Its been a mixed bag of weather this past week with intense thunderstorms and rain (some snow up high) to scorching temperatures both in the Rockies and Columbias.
This weekends forecast looks mainly sunny in both regions with valley temperatures ranging from 15 – 20+C and no significant precipitation.
Hazards have not changed much in the last week. There is always more rockfall this time of year as the winter continues to thaws out up high, with plenty of running water to loosen up the cliffs. Having said this lower elevation front range climbs in both regions have been mainly dry for quite some time now.
It’s a fickle time of year for avalanches in the alpine. Sun, a poor freeze, or rain will make loose avalanches run easily increasing the risk if you are there, so timing is important. There have been reports from the Icefields on Athabasca of some recent avalanches both small and large, with travel conditions ranging from excellent with a freeze, to the worst of the year when its not! The snowline in the Rockies starts generally around 2000m. In Rogers Pass, the Visitor Safety team said that you will encounter the snowline on any trail at around 1700m, but the snow has been carrying well. Some of the South ridges there may be climbable but the higher peaks like Sir Donald are a long way off yet.
Rivers are pumping, which can obviously make any crossings exciting. At the very least you should plan on them being exciting so you are not surprised when you get there!
For alpine climbing, it will be possible get up some snowy objectives this week with a good freeze, but we aren’t “quite” there yet on the higher rocky or mixed objectives. This next week with its sunnier forecast should bring us closer.
ACMG Mountain Guide