|Hound's Tooth above fall larches.|
Today, this area is much more popular amongst hikers, climbers and photographers. In summer months, reservations are strongly encouraged.
To get to the TH for the Conrad Kain Hut & Applebee Dome, drive to Brisco, BC and turn west at the Bugaboo Provincial Park sign. Continue around the saw mill and follow Bugaboo Creek Road for 30 miles on a good gravel road to the parking lot at the end (there are a couple of spots near the end that can be muddy after recent rainfall). This parking lot will be full of cars with chicken wire wrapped around them!
|Fortress of chicken wire!|
The first mile of trail is an easy walk along the valley floor, with some boardwalks in places to get over some marshy sections. Then the trail begins its steep ascent up switchbacks, large slabs of rock, steps made out of concrete, wire cable hand holds, and yes...even an aluminum ladder! Above this you follow the trail up a steep moraine to the Conrad Kain Hut. Views across the valley are stupendous through this entire stretch of trail, which allows a good excuse for the occasional rest break.
|Conrad Kain Hut in Bugaboo Provincial Park.|
The hut offers the convenience of a strong shelter, heat, cooking amenities and socializing. It offers a huge convenience factor. The hut is named after a legendary mountain climber and guide, Conrad Kain.
|Snowpatch Spire above fall larches.|
For the biggest bang for the buck, continue on up past the hut 1/2 a mile to Applebee Dome, where the views are to die for. For this reason you won't be alone, and will likely share it with many rock climber who have their sites on the spires towering above you. This area is very exposed to storms and can be quite cold, especially in the fall.
|Fall larches above a creek near the Conrad Kain Hut.|
Below the hut is a creek that can be fun to photograph in a mostly open basin with larches above. A very shy black bear frequented this area during my visit, but mostly stayed on the distant slope.
Snowpatch Spire is the dominating spire looming above the hut, and a wonderful sight to see. As you would guess, it is distinguished by a permanent patch of snow on its shoulder.
Also dominating the scene is Hound's Tooth and Anniversary Peak to the southeast - my personal favorites. The seracs on the Anniversary Glacier are mesmerizing. Hound's Tooth can be photographed both morning and evening. Most of the spires in the upper basin are best photographed in the morning only.
|Morning alpenglow on Anniversary Peak.|
It was a wonderful morning.
|Snowpatch Spire reflection.|
Otherwise, stay right and follow the path on up to Applebee Dome for the grand views. Look back down on the tiny hut and surrounding area, and across and up to the likes of Snowpatch Spire, Bugaboo Spire, and more. Follow one of many paths over a small moraine to Bugaboo Lake below its namesake spire. Continue on a path around the lake and up and over a pass to a set of small tarns if you wish for added exploration.
Clouds can roll in and out of the upper basin, continually changing the light and adding dramatic effect. I was lucky to experience such during my most recent visit. Likewise, storms can move in with little or no warning, so always be prepared.
I mostly stuck to my trusty 24-70mm lense, but did break out the 17-24mm in the upper basin. There isn't much wildlife to be had outside the local rodent population, so you can probably leave the big glass at home. I did bring it and used it (once), so if you are motivated...
|Sunrise from above the Conrad Kain Hut.|
There are other fanatastics trips in this immediate area as well. Cobalt Lake and Black Forest Ridge are high on my list to check out (go ahead, do a Google image search). Also, Chalice Ridge looks enticing.
If you are toying with visiting this scenic area, I highly recommend it. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have for your planning. I am always happy to help.
To see more of my photography, please visit my website, Mountain Scenes Photography. I hope to have a Purcells gallery up soon.
As always, thanks for looking. Hope to see you on the trail!