ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains, November 4, 2016

Warm weather over the last couple of days in the Rockies has put a hamper on any waterfall ice climbing potential. Some climbs way up in the alpine may survive the heat but overall most climbs are not in. In fact on the front ranges it's been great rock climbing conditions. For those venturing into the bigger mountains to ski and climb, there is roughly 60-70cm at tree line near the divide and about 100cm in the alpine. Some wind events from the past few days have reduced the ski quality and added isolated windslabs to the problem list. Some wet loose slides have been witnessed on solar aspects. People are getting out on their skis though, especially along the icefields parkway where the starting elevation is high. It'll be a long walk if starting lower. It's a good start to the season, but lots of the early season hazards and thinly covered crevasses need to be watched out for.

People are also skiing in the Columbias. At Rogers Pass there is 17cm at the base (1300m) and there is around 140cm at 1900m. Reports have reported rugged, early season conditions with all the usual hazards down low and variable conditions in the alpine which has been greatly affected by the recent warmth. A report further West 3 days ago from a group on Eagle Peak encountered storm slabs and touchy avalanche conditions. None of the lower elevation ice climbs in the region are in.

Avalanche forecasts are starting to be published on a semi-regular basis in some areas. Check and for the most current public forecasts. Parks Canada avalanche forecasts may be off line this weekend due to server maintenance. If they are not showing, please see the parks mountain safety facebook page for a copy of the bulletin.

So far the forecast is looking quite warm for the weekend in most regions with some light precipitation likely in the form of rain in the Columbias and near the divide in the Rockies. It also looks like it could be a rare week in November to consider front range rock climbing or dry tooling in shorts and a tank top with highs well into double digits.

Steve 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.