It has been really hot the past couple of days and conditions are changing fast on anything snowy or mixed.
In the Columbias, many regular routes like Sir Donald are dry, and Mt. Rogers had great conditions reported on the glacier. The Bugaboos still has good snow coverage on the Bugaboo/Snowpatch Col but melting fast. In the Rockies it is a mixed bag. One recent report from Lake O’hara found some routes in great shape like Mt. Victoria, but routes like Lefroy and Hungabee were decidedly out of shape.
The forecast through the weekend is calling for temperatures from 30-35C and a heat warning has been issued by Environment Canada for many places in BC and Alberta. There may be some isolated afternoon thunder showers in certain locations.
Rock fall: Anywhere there is still running water or melting snow, rockfall will likely be involved.
Loose wet avalanches: Some of the steeper alpine faces are still shedding daily, and exposure to steep faces will have increased risk to wet slides.
Crevasses: While the temperatures are hot, snow bridges may be more suspect.
Cornices: There are still some big cornices overhanging lee aspects. I wouldn’t choose to be exposed to them while the weather is warm.
It looks like amazing weather over the next week for both the Rockies and the
Columbias. However, I would expect no overnight freeze, variable snow travel conditions on glaciers, and increased risk for rockfall and small slides on anything steep and snowy. If you luck out and get an overnight freeze, you will want to be finished before noon as temperatures will spike quickly. It will be a great weekend for high, pure rock alpine routes, especially ones that get a bit of shade to escape the heat.
Have a good one
ACMG Mountain Guide