ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains Issued August 24, 2017

The great alpine climbing conditions in the Rockies and Columbia Mountains show no signs of letting up. With cooler nights and sunny days forecast for the next several days, snow and ice sections should remain in good condition while any sun exposed rock will be warm and dry. This is definitely a good time to go climbing!

The main change over the last week has been the continued thinning of the snowpack on steep snow slopes so plan for a bit more travel on ice. As of yesterday there was just a touch of snow/moisture left on high North aspects above 3300m around the Columbia icefields from squalls earlier in the week, but this was quite limited and everything below this was dry. Most other areas did not seem to get this snow. The thunderstorms today (Thursday) may have added a dusting of snow at high elevations in the Rockies, but other than a bit of verglass on North aspects, things should be back to dry rock and firm snow for the weekend. The Columbia's saw a bit more rain yesterday and today but this should also dry off quickly.

The normal late summer hazards apply – rock fall from melting snow faces during the day; thinning crevasse bridges (I punched a foot through one yesterday while descending in our tracks from the morning); opening bergschrunds; increased ice requiring crampons/ice axe/ice screws - but with the exception of a few snow faces that are melted out and spitting rocks, most summer routes remain in great shape and many of the big objectives in both the Rockies and Columbia Mountains are seeing regular ascents.

Some group of four restrictions are in place within the National Parks so check the "Important Bulletins" for the park before you go. Many BC Parks remain closed due to the extreme fire hazard and details can be found here:

Days are getting shorter and the nights are slowly getting cooler so throw in some good headlamp batteries and a puffy coat for long days and have a great weekend!

Conrad Janzen
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.