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 famous of the "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 incredible location to join our team for your next summer adventure.

The Cloud Nine Mountain Guides have a long history working and climbing in 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 Core Guide and IFMGA Mountain Guide, Simon Meis' story of the first ascent of "Men With Options" on the East Face of Snowpactch 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 multiday 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 rougly a 3-4 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 recieve a quote; or 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 favorite of our Guiding Staff. Drop us a line and join our IFMGA Certified Mountain Guides for an unforgettable Bugaboo adventure this summer season. 


 3 or 5 Day custom Ascent ProgramS


 optional COMPLETE MEAL PROGRAMs Available




 Experienced IFMGA Mountain Guides




Meeting location TBD based on your travel itinerary to join us for the trip. Meeting at 700am, 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 Forrestry Service Road. Depending on the year, and amount of active logging the road may require a high clearence 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, day 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 relitively similar flow: For summit days, early starts between 300-400am are typically required for Bugaboo Spires NE Ridge, and Kain Routes in addtion 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 6:00-7:00am. 

Return time's to camp are typically between 3:00pm - 5:00pm allowing plenty of time for rest, a meal prepared by your Guide, and the opportunity to dry out gear and repack for the following days program.


Final Day 

Most commonly, our final trip days allow for a short (up to 6 pitch) ascent in the Cresent Spire basin before returning to camp to pack up begin the descent back to the trailhead in the valleybottom 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.


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 Guide to 2 Guests. The longer more complex routes however are limited to 1:1 ratios. Please contact our Program Coordinators 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 or 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: Typically this will require travel 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.



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


    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. 
    • Monods Sports
      • Located in Banff, Monods is one of the longest operating outdoor equipment and clothing retailers in the Bow Valley. Monods have a large selection of technical clothing and equipment offerings.
    • Black Diamond Equipment
      • Our Affiliate Partners at Black Diamond Equipment are our first choice for technical clothing and equipment. Check out their broad range of technical clothing and equipment and purchase at either Monods or Vertical Addiction locally.

Mountain Meal Program


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


  • 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 Hut (able to fit under helmet)
  • Sun Hut - Ball Cap or Full Brim
  • Heavy Gloves (primarily for warmth when stopped)
  • Lightweight, Dexterous, Climbing Specific Golves (2 Pairs)
  • Warm Down or Synthetic Insulated Parka


Overnight Items:

  • Sleeping Bag Rated to -7˚C
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Alarm Clock
  • Toiletries + Small Hand Sanitizer + N95 Masks or similar
  • Headlamp with Fresh Batteries
  • iPod, 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 is to purchase a Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance Policy. We strongly recommend purchasing coverage.

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 by 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 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. 



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.