Furry Friends in the Bugaboos

When our group of six arrived in East Creek in mid-July, we knew something wasn’t quite right. The parking lot was empty. The bivy was still full of snow. The sky was spitting rain and whipping wind. No one was around. Not even our furry friends.

We worried that the massive snow season, late start to summer, and lack of foreigners with stinky cheese may have driven them away once and for all. Driven them way down to the muggy bogs and alder thickets below. We were wrong.

After a few days with more bacon than belays, the small ones started to emerge. They would dance around our cooksite, scrambling for scraps and keeping us on our toes. But soon the bigger ones arrived. At first they loomed nervously at a distance, like old acquaintances afraid to come close for fear of not being recognized. But that fear dissipated rapidly, as they moved in and made it be known that we were the visitors, and they were home.

We tried to keep the atmosphere as cordial as possible, only hurling the occasional rock while yelling a brief obscenity. “Hey you! You’re not my friend! That’s my third to last bag of Dorritos you stole!” Tensions reached an all time high when Paul, having left the top left corner of his tent door slightly unzipped, and upon returning back from a late lunch for a mid-afternoon siesta, found a slightly obese and unwelcome visitor gnawing at the well-worn waistband of his harness as if enjoying the salty rim of a margarita.

As time went on things settled down, and we learned to live with one another. The weather changed, we went climbing, and eventually made our way home. Our furry friends remained.

Furry Friends

Lost Feather Pinnacle

FA July 22, 2020

Ethan Berman and Uisdean Hawthorn

Furry Friends on Lost Feather Pinnacle in the Bugaboos. Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn.
Uisdean Hawthorn on Pitch 2 of Furry Friends. Photo: Ethan Berman.
Ethan on Pitch 4. Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn.

Rack: .1 – 4 cams, doubles .3 – 3 (triple .5 – 1 could be useful), stoppers

P1 (5.10, 50 m) – Follow the ramp up and through juggy, steep broken cracks and flakes up to a big ledge below a slab trending left.

P2 (5.10, 60 m) – Climb the slab and up through corners and roofs. Trend right toward the base of a golden crack (branching off from the Martino-Wright route, which P1/P2 loosely follow).

P3 (5.11-, 50 m) – Climb the right trending wide crack and make a 5.10 mantle move before trending back left to gain the golden crack splitting the wall above. Balance rope drag against protecting your follower for the slab move. Back clean as necessary. Climb the finger crack through a small roof and follow the perfect thin hands crack until reaching a decent ledge. Eats .75 and 1, and 3 and 4 for the top. Good stoppers for belay.

P4 (5.10, 25 m) – Take the crack up and left into the left facing corner until the first good ledge.

P5 (5.11-, 40 m) – Step up and left from the belay, and find a splitter crack trending up and right. Avoid the choss flakes out left. Follow the crack through an overlap and continue up the right leaning crack with slabby feet until gaining the large ledge. Sling a big block and don’t drop choss on your partner.

P6 (5.10, 50 m) – Follow the easy ramp up past big blocks and climb through two steep corners, trending right. Gain another big ledge.

P7 (5.10, 50 m) – Climb straight up into the thin techy corner and work your way up blocky terrain, trending left before building a belay below the steep cracks leading to the summit.

P8 (5.10, 30 m) – Traverse right and stem off a detached pillar to gain cracks and wide slot up to the summit.

Rappel the bolted stations on the west face of the spire with two ropes.