ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains July 2, 2020

Still extremely snowy for this time of year, which can be a blessing and a curse. Most reports are coming out of the Rockies, with the snowline hovering around 2100m and even lower on shady aspects. That means there can still be snow found below treeline in July! The blessing is that after a good overnight freeze snow travel can be excellent and glaciers have great coverage over crevasses which will hopefully last most of the summer (fingers crossed). The curse is that without a good freeze, waist deep trail breaking has been reported in places like the Columbia Icefields, and goopy avalanches, cornices, and rockfall in gullies and faces are a big concern when the weather is warm. One avalanche on Little Athabasca this past week started as a wet, loose slide which then triggered a size 2.5 slab avalanche, stepping down to the glacial ice.

In the Interior, the snowline is at the low end of treeline and ramps up to 1-2m in the alpine. Local reports have said the snow provides great travel and snowy alpine climbs would be great with a good freeze.

Many front range rock climbs are good to go, and alpine rock routes are starting to come around slowly. Many of those routes still have lots of snow left in gullies and on northerly aspects which can change your equipment strategy. Nothing like the feeling of being petrified on an unexpected, steep snow slope wearing only approach shoes!

Some Parks Canada campgrounds have opened but there is still limited or no access to certain huts. Check your local regions website for access updates as the summer progresses.

Snow and ice routes could be spectacular if the stars align. Have a great weekend.

Stephen Holeczi
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.