What's Your Approach?

What's Your Approach?

Author: Katy H.

Bugaboos Climbing Kits

Have you ever felt like a beast of burden carrying a giant alpine pack loaded with gear, food and camping supplies? By the time you arrive at camp your hips are bruised and you need a rest day to recover. Alpine climbing often requires a full rock rack plus extras for snow & ice on top of your camping equipment, so every gram matters! Huge, heavy packs often limit objectives especially when being carried by smaller climbers, the pack to body weight ratio can really impact your approach times and distances, so pack light.

The Bugaboos is an iconic Canadian summer alpine climbing destination. To climbers, the granite spires poking out of rolling glaciers offer endless dreams and adventures. With just under a 6km and 930m elevation hike from the car to Applebee Dome camping area, the approach is relatively easy (compared to the Waddington Range or other larger mountain ranges). While some parties scamper up the trail, others crawl along like pack mules under enormous loads. When packing food, camping gear, climbing gear, and glacier travel gear all the grams add up!

The intent of this article is to showcase some lighter weight gear options, demonstrate how to shave off the grams, and demonstrate an attainable pack weight for 3 different styles of approaches to climbing in the Bugaboos. We hope this list demonstrates examples of clothing to keep you comfortable and gear to keep you safe at weights that add up to a little less, so you can enjoy moving through stunning mountain terrain without enduring a crushing approach.

We assembled three different Bugaboo approach kits, for two people.

These are not kits for specific routes and they do not include the additional grams for camp comforts or fancy food. If you are planning a trip, do your research. Know what you need for the terrain you will encounter, and have the skills, training, and ability to safely pursue your objectives. Every climber will have their own preferences for gear and creature comforts. These kits may not be your personal choices and there are ways to lighten these kits even further or add to these kits for extra comfort and security. For example, some approach packs, like the Blue Ice Stache Packs, are also suitable summit packs so you could eliminate the summit day pack from the multiday kits. You might need less gear or more gear depending on your objectives, comfort leading and technicality of the routes you climb. You might want to bring in a case of beer or puffy pants for hanging out in camp. The options are endless. This is just a starting point.

Day Scrambler

Do you want to day scramble Eastpost Spire, Brenta Spire, or Pigeon Spire? Do you want to move quickly through some glaciated and semi-technical terrain, but keep your objective within your scrambling ability so the climbing gear in your pack is minimized? The day could involve one or two rappels, a little short roping, maybe a pitch of easy climbing, but the day is mostly scrambling or hiking over mountainous and glaciated terrain.

Day Scrambler GIF
Party of 2 Weight (kg/person) Total Weight (g)
6.40 12808
Day Scrambler
(the breakdown)
Amount Weight (g/unit) Total Weight (g)
BD Distance 22L running style alpine day pack 2 412 824
Petzl Leopard Crampons 2 385 770
Petzl Ride Ice Axe 2 240 480
Black Diamond Vapor Helmet 2 155 310
Blue Ice Choucas Light Harness 2 84 168
DMM Halfnut Set 8-11 1 138 138
Camp Mach Express Dynema Alpine Quickdraw 4 81 324
6mm Prussik Cord 1x 5 M cordalette 10 22 220
Sterling Hollow Block 13.5" 2 20 40
Edelrid Rapline (m) 40 29 1160
Petzl Nano Traxion 2 53 106
Petzl Sm'd Locking Carabiner 2 46 92
Petzl Rocha Screwgate Carabiner 2 45 90
Grivel Plume HMS Twin Gate  2 44 88
Petzl Pur Anneau 180cm Sling 2 48 96
Petzl Spatha Knife 2 43 86
Grivel Scream Belay Device 2 48 96
Blue Ice Aero Lite Ice Screw 16cm 2 72 144
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Hiking Poles 2 280 560
Katadyn BeFree Microfilter with 1L Hydrapak 1 57 57
Carry about 1L water & filter/re-fill at streams 2 1000 2000
Petzl Iko Core Headlamp 2 79 158
1 Day Food 2 700 1400
Lip Balm and Sun Screen 2 50 100
First Aid Kit (e.g. Ultralight Medical Kit) 1 100 100
Mountain Hardwear M's Ventano Hoody 1 380 380
Mountain Hardwear W's Ventano Hoody 1 332 332
Mountain Hardwear M's Kor Airshell Windbreaker 1 146 146
Mountain Hardwear W's Kor Airshell Windbreaker 1 132 132
Black Diamond W's Sierra LT Short 1 74 74
Patagonia M's Terrebonne Short 1 125 125
Arc'teryx M's Incendo Pant 1 185 185
Black Diamond W's Alpine Light Softshell Pants 1 250 250
Scarpa W's Gecko LT Approach Shoe 1 320 320
Scarpa M's Gecko LT Approach Shoe 1 270 270
Sun Hat 2 80 160
Toque 2 80 160
Sun Glasses rated Spectron 3 or 4 2 20 40
Patagonia M's Capilene Cool Daily Graphic Shirt 1 120 120
Patagonia W's Capilene Cool Daily Graphic Shirt 1 100 100
Outdoor Research W's Echo Sun Hoody 1 112 112
Outdoor Research M's Echo Sun Hoody 1 115 115
Smartwool Athlete Edition Hike Crew Socks 2 15 30
Wool or Synthetic Quick Dry Underwear 3 15 45

