Well, now we've gone from fall to winter in much of the forecast area! Although the different weather forecast models don't agree on precipitation amounts, the one thing that is clear is that conditions in the alpine will be very winter-like.
There is over 50cm of snow at 1900m in Rogers Pass and slightly less than this in the Rockies - with much more to come on Friday. Friday is forecast to deliver significant precipitation with strong winds throughout the forecast area. Despite a lack of recent 'hands-on' observations in recent days, it is safe to say that those who choose to venture into the alpine will encounter very wintery conditions with a significant chance of encountering challenging avalanche conditions, including fresh/fragile cornices and wind slabs. There was evidence of recent activity high on mount Rundle when the sun came out today. It is also safe to assume that these conditions will make glacier travel much more difficult due to thinly bridged crevasses.
Lower elevation conditions vary significantly from one end of the forecast area to the other. Revelstoke currently shows daytime highs of 8 degrees while in Canmore we can expect nothing above freezing! Keep an eye on the local forecasts and make your decisions accordingly.
Undoubtedly, there will be people keen take advantage of the start of winter by seeking out some fresh turns to ski or new ice to climb. If you choose to venture into the mountains this week, make sure you bring a winter conditions mindset along with you. Avalanche safety gear, conservative terrain choices and a willingness to turn around will be crucial tools for success.
Me? I'll be switching to winter tires. One week later than needed - like every other year!
ACMG Mountain Guide