A massive rockfall in Bugaboo Provincial Park has dramatically altered a world-renowned and historic climbing peak in the Purcell Mountains.
Snowpatch Spire is the second-highest and most dramatic peak within the park and has long drawn mountaineers from across the world.
Columbia Valley Search and Rescue shared photos of the recent rock fall event.
“The event occurred on the northeast side of the spire and has dramatically changed the climbs that were previously established in this area,” the group said on Facebook.
The climbing magazine “Gripped” says the news has sent “shockwaves” through the climbing community. A number of historic climbing routes have been completely wiped out.
“Snowpatch Spire Bugaboos is now a very different place,” said renowned climber Will Gadd, known for the first one-day ascent of Mount Robson and first to climb a frozen Niagara Falls, on social media.
“This is an absolutely immense recent rockfall that takes out a big swath of hard classic climbing. If you’ve climbed in the Bugaboos this will sure shake you up!”
Gadd said even in geologic time scales, the rock fall is “massive.”
Snowpatch Spire was first climbed in 1940 and is the centrepiece of the Bugaboo mountain group, which has been attracting climbers for a century.
Mountainproject.com says the Snowpatch Spire was "talked of as the continent's number one climbing problem" in the 1930s until it was finally summited.