After the big storm at the start of February, the snowpack in the Central Rockies has been on a gradually improving trend with really good skiing and climbing conditions. Many longer ice routes are in great shape, the avalanche hazard has been in the Moderate to Low range, and a lot of climbing routes have had the start zones above them “clean out” or avalanche during the Feb 1st storm.
Things are slowing changing in a couple of ways right now and the avalanche hazard is forecast to rise slightly over the weekend on many ice routes and couloirs.
This is the last weekly MCR summary for the season. We have moved into winter and regular avalanche bulletins are being posted by Kananaskis Country and the National Parks. Look for the Avalanche Canada bulletins to start on November 22.
Conditions for winter mountain activities are slowly improving and all areas should see some snow in the coming week.
We're now well into November. Ski resorts have fired up the lifts, climbers are scratching up frozen icicles and splitboarders and ski tourers are staring each other down at Bow Summit and Highwood Pass.
At the risk of crying "wolf" a few too many times: it's winter time and avalanche season is upon us.
It was another wintery week in the Rockies and Columbia mountains, with overnight lows into the negative teens and daytime highs generally below freezing until today when it warmed into the low single digits above treeline.
Having a 6yr old as a roommate is surprisingly enlightening and I am always finding aspects in both our lives that parallel mountain pursuits. For example, my son is desperately eager to grow up, forever rushing to the next clue that he’s getting bigger. I continually find myself admonishing him to slow down and enjoy the moment, which for him is childhood.
It is early winter in the Rockies and Columbias. The days are short, there is some (but not a lot) of snow, ice climbing is scratchy and only the true believers feel rock climbing may still be possible.
It was cold for the last week of October (-19 in Banff last Monday). Coming up expect some snow to start on Sunday before it becomes more of a mix of sun and cloud for most areas getting towards mid-week.
Alpine conditions are currently changing in the Rockies and Columbia's as a strong Westerly storm moves through the region today (Friday). Ridge top winds in the Rockies are in the strong to extreme range and accompanied by a few cm's of new snow, with a slightly lower wind speeds and more snow in the Columbia's. It is certainly winter in the alpine!