ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains. October 3, 2019

It feels like we skipped October and fast-forwarded straight into November! Current and forecast weather are pretty cool for the foreseeable future, and the weekend looks like a mixed bag in terms of precipitation, depending on where you are. It will be quite a bit wetter the farther west and north you go. The Bow Valley will get a bit of a break this weekend with Sunday shaping up to be pretty nice.

The mountains are very snowy at the moment. Snowfall amounts from the storm last weekend varied significantly by region, but it is safe to say that there is significant snow in the alpine throughout the forecast area.

Given the current conditions, there haven’t been too many recent reports from the higher elevations. Those who have ventured have been reporting 30-100cm of snow, post-holing, and slow travel. There have been several photos posted lately of large sluffs. Though I haven’t heard of any slab avalanche activity, there has been enough new snow and wind to produce large avalanches in the alpine.

Also, all of this new snow has made it very difficult to see crevasses when travelling on glaciers.

For this weekend, those who are looking for dry rock to climb might be able to find it on south aspects in the lower Bow Valley. Low elevation hikes should be snow-free, and with a bit of trail breaking, south-facing hikes up to treeline might also be reasonable.

A few people have been out ice climbing already with varying levels of success. If this is your thing, be sure to factor in the potential avalanche hazard and plan accordingly.


Marc Piché
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.