Shop Day Scrambler

Smash and Grab

Do you have a solid weather window and 3-5 days free? Are you ready to punch it and go for more serious climbing objectives? Are you willing to make sacrifices such as wearing your warm layers to bed so you can bring a lighter sleeping bag, keeping meals simple to cook on a small stove, and cramming into the smallest tent? Do you have technical objectives that require an adequate climbing rack like the Becky-Chouinard, NE Ridge of Bugaboo Spire, Snowpatch Route or even All Along the Watchtower?

Smash & Grab GIF

Party of 2 Weight (kg/person) Total Weight (g)
19.63 39262
Smash and Grab
(the breakdown)
Amount Weight (g/person) Total Weight (g)
Blue Ice Stache 60L approach pack 1 825 825
Arc'teryx Alpha AR 55 pack 1 1365 1365
Blue Ice Stache UL 25 pack 1 340 340
Arc'teryx FL 30 pack 1 635 635
Petzl Leopard Crampons 2 360 720
Petzl Gulley Hammer 1 280 280
Petzl Gulley Adze 1 280 280
Black Diamond Vapor Helmet 2 155 310
Petzl Sitta Harness 2 270 540
BD .3 Camalot Z4 1 54 54
BD .4 Camalot Z4 2 61 122
BD .5 Camalot Ultralight 2 74 148
BD .75 Camalot Ultralight 2 89 178
BD 1 Camalot Ultralight 2 101 202
BD 2 Camalot Ultralight 2 126 252
BD 3 Camalot Ultralight 2 167 334
BD 4 Camalot Ultralight 1 225 225
DMM Halfnut Set (1-7) 1 112 112
DMM Halfnut Set (8-11) 1 138 138
Camp Mach Express Dynema Alpine Quickdraw 8 81 648
Camp Nano Lightweight Quickdraw 4 55 220
6mm Prussik Cord 2x 5 M cordalette 20 22 440
Sterling Holoblock 13.5" 2 20 40
Edelrid Spoc Progress Capture Pulley 2 60 120
Petzl Sm'd Carabiner 2 46 92
Edelrid Rapline 60 29 1740
Swift Protect Pro Dry 8.9mm Rope 60 53 3180
Grivel Plume K3GH HMS Locking Carabiner 2 44 88
Petzl Rocha Screwgate Carabiner 2 45 90
Petzl Pur Anneau 180cm Sling 2 48 96
Petzl Spatha Knife 2 43 86
La Sportiva TC Pro 1 247 247
BD Aspect Pro 1 300 300
Edelrid MegaJul Belay/Rapel Device 2 65 130
Blue Ice Aero Lite Ice Screw 16cm 2 72 144
Blue Ice Sender Chalk Bag 2 66 132
Chalk Block 1 56 56
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles 2 280 560
Food for 5 days - 2lbs/day/person 10 900 9000
Katadyn BeFree 3L 2 192 384
Carry about 1L water & filter/re-fill at streams 2 1000 2000
MSR Windburner Stove 1 430 430
8 oz IsoPro Fuel 1 372 372
Sea to Summit Frontier UL Long Handle Spork 2 12 24
Climb On Wide Mouth Bottle 2 217 434
Petzl Swift RL 1100 Lumens Headlamp 2 100 200
Petzl Core battery (spare) 2 23 46
Thermarest Neo Aire Uberlight Pad 2 250 500
Western Mountaineering Summerlite 0 2 539 1078
Samaya Assaut2 Ultra Tent (4 season or other light 4 season tent Example: Black Diamond Hilight Tent) 1 1050 1050
Toiletries 2 50 100
Garmin InReach Mini 1 100 100
Mobile battery pack like Goal Zero Flip 36 2 193 386
Guide Book 1 350 350
Lip Balm and Sun Screen 2 19 38
First Aid Kit 1 225 225
Mountain Hardwear M's Minimizer Paclite Plus 2.5L Rain Jacket 1 242 242
Mountain Hardwear W's Minimizer Paclite Plus 2.5L Rain Jacket 1 225 225
Outdoor Research M's Helium Down Jacket 1 436 436
Mountain Hardwear W's Phantom Alpine Down Parka 1 500 500
Arc'teryx M's Atom Hoody 1 370 370
Arc'teryx W's Atom Hoody 1 310 310
Mountain Hardwear M's Kor Airshell Windbreaker 1 146 146
Mountain Hardwear W's Kor Airshell Windbreaker 1 132 132
Mountain Hardwear M's Crater Lake Short Sleeve 1 120 120
Mountain Hardwear W's Sunblocker Short Sleeve 1 100 100
Black Diamond W's Alpenglow Hoody 1 115 115
Black Diamond M's Alpenglow Hoody 1 115 115
Patagonia M's Granite Crest Rain Pants 1 264 264
Patagonia W's Granite Crest Rain Pants 1 244 244
Mountain Hardwear M's Chockstone Alpine LT Pants 1 484 484
Mountain Hardwear W's Chockstone Alpine LT Pants 1 327 327
Arc'teryx W's Gamma Short 1 170 170
Arc'teryx M's Gamma Short 1 200 200
La Sportiva W's Aequilibrium Speed GTX Mountain Boot 2 415 830
La Sportiva M's Aequilibrium Speed GTX Mountain Boot 2 530 1060
Smartwool Athlete Edition Hike Crew Socks 6 15 90
Wool or Synthetic Quick Dry Underwear 8 15 120
Sun Hat 2 80 160
Toque 2 80 160
Sun Glasses rated Spectron 3 or 4 2 20 40
Black Diamond Lightweight Softshell Glove 2 58 116

