16 Aug Two 5.12+ First Free Ascents in the Bugaboos
The Canadian-American trio of Jason Kruk, Will Stanhope, and Matt Segal have completed the first free ascent of the west face of Howser Spire’s Central Tower in the Bugaboos at 5.12+.
Howser Spire is a group of three granite peaks, and is the highest mountain of the Bugaboo , located at the southwest corner of the Vowell Glacier , within the Bugaboo mountain range, in British Columbia, Canada.
On the West Face of the South Tower was traced by F. Beckey e Y. Chouinard on 1961 August 8\9 a route which is considered one of the best free climbs of Canada; the North Tower was first ascended on 1916 with a climb that started the mountaineering activity in Bugaboos; highly desired by the climbers its beautiful western face, nearly 1000 meters of vertical rock.
The smaller Central Tower was climbed on 1955 by the North Ridge; the west face only in 1999, first in the month of July by Offenbacher and Davis who did “Fear and Desire” and then – one week later – by Sean Isaac and Brian Webster with Chocolate Fudge Brownie VI 5.9 A2 a line that begins in common with the first three pitches of "Fear and Desire", then continues straight up the right hand pillar.
Kruk, Segal and Stanhope used a three-pitch variation to free-climb Chocolate Fudge Brownie. After being weathered off the route once, they climbed the 10-pitch face in a long day, with the crux coming with a steep slab traverse to the right to avoid an un-freeable roof. Stanhope and Segal both took whippers from the crux before Kruk was able to link the moves, opening the door to the North Vancouver/Miami Variation.
Then the trio added Hazel Findlay to the team for a free attempt on Sendero Norte, where Stanhope led the crux fingertrip crack at 5.12+.
Source: Jason Kruk blog and climbing .com