The weather forecast is looking good for this coming weekend in the Rockies and the Columbia Mountains. At this time most areas are predicting a cloudy night on Saturday with small amounts of rain but, otherwise, it looks like clear skies and warm temperatures overall.
Most if not all alpine rock climbs are now in good condition and have been seeing traffic. Rogers Pass, the Valhallas, and the Bugaboos are all in excellent condition. The snow is quickly melting off of the glaciers however travel continues to be quite good.
The primary concern at this time continues to be the potential for large, deep avalanches due to the continued warm temperatures and lingering deep, persistent weak layer throughout this forecast area. Although not frequent, some sizable avalanches failing on glacier ice have been reported this season. The latest was on the ramp route on Mount Athabasca on July 8 (see MCR report from Kevin Rohn). This condition is a very tricky hazard to evaluate, and many climbers have been taking the simple approach of avoiding large snow slopes until the snow has mostly melted or we begin to get significant re-freezes at night. I was at the Neil Colgan hut for two nights last week where even under clear skies we experienced only minimal recovery of the snowpack overnight.
We also witnessed numerous slough avalanches often associated with rockfall during our stay in the Ten Peaks area.
Creek crossings continue to be higher than normal for this time of year due to the rapid melting, and there have been numerous reports of bear sightings throughout the Rockies.
It seems that smoky skies will be inevitable for the next while. Apart from air quality, this condition can also make it difficult to judge changing weather patterns.
Have a great weekend.
ACMG Mountain Guide