ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains issued May 10th, 2017

After a long cold snowy winter, the public avalanche bulletins have all gone to spring messaging and we are back to weekly Mountain Conditions summaries for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains till sometime in November.

Spring is slowly easing into the mountains but even with an overcast night there was some decent corn snow skiing by Bow Lake today. We chose not to ski a more aggressive line as it was a very mediocre freeze and I wont have much faith in this snowpack for a while unless it is really frozen deeply overnight. Lots of south facing terrain has melted and or avalanched and options are getting somewhat limited as the snow line creeps up hill all across these ranges.

Most alpine rock venues are still snowy and or wet and out of shape unless you can find something steep and south facing. East slope and low elevation multi pitch routes should be good to go and fat with the damn ticks on the Rockies east slope. The road is plowed into the Bugaboos but the last bit of road to the parking area is still snowed in. Bring your own chicken wire, shovel out a parking space if need be and don't park in the middle of the road.

Glacier coverage is about as good as it gets and with a good freeze travel should be excellent. Large avalanches are still a possibility as it is still early days of warm temperatures and while there has been lots of big wet climax avalanches a bunch of paths have not run. Yet! Wet avalanches and cornice failures big enough to spoil your day will be a fact of life for a long while yet given how much snow is still in the mountains. A very different picture compared to this time last winter.

High elevation lakes are starting to look springlike but it was still great skate skiing across Bow Lake today.

Everything but the highest shadiest ice climbs will likely have melted out or turned to Schmoo. Schmoo is a technical term. Trust me.

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.