Summer is back in the valleys and South faces up to treeline but in the High shady places there are some transitions going on.
Last weekends snow is to be expected to linger on the glaciers, North facing alpine and probably just to the West and East of North in the alpine. Even in the trees in Kananaskis country this week it was slow to leave shaded glades below treeline and there were remnant small cornice above 2800m.
The left over issues will be some wet alpine rock, morning verglas, the new small cornices and the possibility of weak skinny bridges over crevasses.
This past week was great overall with good freezes, dry rock and lots of sun.
People are getting out on all of the main objectives and reporting great conditions for this time of year. Usually by late August there are brown streaks on all of the ice faces and gullies with lots of rockfall. This year is a bit different due to better snow coverage.
The last weeks have provided a wild difference in conditions depending on where you are on the Coast. It really couldn't be more different between South and North Coasts. I've been working in the Cambrian Range near Stewart where it feels like it hasn't stopped raining in August yet! Roads are washed out, creeks are flooded, glaciers and snow are melting rapidly and I've been wearing long underwear every day. Meanwhile on the South Coast the heat has been record breaking! It's hard to believe it's all one province sometimes.
It continues to be an alpine summer to remember with good conditions reported in all zones and for all mountain pursuits. There is a caveat, though: depending on the weather, not every activity or route is in shape every day.
Last week ended with some stormy weather, which gave us precipitation in the form of snow at higher elevations. As we entered this week, the hot weather returned, although there was some electrical activity in the afternoons and evenings.
There have seldom been such widespread good conditions for August in recent memory. In the past week, I have climbed glacier routes, alpine rock, and been hiking. Everything was in good shape.
The only fly in the ointment has been some fickle weather. Although there has been some sun and warmth, especially at lower elevations, there have also been showers and low freezing levels which have given dustings of snow to the peaks.
The coming week looks promising for the most part.
The last few weeks have brought warm sunny weather drying out rock routes, and melting out snow and ice routes. A cold front is brining mixed amounts of precipitation and thunderstorms across the ranges today, with the possibility of snow on the highest peaks!
Forecasts are talking about sunny skies returning Sunday, and temps warming back up by mid week.
The past few weeks have flown by at an exhilarating pace as mountain enthusiasts have enjoyed alpine conditions at their finest. Long, hot days for weeks with only occasional cloudy disturbances have given us the "green light" for many objectives and have made anything feel possible and, even, probable as we've stretched our legs, lengthened our strides and basked in the glory mountain pursuits provide. Last winter's prodigious snowfall still lingers at lower-than-usual elevations and has, so far, kept the glaciers in relatively easy conditions.
The mountains have flipped the switch, and we are in full summer mode. A wide variety of routes are in good condition.
Sun and heat blessed us in the past week. A few afternoon showers and thunderstorms occurred in some areas but, overall, strong high pressure dominated our weather.
There are two blips to keep an eye out for in the coming week. The first occurs over the next few days, with afternoon instability creating showers and thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday, before stabilizing on Sunday. The instability could be worse in western areas.