Who camps beside a glacier and doesn’t bring a jacket? I mean, that’s just stupid. I must be stupid.
In an attempt to lighten my backpack, I didn’t bring a jacket and thought that I have a winter sleeping bag anyway. I crawl into it once it gets too cold. Smart idea. Not.
It was freezing and windy at night, of course! Good thing K brought 28 jackets, so, I survived and didn’t freeze to death and lived to blog about this!
I’ve always wanted to experience the Bugaboos after seeing that famous, most-liked, Bugaboos tent view Instagram post that K put up. I set that goal aside, thinking that it would be such a treacherous (it is, in some parts) hike that I can only go there once I possessed the strength of tiny pony. One fine day, though, armed with K’s reassurance that I’ll make it, I bugged B to come with me and so we went.
It is a 2.5-hour drive West of Canmore, AB to the Town of Brisco, BC where the turnoff to the park is and then another 1.5 hours – on a ~43km rough road! – to get to the trail head. A shorter way would be to drive through Radium, BC but we drove through Golden, BC instead because we can….. and because we didn’t know this earlier.
The Brisco General Store at the turnoff I believe will be the last proper store you’ll drive through, so get everything you need there! B and I were sourcing a lot of things from that store. I almost wanted to buy firecrackers. How come BC stores have firecrackers and AB doesn’t??
Parking at the trail head was interesting. Apparently, porcupines frequent the area so a chicken wire is necessary if you’d like to come back to a car with tires and brake pads. The parking lot conveniently has wires free for use.
The hike wasn’t so bad. At least not as death-defying as I thought it would be. 5.5 kilometers with a ~950m gain and a backpack was pretty much doable. Parts of the hike require chains and ladders to hold on to. It’s not so bad, just don’t look down or bend backwards so your backpack doesn’t peel you off the wall, lol!
4.5km in and you’ll arrive at the Conrad Kain Hut. The hut is very pretty and appears to be sitting atop a waterfall and stately positioned below the Bugaboo glacier. Very alps in feels for sure.
Close to the hut is Boulder Campground and then another kilometer away is the Applebee Dome Campground where we settled.
Applebee Dome is awesome! Slabs to camp on, 2 outhouses, food lockers, backpack hoists, and an insane view of the Bugaboo Glacier and the Purcell Ranges!
The next day was really good weather. K and J took off extremely early to climb some rock while B and I slept in. Ok, to be honest, and funny, I was excited to have breakfast and forced myself outside the love, warmth, and comfort of my sleeping bag. I concocted my new favorite camping breakfast. Hash and bacon omelet! I know it’s not new, but, whatever, new to me and my camping meal adventures! And check out my breakfast view, y’all!
B and I spent the day exploring the area. It was spectacular. I mean, every 10 steps we take higher up changes the view down below. It literally kept getting better! I am not exaggerating, I promise.
We went up and around the area, checked out glaciers, hopped rocks, took photos, and resolved to come back when we can actually climb stuff in this glorious area.
Spirits were high all day. B and I could hear climbers yelling commands to each other. The stoke was high and echoing through the granite spires.
On a side note, B taught me a life skill on this trip. I, now, know how to use a map and a compass! I guess I just slashed my getting-lost-risk half. Woot! This little lecture segment also brought me and B to the realization that we bought a map that doesn’t cover the area we are at at the moment. Thanks BGS. Still highly recommend the Brisco General Store though.
Our trip was too short. Before we could name all the spires in the area, we were packing up and leaving. B and I had to take off earlier, leaving K and J behind. To lighten K and J’s load on the way out later that day, I took their tripods and other equipment. A lot of hikers on the way up thought I was a photographer documenting the pro athletes climbing a 5.14d route up at the Snowpatch Spire. Now that I think about it, I should’ve just said yes I was. Heh..
I think everyone who gets the chance should go to the Bugs at least once, even just to camp and hike around. I can now see why a lot of climbers call it one of the best places in the world. A charming hut, an astounding glacier, fields of flowers, crystal lakes, quality granite, and an awesome mountain vibe – it is the quintessential alpine adventure!
Anyone who wants to go next year, give me a shout!