It is now typical late August conditions, with high snow lines on glaciers, brown-streaked ice faces prone to rockfall, and dry rock ridges and faces.
Reports from last week can attest to this. In the Rockies, a recent Parks Canada visitor safety team found they were not able to get onto the Silverhorn on Athabasca due to the gaping bergshrund, and the photos of the glacier looked very dry with tricky snow bridges and glacier travel. The North face of Athabasca looked completely out of shape due to rockfall hazard, and I would feel confident that most snow and ice faces in the region are similar. On flatter ground, any snow that is left is reported to be compact with surprisingly decent travel conditions.
In the Bugaboos, people are still using the Bugaboo/Snowpatch col mainly in the AM when it is cooler, as the rockfall increases in the PM when the snow melts. Rogers Pass is pretty bone dry and the rock faces and ridges are in excellent shape. A recent report from the Asulkan glacier by a guide found that even the snow plugs and crevasse bridges were surprisingly solid.
Rock ridges and faces in the Rockies and Columbias are in regular shape, and looking to next week’s weather, these types of features could be the ones to get on. Saturday looks wet, then improving with temperatures in the 25-30C range and (so far) no thunderstorms in the forecast. This time of year the overnight temperatures start to cool off which can be great for AM travel on any snow.
Have a good one!
ACMG mountain guide