Hobnails And Hemp Rope

Presented with the participation of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) in association with the ByTowne Cinema are pleased to present the Ottawa premiere of Hobnails And Hemp Rope, a 25 minute documentary about the Bugaboo Spire Centennial Climb Project. This Can Geo Talks film event recounts the adventures of four Ontario climbers as they set out to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first known ascent of BC’s Purcell Mountains’ Bugaboo Spire, in July 2016. 

Climbing the Bugaboo Spire in the short documentary Hobnails And Hemp RopeGreg Gransden, director of Hobnails And Hemp Rope and Bryan Thompson, expedition leader, will be on hand to answer audience questions after the screening. A stunning collection of Ivan Petrov’s expedition photography will be on display, along with vintage mountaineering gear and research materials used on the project.

Hobnails And Hemp Rope pays homage to the Austrian-Canadian explorer and the Alpine Club of Canada's first professional mountain guide, Conrad Kain, whose team successfully reached the Spire’s summit in 1916, considered Canada’s golden age of mountaineering. To celebrate the Kain expedition, the modern-day climbers used similar gear, food and climbing equipment to that which would have been used to camp and climb the spire 100 years before. The only exception is the very upper section of the climb, deemed not safe enough to face today with historic gear.

Scaling this coveted mountain is no easy climb. The granite spire rises up to an elevation of 3,204 meters and rests between the Vowell and Crescent Glaciers. Kain's route on Bugaboo Spire remained as the nation’s most difficult alpine climb up until the middle of the 20th century. The Ottawa screening is part of a cross-Canada tour to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

– Royal Canadian Geographical Society

A Can Geo Talks event. Regular ByTowne admission prices apply: $12 general, $8 ByTowne Members

Advance tickets available at

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