ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for Rockies and Columbia Mountains September 29, 2016

The snow line has been creeping up in the last few days on solar aspects but looking at the forecast it seems that this might change again before the weekend. Saturday looks to be bringing varying amounts of rain/snow over the entire forecast area and Sunday looks consistently dryer and cooler throughout. Precipitation amounts vary widely but at this time it looks like about 5mm in the lower Bow Valley and up to 16mm along the Divide and Columbias. Freezing levels will be at ~2500m on Saturday and dropping to 2000m on Sunday so we can expect the snow line to be somewhere in that range.

Last Sunday brought very strong winds with intense snow transport at higher elevations. This has undoubtedly formed windslabs where there was enough snow. If I was alpine climbing this weekend I'd be leery of smooth terrain anywhere snow has accumulated. This snow and wind has also made identifying crevasse hazards increasingly difficult.

There have been reports of recent ascents of routes like the Andromeda Strain and North Face of Mount Alberta but it is not clear what sort of condition they were in. On a recent trip to the Columbia Icefileds, there seemed to be only limited alpine ice formation due to recent high freezing levels. Driving through Rogers Pass today it looked like Uto and the West Ridge of Tupper would have been climbable but this will likely change before the weekend.

Depending on how low the snow falls, I'll probably be looking for some south facing rock climbing on Sunday.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the colours!

Marc Piché
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.