Shannon Ryan, Koeye McAllister, Micaela Mauthner on summit of Eastpost Spire.
Best weather and climbing yet!

Bugaboos Teens 2013

“For the fifth consecutive year, teens from the Columbia and Kootenay valleys have realized the satisfaction of self propelled sport and discovered the thrill of mountaineering in the world famous Bugaboo Provincial Park. This climbing initiative was begun by the Conrad Kain Centennial Society in 2009 as a tribute to mountain guide Conrad Kain,” said CKCS chairman Pat Morrow.

Two students from Cranbrook’s excellent high school outdoor program at Mt Baker Secondary School, six from the equally excellent outdoor program at Kimberley’s Selkirk Secondary School and two from Invermere participated from July 12 to 14.

To date, a total of 50 youths, ages 15 through 17 have honed their hiking, climbing and leadership skills in the granite spires. And it’s all been free of charge thanks to generous donations from local organizations and individuals.

Kimberley student Natasha Norton was pleased with the overall experience: “The entire mountain community was extraordinary. Everything from the glaciers and spires to the people and the ambience at the Conrad Kain hut all just fit together! I know the memories will never be forgotten, and I know I'll be back in the mountains as soon as possible!”

Due to exceptionally good weather, this is the first year the program has been able to reach the summit of one of the major peaks in the Bugaboos – in the past, foggy and rainy conditions have restricted them to glacier travel and scrambling up minor peaks.

Senior BC Park Ranger Craig Browne joined Wilmer ACMG guides Kirk Mauthner and Tim McAllister, and Canmore guide Jen Olson who led them to the tops of 3156 m Pigeon Spire, and 2728 m Eastpost Spire.

Shannon Ryan of Cranbrook found that, “I love new challenges and they never cease to inspire and motivate me. Next year I begin my final year of high school and will be considering where to take my life from there. This trip helped me tremendously.”

Invermere’s Micaela Mauthner was equally enthusiastic: “The energy of the group was very positive, and it was great to meet new friends who share the same love of mountains as I do. Thanks so much for all the hard work you put into making the Bugaboos Teen Camp happen! :) I had an awesome time and so did everyone else!”

East Kootenay/Columbia Valley students in grades 10 and 11 are invited to apply to the CKCS on this website to join next year’s program. Watch a short video from this year’s camp on youtube at

Morrow expressed his appreciation to the sponsors for their investment in the development of environmental awareness and teamwork skills in the region’s youths: “The CKCS is especially grateful for annual support from the Columbia Basin Community Fund, BC Hydro, Canadian Mountain Holidays, BC Parks, the Alpine Club of Canada, the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, parents of the teens who car pool to the trail head, and a Columbia Basin Trust Youth Grant which helped to make this year’s trip another great success story.”

This year also marks the centennial of the first ascent of Mt Robson, highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. The CKCS is working with the ACC to establish a commemorative camp near Berg Lake in late August, and two “graduates” of the Bugaboos Teens program from previous years, Graham Kinley from Invermere, and Curtis Hall from Cranbrook have been invited to join the camp. Mountain guide Conrad Kain and Albert MacCarthy, both of whom would settle in the Invermere area, and Bill Foster, a government representative from Victoria, made the first confirmed ascent of the peak during an ACC camp in August, 1913.