|McTech Arete 6 pitch 5.10-. Approximate stations locations are shown in yellow.|
Having the luxury of free weekdays, Bill and I headed into the Bugaboos on Monday July 23 for 5 days of hut living, weather waiting and one great day of climbing. The weather forecast looked promising and we had hoped for two or three days of good alpine granite climbing. As it turned out, we only got one day - but at least we got on a fantastic route: McTech Arete!
If you look carefully, you can see me in the shadow, at the top of Pitch 1.
Another climber is near the top of Pitch 2.
For the uninitiated, McTech Arete is a stellar 3-star route. Simply put: "It's as good as it gets". McTech Arete is a 6-pitch climb rated 5.10- with first rate rock and moves. Located on Crescent Spires in the Bugaboos, it has a short approach and can be rappelled. A perfect choice for less-than-perfect weather!
Pitch 1 gets you warmed up and is a good introduction to granite climbing - just in time for the crux finger crack on Pitch 2.
Pitch 3 is a traverse pitch on 5.4 terrain which gets you situated for the stellar Pitch 4 with two small roofs and amazing hand jamming (for those who enjoy #2 yellow BD hand jams).
Pitch 5 is not visible from the ledge station at the top of Pitch 4, but don't be fooled into following your nose up the left corner. Instead, walk to the right about 5 metres and peek around the corner; here you'll be rewarded with a beautiful face with 2 cracks and a corner. It's a "pick-your-own-adventure" pitch and it is not to be missed.
Pitch 6 heads right again over blocky terrain, but ends with a final crack and a summit belay.
On the summit, we posed for the camera for a team shot before setting up the rappels.
|Summit shot - Thumbs up for McTech Arete!|
The same day we climbed McTech, a party of three from Quebec climbed a route called Paddle Flake (5.10). All three climbers are visible in the photo below.
For the adventurous, camping is available at the Applebee Campground shown below. The scenery at Appplebee is unmatched, and for the price of an extra 45 minutes of hiking, campers are also rewarded with extra solitude.
Being slackers, we prefer to stay overnight at the great Alpine Club of Canada "Conrad Kain" Hut. Powered by a mini-hydro, it provides guests with the comforts of home, even in the wilderness of the Bugaboos. A must visit hut!