Shop Smash and Grab

Base Camper

Have you planned your trip for a while and committed to stay 10 days or even more? Do you want to keep your options open and throw in a few more pieces of comfort gear? Do you want to be prepared with some pins or extra “tat” in case you need to leave gear on rappels? Are you expecting some tent bound days so a more ventilated double wall tent with vestibule would be your choice? Do you want to sleep in just your sleeping bag and not have to wear warm layers to bed? Would you choose clothing that is a little more durable and will withstand multiple grind fests up chimneys? Do you want a stove that you can prepare real meals on, not just boil up water?

Expedition GIF

Party of 2 Weight (kg/person) Total Weight (g)
28.97 57948
Base Camper
(the breakdown)
Amount Weight (g/person) Total Weight (g)
MHW AMG 75L Pack approach pack 1 2250 2250
Blue Ice Stache 60L approach pack 1 825 825
Blue Ice Stache UL 25 pack 1 340 340
Arc'teryx FL 30 pack 1 635 635
Petzl Leopard Crampon 2 330 660
Petzl Gulley Hammer 1 280 280
Petzl Gulley Adze 1 280 280
Black Diamond Vapor Helmet 2 155 310
Petzl Sitta Harness 2 270 540
BD .1 Camalot Z4 2 45 90
BD .2 Camalot Z4 2 48 96
BD .3 Camalot Z4 2 54 108
BD .4 Camalot Z4 2 61 122
BD .5 Camalot Ultralight 2 74 148
BD .75 Camalot Ultralight 2 89 178
BD 1 Camalot Ultralight 2 101 202
BD 2 Camalot Ultralight 2 126 252
BD 3 Camalot Ultralight 2 167 334
BD 4 Camalot Ultralight 2 225 450
DMM Halfnut Set (1-7) 1 112 112
DMM Halfnut Set (8-11) 1 138 138
Camp Mach Express Dynema Alpine Quickdraw 12 81 972
Camp Nano Lightweight Quickdraw 6 55 330
Tubular Webbing 1" (spare for setting rappels) 20 37 740
6mm Prussik Cord 4x 5 M cordalette 20 22 440
Petzl Nano Traxion 2 53 106
Petzl Sm'd Carabiner 2 46 92
Sterling Holoblock 13.5" 2 20 40
Edelrid Rapline 60 29 1740
Swift Protect Pro Dry 8.9mm Rope 60 53 3180
Pitons 5 60 300
Grivel Plume K3GH HMS Locking Carabiner 2 44 88
Camp Nitro Locking Screwgate 2 56 112
Petzl Pur Anneau 180cm Sling 2 48 96
Beal Escaper 1 100 100
Petzl Spatha Knife 2 43 86
Evolv Yosemite Bum Climbing Shoe 1 300 300
Scarpa Generator Climbing Shoe 1 310 310
Edelrid MegaJul Belay/Rapel Device 2 65 130
Blue Ice Aero Lite Ice Screw 16cm 2 72 144
Blue Ice Sender Chalk Bag 2 66 132
300g Chalk 1 300 300
