It feels like the last week has been a blur and hard to believe the weekend is already upon us. Once again, good weather refuses to coincide with outdoor activities this weekend with plenty of rain in the last 24 hours and more forecasted thru the weekend. That said, our best window for decent weather may be Saturday. Overnight freezing levels look to drop to around 1800-2000m and "unsettled" may be the best word to describe the predicted weather pattern. Still, this afternoon the sun appeared for a couple hours and made for some pleasant parking-lot standing.
Not much has changed in the last week as we continue to enjoy a cool and cloudy start to June. Runoff from snowmelt is making for cruxy creek crossings though many of the higher elevation creeks are still under snow. Speaking of snowline, a couple colleagues were in the Sky Pilot zone this week and reported snow starting around 1500m and they enjoyed fast, firm conditions. It's an educated guess as to what's happening in the higher alpine as Garibaldi and Joffre Parks remain closed due to COVID concerns, barring access to many of our more accessible glaciers. We assume coverage on glaciers remains fat with many bergschrunds, crevasses and moats snuggled under their seasonal blanket of snow a while longer. Generally the glaciers are in good shape and would offer fairly straightforward travel...if we could get there. Trip reports on various social media outlets are a great resource for finding inspiration for more far-flung objectives, of which we certainly have no shortage in this part of the world!
The main hazards I'm watching this weekend are slippery rocks, roots, and logs where even minor injuries can wreck the weekend. As always with a healthy input of rain, in addition to continued snowmelt, rockfall hazard may increase and will find me giving a wide berth around suspect cliff bases and testing handholds a bit more. Another hazard that's a bit more unusual for the Coast is the potential for thunderstorms. For those of us familiar with the Rockies' afternoon electric show, being in high exposed areas during a thunderstorm is one of the more "memorable" life events. Unlike the Rockies, however, it seems our thunderstorms may be harder to anticipate or correlate with time of day. Stay alert!
You just never know with unsettled weather like this. Sometimes the best you can do is set yourself up for being in the right place and, just maybe, you'll be there at the right time. Be kind towards the others you're sure to see out there, give each other lots of space and revel in the joy even a simple forest walk can impart.
Andrew Councell, IFMGA Mountain Guide