ACMG Mountain Conditions Report Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains issued July 15 2016

In May most people were saying that we were a month ahead of schedule and now we seem to be a couple of weeks behind!

The relatively wet, unsettled and unpredictable weather has made for challenging conditions throughout the Columbia's and Rockies of late. The forecast for the coming weekend looks to be equally challenging.

Saturday is forecast to be rainy throughout the forecast area. Sunday is currently a bit of a question mark for the more eastern areas but looks like it could be a bit dryer further to the west (Rogers Pass and Revelstoke).

In the last week, there have been many reports of deep post holing in snow due to high freezing levels and significant precipitation. There has not been a lot of new snow but these warm conditions have been producing numerous wet snow avalanches and quite a bit of rockfall as the snowpack slowly transitions from spring to summer.

Snow bridges are starting to get thinner and with the soft conditions there were a few reports of people falling through up to their waists while crossing sags. We observed one large cornice failure last week in the Ten Peaks area with plenty more suspect cornices still hanging on.

The cumulative amounts of rain have resulted in slower drying times and lots of seepage on even some generally drier rock faces in the front ranges of the Rockies. This type of saturation usually has me thinking about the potential for rockfall in places where we may not normally expect it.

If I was looking to go alpine climbing this weekend I would be looking for drier rock climbs with easy escapes or ridge climbs with little overhead hazard.

Lets hope for a slightly drier second half of July!

Marc Piché

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.