ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains. June 21st, 2018

The official start to summer has many places in the Rockies and Columbia's under a thunderstorm watch as unsettled showery weather rolls in for the next couple days. Sunday looks drier, with more unsettled weather Monday before things improve. Keep a close eye on the sky for afternoon thunderstorm development and bring what you need for a quick retreat if necessary.

After some fresh snow at the beginning of last week and good overnight freezes, decent snow travel allowed groups to get up snow and ice routes on larger peaks like Helmet, Hector, Mt Cline, Athabasca and even some good ski turns on Mt Joffre.

Warmer temps and minimal overnight snow recovery have made things a bit more challenging the last couple days with more post holing and some sluffing/avalanches in steep terrain reported. Snow shoes were helpful for one group on the Wapta to deal with the soft snow. These softer snow conditions are likely to continue for a few days as clouds, warm temps and long days keep things from freezing. Start really early and have a good back up plan if snow conditions are poor.

Snow line is rising but hikes like the Rock Wall trail in Kootenay Park still have large snow covered sections, Aster Lake in Kananaskis still had ice on it Monday, and travel on north aspects above treeline in Glacier National Park still involves a lot of snow. Expect snowy sections on most high mountain ridges with a northerly component, and glaciers in general are still deeply buried though crevasse bridges are beginning to sag.

Lower elevation scrambles and rock climbs, especially on solar aspects or in the front ranges, are quickly coming into shape and may be the best bet for the next few days as the high country transitions into summer. Watch for snow melt induced rock fall as things dry up and expect creek crossings to deepen with the melting snow!

Have a good weekend!

Conrad Janzen
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.