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles 2 280 560
Food for 10 days - 2lbs/day/person 20 900 18000
Katadyn BeFree 3L 2 192 384
Carry about 1L water & filter/re-fill at streams 2 1000 2000
MSR Dragonfly Stove 1 400 400
MSR 30 oz fuel bottle 1 1134 1134
30 oz (887ml) white gas 887 0.75 665
MSR Quick 2 Cook Set 1 800 800
Sea to Summit Frontier UL Long Handle Spork 2 12 24
Climb On Wide Mouth Bottle 2 217 434
Petzl Swift RL 1100 Lumens Headlamp 2 100 200
Petzl Core battery (spare) 2 23 46
Therm-a-rest NeoAire XLite NXT 2 350 700
Western Mountaineering Ultralite -7 2 822 1644
MSR Remote 2 Tent 1 3230 3230
Toiletries 2 50 100
Garmin InReach Mini 1 100 100
Nomad 10 Solar Pannel 1 510 510
Mobile battery pack like Goal Zero Flip 36 2 193 386
Lip Balm and Sunscreen 2 200 400
First Aid Kit 1 340 340
Arc'teryx W's Beta LT Jacket  1 300 300
Mountain M's Hardwear Dawnlight Jacket 1 456 456
Outdoor Research M's Helium Down Jacket 1 436 436
Mountain Hardwear W's Phantom Alpine Down Parka 1 500 500
Arc'teryx M's Atom Hoody 1 370 370
Arc'teryx W's Atom Hoody 1 310 310
Mountain Hardwear M's Kor Airshell Windbreaker 1 146 146
Mountain Hardwear W's Kor Airshell Windbreaker 1 132 132
Patagonia M's Capilene Cool Daily Graphic Shirt 1 120 120
Patagonia W's Capilene Cool Daily Graphic Shirt 1 100 100
Outdoor Research W's Echo Sun Hoody 1 112 112
Outdoor Research M's Echo Sun Hoody 1 115 115
Arc'teryx M's Beta Rain Pant 1 330 330
Arc'teryx W's Beta Rain Pant 1 310 310
Mountain Hardwear M's Chockstone Alpine LT Pants 1 484 484
Mountain Hardwear W's Chockstone Alpine LT Pants 1 324 324
La Sportiva Wool 40 Aero Baselayer Bottom 1 102 102
Smartwool M's Classic Thermal Baselayer Bottom 1 150 150
Arc'teryx M's Gamma Short 1 200 200
Arc'teryx W's Gamma Short 1 170 170
La Sportiva W's Aequilibrium Speed GTX Mountain Boot 2 415 830
La Sportiva M's Aequilibrium Speed GTX Mountain Boot 2 530 1060
Smartwool Athlete Edition Hike Crew Socks 6 15 90
Wool or Synthetic Quick Dry Underwear 12 15 180
Sun Hat 2 80 160
Toque 2 80 160
Sun Glasses rated Spectron 3 or 4 2 20 40
Black Diamond Lightweight Softshell Glove 2 58 116

Shop Base Camper

[Main Image] Area: Apple Bee Dome, Bugaboo Provincial Park. Photo by Clayton Hermann.


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