ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains issued July 9th, 2021y

Summer is in full swing across the region. Rivers, creeks, flowers, bugs, birds and the big critters are all in some kind of bloom.

Glaciers are in summer mode but there is a lot of variation across the ranges. As a gross generalization, snow conditions are better closer to the Divides and especially along the crest of the Selkirks. As an example, I was just in the Northern Selkirks for almost 2 weeks and snow cover was significantly better there than reports at the same time from the East side of the Columbia Icefields. The"trouble spots' should be visibly obvious in most areas. Bare ice faces with lots of rocks and dirt showing, shallow snow cover areas and sagging bridges and cornices are all things we shouldn't be overlooking.

With the short warm nights we wont always be getting solid freezes but travel is still probably ok in the morning on deep consistent snow cover areas. Loose wet or even wet slab avalanches are much more likely on ice faces where the snow cover is thin or on rock slabs where the snow slabs are unsupported or with water running underneath. Cornices or heavy rains are the most likely natural triggers.

Rockfall as always is a concern and now besides snow melt we are getting into the cycle of ice edge retreat and melting permafrost on some of the big rock faces. Those could be huge so at least plan on minimizing your exposure to the big alpine faces.

Weather forecasts are changing fairly quickly which at least means things are unsettled. Lightning is on my mind in these conditions so keep your options open. You don't want to be the entree at that BBQ!

Lots of good rock climbing options opening up at higher elevations which usually means higher commitment. Plan well, move efficiently and keep your eyes wide open. It is only early July so lots of summer left hopefully.

Larry Stanier
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.