ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains. May 17th, 2018

Continued warm weather this week put the brakes on all but the more serious efforts at getting out on skis. Exceptions were the high peaks, such as Mounts Columbia, Andromeda and Kitchener in the Rockies which have been seeing a fair bit of traffic. Casual outings are hindered by dry or isothermal slopes into the treeline elevations, although there is the standard May traffic at Parker's Ridge which has high road access at almost 2200 m.

Reports of surprisingly large treeline elevation slab avalanches were reported earlier in the week along the Icefield Parkway in Banff.

In Jasper, the Athabasca Glacier's crevasse bridging has been reported to me as thin with numerous reports of crevasse falls. East of Jasper along the Queen Elizabeth Range (Hawk, CR2, Colin, Morro) the routes are mostly snow free and climbable as are the routes on the Park's East Boundary; Roche Miette to Roche Pedre.

Rock climbing at lower elevations, and even at higher elevations is reported as being possible especially on sunny/exposed aspects like Tupper or Uto S Ridge in Rogers Pass, or Yamnuska or Mt. Cory in the Rockies. Alpine routes that are higher and don't face steeply into the sun, like Edith Cavel's E Ridge or Mt. Sir Donald, are still snow covered and will be out of condition for a long time yet.

As for further south, it's major spring run off in the West Kootenay but all the valley cragging is on if you don't mind a few ticks. There is a washout on the Gimli access road at 2km which will apparently get fixed up before July. It is currently impassible plus its still spring ski season up there.

The precipitation coming from this storm -- in the form of rain at all but the highest elevations -- is going to dry out quickly as things warm up again for the weekend. Good weather is again forecast across the west into next week.

Hope that helps as you plan your outings over the next few days.

Tom Wolfe
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.