Its been a scorching, lung burning smokey week. In the Rockies its become classic August conditions where while its warm, you want to avoid any ice faces and gullies which will have constant rockfall and lots of black ice showing. This week has been warmer than usual which means no freeze overnight whatsoever. Reports from the Columbia Icefields have said the area is mainly out of shape on the traditional routes due to rockfall, and a group in the AA Col had a very close call as members of the party got hit. The flip side is rock routes at all elevations are in prime shape!
The forecast for the August long weekend is for unsettled showery weather on Friday night and Saturday with a lingering chance of lightning storms, before things clear up and dry out Sunday and into next week. Further west and south looks a bit drier throughout the weekend. As of Sunday it looks like a really good week for summer climbing everywhere!
We are into full summer mode with HOT to above normal temperatures forecasted into the weekend. With this great summer weather comes the likely chance of afternoon thunderstorms, particularly along the east side of the Columbia and Rocky Mountains. Many areas have fire bans in place and are experiencing light to mild smoke from forest fires.
Summer is in full swing in the Rocky and Columbia Mountains!
Things have been heating up in the past week with hot and dry being predominant. At the same time we have seen some rapidly moving cold fronts creating lightning storms and wind events. For the coming week it looks like much of the same.
Overall trail conditions are good but vestiges of winter and spring can still be seen on high passes and along the continental divide with snow and muddy sections being reported on some routes.
Well this weekend is looking a lot like last weekend…… unsettled and wet on Saturday and nice on Sunday! A cold front will move into northern BC and the Rockies on Friday night into Saturday morning bringing thunderstorms and precipitation. The southern areas should remain dry and could see above seasonal temperatures.
Well summer is finally back in Canada, along with the mosquitos and no-seeums. This weeks cool temps and precipitation has brought snow across most of the Kootenays and Rocky Mountains above 2500m. I would expect on sunny aspects that it is disappearing fast. The weekend is looking hot with possible unsettled weather on Friday night into Saturday and isolated thunderstorms. With things warming up and melting out I would be anticipating rockfall, surface snow avalanches and whats left of cornices to be week.
As we approach the Canada Day long weekend, we also approach an unsettled week of weather. Many forecasts are calling for rain through the weekend with snow at higher elevations, and way up high one could assume there could be some concern about smaller storm/wind slabs in the short term, and loose wet avalanches in gully features.
As I write this the coastal alpine peaks are enshrouded in cloud and it’s below freezing on the summits. The weather the past week has been unsettled, with fresh snow in the alpine making for tricky conditions. Photos an experienced friend showed me from a failed attempt on Mt Tantalus on Tuesday looked like January, with lots of rime ice. He also noted that the crevasses were starting to open up since the previous week, but the bergshrunds were still in good condition.
In the North Shore Mountains there is still a lot of compact above 1200m, although very little below this.
The official start to summer has many places in the Rockies and Columbia's under a thunderstorm watch as unsettled showery weather rolls in for the next couple days. Sunday looks drier, with more unsettled weather Monday before things improve. Keep a close eye on the sky for afternoon thunderstorm development and bring what you need for a quick retreat if necessary.