The Larches are turning and my calves are burning from postholing in the new snow. Alpine snow amounts varied but between 30 to 50 cm probably remains on North facing glaciers. Less possibly on south facing glaciers and there will be a crust on the sunny snow after several warm days. This amount of snow has freshened up some routes by covering the old ice and choss and a lot of the snow blew or has melted off the alpine rock. There is (or was) some good looking dribbles of moderate angle ice forming in the O'Hara alpine. I got to swing 2 tools a few times on Wednesday and it felt pretty darn good. Verglas is cleverly hiding in some spots so keep your eyes open and expect the odd skating motion.
As evidenced by the recent avalanche involvement on Mt Edith Cavell there is just enough snow for wet avalanches to be a concern with the added problem of a rough rocky ride. Cornices are back on the ridgecrests and are big enough to buck someone off if they fail. A thin later of surface hoar has formed in some places but should only be a concern if we get another big load of snow. Rockfall will be a concern while it stays warm and sunny as there is certainly a melt freeze cycle going on at certain elevations.
Below the snow line conditions are good. Sadly, it looks like another imperfect weekend but there is still lots to do and it is time to start thinking about handwarmers in the chalk bag, extra warm clothes and the reality of the shorter days and long cool nights.
ACMG Mountain Guide