ACMG Mountain Conditions Report for Rockies and Columbia Mnts
Autumn is easing into dry early winter in the Rockies. Ice climbing is slowly coming in, especially in the cold and shady alpine and high treeline. I haven't seen or heard of any really climbable ice at valley elevations. A few people have been out skiing and if you find the right, smooth, benign glacier you might get some turns in. Obviously the crevasse coverage is mediocre at best and I wouldn't want to be wandering around in big ice country right now without the rope and a LARGE, well trained partner or two.
Most of the Rockies above 2000m is dusted with enough snow to make travelling poor. Reports from the Columbia Icefields talk about 20cms new snow on wednesday and sloughing enough to spoil your day. Lakes are freezing at times but skating would still be a fairly wet and risky activity.
Reports from the Columbias around Revelstoke (Mt. McRae) show a bit more snow but just barely enough for skiing unless you REALLY want to work for it. Reports from Nelson country show 45cm at the Whitewater parking lot (1700m) and around 40cms in most alpine areas in the Southern Selkirks. Below is a report courtesy of Glacier Park staff on Thursday.
Height of snow @ Mousetrap: 15cm
Height of snow @ Asulkan Hut: 35-40cm
Coverage on glacier, hard to see
Temp @ Asulkan -3C
Winds: SE @ 50 kph,
Travel Conditions: hard: post holing above knees, but not enough snow to
ski. Lots of wind drifting. A Medium-hard slab is forming, with cracking.
Sounds downright nasty!
Sounds like it may be a warm wet weekend in the Columbias. At skiable elevations there may well be enough snow for avalanches, especially if we get a quick, warm, load of moist or wet snow.
In the Rockies, glacier travel and scrambling will still be poor in most places. Ice climbing might work but expect thin, sporty ice, especially where it hasn't been picked out already. South faces like Yamnuska, might have some climbing, but put a big handwarmer in your chalk bag and maybe your undies:) The days are short, the stone is cold and if the wind blows it could get desperate in a hurry.
Winter is coming but it ain't here yet. Sharpen your tools, your skills and your senses but try not to dull or break them on the snowy rocks in the short term:)