Regional Summary

With all the lingering moisture this spring, daily thunderstorms seem to be common, ranging from severe to mild. Weather models are uncertain regarding the weekend, most are showing a mix of conditions from sun, rain and snow above 3000m.

Avalanches, we are in an early spring transition period with avalanche hazard in the alpine. Multiple large slab and wet avalanches were reported from the Icefields Parkway and Bugaboos this week.

Glaciers, are starting to show sags over crevasses as the winter snowpack melts.

Rockfall, with all the snowmelt and rain there is lots of water around to move loose rock off the slabs hanging above your head.

High water flow, with the late season melt creeks and rivers are still in flood with debris flow and are sometimes not possible to cross safely.

Alpine conditions are good despite the hazards and travel can be good with an overnight freeze and an early start. Avalanche equipment is still in my pack, and using a probe on the glaciers is a good idea to understand the depth of snow and bridging qualities for crossing crevasses. Alpine rock climbing seems a few weeks away still except in the foothills and a few south facing lower elevation routes. If you are heading out to try a rock climb keep in mind all the late season snow that may be lingering in the descent gully, an Ice axe and crampons may be a good idea to have in your pack. Hiking is still limited to low elevations and I would expect to run into snow and tough travel conditions at tree line.

Many campgrounds are still snow covered and are cancelling reservations. If you are heading out camping, a shovel to dig out the toilet and your site may be the way to go. Areas like the bugaboos still have significant snow on the approach and present fall hazards on the normal trail.

Skiing, yes skiing is still in great condition and may be the easiest way to travel in many areas right now.

It seems like a good weekend to have a few different plans in your back pocket so you are prepared to walk away from your big mountain objective and clip some bolts or go for a bike ride when weather or conditions change.

James Madden,
Mountain Guide

On The Map

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.