October 15, 2013

Climbing on the Howser Towers in the Bugaboos

Climbing fixed ropes to the top of the Central Howser Tower with Pigeon Spire in the background.

Well, another summer guiding season has come to an end and the countdown is on until the heli-ski season begins. For this year's final gig, I was lucky to team up again with some of last year's Baffin Island crew for a spectacular film shoot in the Bugaboos. The plan was simple: land a helicopter on the top of the Central Howser Tower, rappel down a few pitches, set up a portaledge, get some footage with the helicopter, jug-up and fly home. But as the saying goes, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Or more aptly, until the weather shits the bed and the helicopter can't get the shot or even pick you up...  On day 1 of the shoot, most of us thought that we would be spending the night shivering on the Tower when the clouds enveloped the peak and the wind started to howl. But with the sun setting in the sky, the convective activity broke up and the pilot was able to pluck us off despite the high winds. It was an impressive piece of flying and we were all grateful to make it back to the lodge. Needless to say, I really appreciated sleeping in a bed that night.

Coming around to the East side of the Towers (lookers right).

The frosty west side of the Howsers (North, Central, South and the Minaret) from left to right.

Jeff R rapping down early on day 1.

Rapping down to the ledge on day 1.

On the final day of shooting, we broke through the clouds and had the best view of the Howsers I've ever seen.

Morning light on the Howsers.

The newest landing in the CMH Tenure.

The call sign says it all - FNOB. Paul Maloney Photo.

Bird's eye view of the landing on the Central Howser Tower. Paul Maloney Photo. The small dug-out circle on the looker's left made for a relaxed perch in an otherwise airy place.

On the final day of shooting, we were forced to haul the ledge above the clouds so the helicopter could get the shot.

Jeff R jugging to the top.

Looking across at the South Howser Tower.

FNOB passing in front of Pigeon Spire.

Shots in the can and going for the top.

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