Trip Report: The Beckey-Chouinard

Jul 2, 2023
Starting the first rappels
Starting the first rappels

The Beckey-Chouinard is a wild, committing route and likely Canada’s most esteemed rock climb. With pitch after pitch of wide, sandbagged and rope-stretching 5.8-5.10, the BC will test your endurance just as it did mine.

Eloise–the strongest climber in the world and the best partner you could ask for
Eloise–the strongest climber in the world and the best partner you could ask for

Approach: From the H-S col, descend into the basin skirting a few small crevasses. Ascend the obvious ridge to the base of the wall behind a large boulder.

View of the route on-approach
View of the route on-approach

Pitches 1–3: Simul-climb, skirting right around the boulder and then immediately cutting left. Despite knowing this beforehand, I was seduced by the righthand crack and led myself into scary, unprotected terrain.

Simuling the first three pitches
Simuling the first three pitches

Pitch 4: Climb a roof to the left (hard in the freezing wind!) and continue up flakes to a ledge.

Pitch 5: Easier terrain. Stay on ridge to start avoiding chimney to left.

Pitches 6–7: Climb the dihedral for two full pitches. Easy routefinding but long.

The dihedral
The dihedral

Pitches 8–9: Easy terrain towards headwall.

Pitch 10: Up lefthand handcrack, traversing right into opposing dihedrals. Strenuous!

Pitches 11-12: The start of the headwall and the crux. These pitches are long and we accidentally turned these 2 pitches into 4. Do not assume from other photos that the chimney visible from the base is the chimney. It is not and can be easily climbed around on the left. I wish I knew this myself as I scared myself plenty on this unnecessary and poorly protected squeeze.

Eloise aims for the headwall. The chimney at the top is avoidable!
Eloise aims for the headwall. The chimney at the top is avoidable!

It’s all #4s
It’s all #4s

Pitches 13-14: Wide and grovelly but easing.

Pitch 14
Pitch 14

Pitch 15: The traverse. Extremely exposed and with big swing potential. Many opt to tension using the fixed cord.

To summit: Rappel into notch and simul to summit. Plan route carefully as it is doable in one simul block. We stayed slightly right around steeper terrain, traversing left to ridge.

Rapelling into the notch below the final 700' of simuling
Rapelling into the notch below the final 700' of simuling
The summit!
The summit!

The first of the rappels, looking way down on Bugaboo spire
The first of the rappels, looking way down on Bugaboo spire

Nearly falling asleep on the midway ledges.
Nearly falling asleep on the midway ledges.

Rapping over the final bergshrund
Rapping over the final bergshrund

What a stunning climb. In the end, it took us nearly 23 hours tent-to-tent and left me exhausted and in serious discomfort–I couldn’t eat and could only sip minute amounts of water. After 4 hours of desperate rest we had to get up to meet our friends at Applebee. The descent was awful but my heart was full and very proud. The route pushed my limits without ever feeling out-of-control.

Thanks to Eloise for the great partnership.


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