ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains issued September 28th, 2017

It has been a lovely transition from winter to summer but it looks like we might be back to autumn in the Rockies and Columbia Mountains by Saturday sometime. Cooler temps and some precipitation will make things greasy once again. The remaining snow has gone through a pretty strong melt cycle to at least 3000m and hopefully that remaining snow is stuck to the ground and free of weak layers(for now).

There is now the classic autumn recipe of enough snow to hide some crevasses but certainly not enough for the bridges to have any strength. The recent snow did make some terrain( like talus slopes and glacial ice) slightly better traveling but it also made a couple of 4th and low 5th class pitches I climbed this week in the alpine feel really sporty. That will probably also be the case when the next precipitation arrives.

There was dribs and drabs of decent looking ice in the alpine but at least some of those will have melted by Saturday. Somewhere way up high though there may actually be contiguous ice for those needing a tool swinging fix. A few folks have laid down some ski tracks on planar glacial features but this is a skinny snowpack even by Rockies standards and I am thinking I will wait awhile before taking my new skis out for a spin.

Enjoy the larches and the sun while it lasts and keep your woolie undies and headlamp close by.

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.