • Lightweight Hut Footwear
  • Lightweight Sleeping Bag (rated -2˚C to -8˚C)

 

TRIP CANCELLATION & INTERRUPTION INSURANCE

The best method to protect your investment with us should unforeseen arise, requiring you cancel your booking, is to purchase a Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance Policy. 

Lifestyle Insurance has covered many of Cloud Nine Guests on trips all over the world, and we have first-hand experience seeing these policies activated by our Guests. 

Safeguard your trip costs and investment with us. Request a Quote from Lifestyle Financial.

Is this coverage required?

  • For Canadian Residents, coverage is suggested but not required to register.
  • For Non-Canadian Citizens, coverage is suggested but not required. It is strongly suggested that your policy includes Emergency Medical Coverage, unless you carry an alternative policy which will respond in the event of medical emergency.

 

WAIVER - Release of Liability & Indemnity Agreement

Prior to booking you will be required to acknowledge that you have been provided a copy of our Waiver of Liability Agreement for your review. All participants, or their legal guardians wishing to participate on any Cloud Nine Programs, must acknowledge that they have been presented this document in advance of booking, have read it in its entirety, and understand the agreement being entered into by signing. While there is no obligation to enter into this agreement with us, it is a condition of our service provision. 

   REVIEW OUR WAIVER OF LIABILITY HERE

 

Booking TErms & Conditions

Before you book your course, please review our Booking Terms & Conditions. We do not accept bookings without your voluntary acceptance of these terms. Please read carefully as these terms outline specific policies and guidance for both our staff and clients with respect to refunds, cancellations, rescheduling etc.

   REVIEW OUR BOOKING TERMS & CONDITIONS HERE

 

Book a free consultation

Book a phone call or video call with either of our Program Managers or with our Director of Operations.

This is an excellent preliminary step towards booking a trip with us. It allows us to better understand your requirements and needs for your desired objective. 

ORTOVOX - Proud Supporting Partner of the Outdoor Rock Climbing Series Courses
Cloud Nine Mountain Guides are Internationally IFMGA Certified
Rock Courses Supported by Black Diamond Equipment