In the Rockiest this past week people have been getting out between storms for alpine climbing in areas such as the Columbia Icefields. Reports from both Athabasca and Andromeda found decent travel, but it is definitely still wintery above 2800m which is true for the Rockies as a whole. An avalanche fatality in Kananaskis Country this past week is an unfortunate reminder that many features in the alpine still hold enough snow to avalanche, and that snowpack and terrain choices should be evaluated throughout the day. The front ranges are drying out fast from storms last week and rock climbing is in full force. Numerous natural rockfalls from spring thaw have been observed in the front ranges of the Bow Valley and Jasper, which is typical for this time of year.

Not many reports from the Bugaboos or the Rogers Pass, but some South facing ridges had been climbed as of last week. I'm sure there is a lot of very slippery quartzite and granite left in the alpine in those regions, and the big peaks will still be full winter conditions.

The forecast looks less than optimal for the weekend, with cool temperatures and rain and snow at higher elevations, especially West of the divide. This will add to any avalanche concerns in the short term. So far, the best chance may be in the front ranges, but don't hold your breath!

Steve Holeczi
ACMG Mountain Guide

On The Map

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.