ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains Issued September 14, 2017

The long summer of amazing weather has been replaced by cool temperatures, some snow, and a much needed break from the smoke.

Most of the snow from the last two days has been in the Rockies where it fell down to 2100m. The snowline has since come up on South aspects to 2700m and on shady aspects to 2400m. There are reports of 10-15cm in the alpine in the Louise group and the Jasper area, and 20cm in the Columbia Icefields. In all of these areas drifts 50-100cm were encountered on isolated lee alpine features. One guided party this afternoon coming off of Mt. Fay said they would be concerned about small wind slabs near ridge crests for the short term as there was a significant wind event associated with the storm.

The Bugaboos are still closed due to wildfires in the area. Check the BC Parks website for information on this. There was almost no new snow in that region (a bit of a tease I know) as well as in Rogers Pass. Parks staff there say peaks like Mt. Tupper are still dry, and only high peaks such as the bypass route on Mt. Sir Donald and the Swiss Peaks have a skiff of snow.

All in all the snowline should creep back up on solar aspects to keep the rock climbing going, but it will stay on the high north faces for the rest of the fall. It will certainly be much cooler in the mountains through the weekend which may keep hazards such as rockfall from occurring, but there may be enough snow on high glaciers to cover up small crevasses. Some of the snow and ice routes could be in good shape once the snow settles out/sluffs off faces and gullies, although any alpine water ice formed will probably react much like hitting rock if you swing into it!

Summer went out like a lion, but it sure was a good ride! Fall is here.

Steve Holeczi
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.