What happened? Just two weeks ago it was sunny and warm; now it is full-on winter. The Rockies have just come out of -20C or colder temperatures which was a major shock to the system. On the avalanche front, the Parks Canada and Kananaskis forecasting agencies have started publishing bulletins as conditions change (www.avalanche.ca). The skiing has reportedly been variable as one would expect, and plenty of people are getting good data points to verify that! Ice climbing has started to come to life with some climbs formed but from recent photos, most climbs need a week or more to be worth slogging gear into. Climbs like Bourgeau Left are in, but one party bailed yesterday due to warming temperatures. They were concerned that the risk of getting hit by overhead hazards was increasing.
In the Golden area, there is around 50-80cm of snow above 1600m, and at treeline and above there is 60-100cm. The past week there has been some wind effect in the alpine on S aspects, but surprisingly decent skiing on North aspects. At Rogers Pass, there is 35cm at the road level, at 1900 there is around 75cm and around 120cm in the high alpine. In both places, travel up to treeline is rugged, and there are plenty of rocks to dodge.
This weekend looks fairly clear with Light N/NW winds and no snow. Temperatures should be in the seasonal range with front-range temperatures going above freezing. Have a good Remembrance Day.
ACMG Mountain Guide