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Mt. Bute, School of Rock.

By Bruce Kay, Canada

In mid-August, Jimmy Martinello, Jay Sinnes, and I flew northwest out of Squamish for the head of Bute Inlet. Once there we transferred for a quick bump to the head of Galleon Creek, below the 6,000′ west buttress of Mt Bute. The next morning saw us simuling and rope-stretching up a few spooky pitches of slab, aiming for a single corner system breaching the lower wall. Numerous pitches put us at our first bivy with glorious views of the Waddington Range and down the Inlet.

Next morning Jay solved our lower crux with some tricky routefinding and mixed free and aid, putting us at a snow patch for rehydration and R&R. We really should have brought a few beers.

Then it was up and over Point Steffannie to bivy 2, below the upper buttress, which had largely been solved by Mike Down and Greg Foweraker on a previous attempt. The following day gave further spectacular granite ridge-climbing, until we tagged the summit in the evening light. We were finally caught by darkness on the descent, at Rat Terrace, where we spent the night in remarkable comfort though occasionally tormented by an enormous, prehistoric pack rat…. (read more)