ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for Rockies and Columbia Mountains September 23th, 2016

It is a slushy or moist world in the mountains right now. Snow fell across most or all of the Rockies and Columbia mountains and there is still some light rain falling west of the Rockies Divide and in the higher elevations of the Columbia Mountains as of 8am MST. It is clear in the Rockies front ranges right now but the ground and some of the rock is still wet.

As of yesterday(the 22nd) afternoon there was still some snow down to Lake O'Hara (2000 m) Above that the trails were dry where sun exposed and icy where walked upon in the shade. Lots of small avalanches pouring off the cliffs when some scrawny sun made it through the mist. Sounds like it was similar around Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefields.

In the Bugaboos this morning it was raining lightly and almost completely overcast. Snow line on the big faces was around 2700m, well above the hut. If the sun comes out the low elevation routes on Crescent and Eastpost might be enjoyable.

This new snow came in warm and has really plastered the rock. It will probably shed easily and trigger rockfalls if the sun comes out as forecasted in the Rockies this weekend. Maybe not as much solar triggered snow and rockfall in the Columbias but the forecasted relatively warm temps and rain could be a trigger too.

Somewhere in the Rockies alpine there is some good ice to be had if your timing is perfect and you are willing. Otherwise Front ranges scrambling and maybe steep south facing rock are the best choices. Looks drier the further east you go according to the forecasts. Fall colors are out in all their glory but will start to hit the ground with the next big winds.

Glacier travel will still be a puzzle of finding and reading crevasses under the new snow. The new bridges may have settled a bit and become more visible but I would assume that none of them have much structural integrity yet. A probe could be that good but awkward friend you like to hang around with sometimes.

Larry Stanier
ACMG Mountain Guide

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.