ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains issued September 21st, 2017

Wintry day today even below Treeline. Snow fell down to about 1500m around Canmore and was trying hard to stick to the ground around the Ghost River.

We have very limited data right now but an informed guess would that over 20 cm has recently fallen along the Rockies Divide and it is probable that WSL's up to around 50cm exist in lee features in the alpine.

Less snow fell at Rogers Pass. 10 cm recently and approximately 20cm since Monday at treeline from one good source. In the Bugaboos the report was 20cm at 2000m as of Wednesday afternoon and possibly 30cm+ at 3000m. WSL's seem likely in the Bugaboos at least.

We have no idea of any layering in this brand new autumn snowpack so it seems wise to make conservative terrain choices in and around lee features till we get a real good sense of what is going on.

The forecasts indicate a chance of good weather for at least the Rockies this weekend with slow warming to almost seasonal temps by sunday/monday. If the sunny days happen it will almost certainly trigger a loose avalanche cycle and those will possibly drag a bunch of rocks along just to make it really dangerous. Rapid warming may also increase the likelihood of triggering those WSL's in the next day or two.

There is enough snow on the glaciers that some kind of tool for probing crevasses would be useful. And since there is an avalanche hazard, why not use your avalanche probe to check for crevasses and bring a beacon and shovel!! I am going to the Neil Colgan hut this weekend and the beacon, probe and shovel is packed along with LOTS of warm clothes! It is a wet and or white world for now and the nights are getting long.

Happy Autumn,
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.