The mountains are getting ready to welcome us back.
All in all conditions are shaping up quite nicely to be back climbing in the alpine. Snow cover is a bit behind that of last year, which was even more snow than usual. Hiking trails are snow-free up to 1200 – 1500m and in the high country, the snow is well enough settled in most places to travel on foot, assuming you don’t mind some post-holing. For those who are still looking for some skiing, soft corn still is possible. Snow is starting to become sun-cupped but until then smooth enough for some ski fun.
Early season conditions, as always, snow travel is the name of the game. As the winter snowpack settles this will allow for travel on foot and more routes will be able to be climbed! Alpine rock routes as usual will not be in shape for another few week, assuming typical weather.
The classic sea to sky alpine routes to seem to see some traffic. From ski ascents of Garibaldi and Wedge to foot traffic up Weart and Sky pilot.
The mountains are still shedding the winter snowpack, so expect to see loose wet activity as well as the chance for a climber triggered point release. Today while climbing Mount Weart we witnessed a climber triggered point release on a steep north face as well a large (size 2) natural loose wet release on a steep north face around 2600m.
Continue to be prudent of what is overhead: Cornices, Snowmelt generated rock fall.
As we noted above, snow routes are really the go to early season, so expect to be traveling on glaciers. As the winter snowpack melts the crevasse bridges and bergschrunds will start to weaken and open up. Remember to be prudent on glaciers and not be lured into a false sense of security because you don’t see any open holes.
ACMG Mountain Guide